City leaders remove WOZ pedestrian bridge/walkway from condo agreement

Woz pedestrian bridge wausau mall

City leaders Tuesday approved a condo agreement for the first housing projects on the former Wausau Center mall site — but they’ve nixed a planned pedestrian bridge from the agreement. 

The WOZ condo agreement is something that’s necessary because of the ownership structure of the mall redevelopment, which will see downtown housing units built on the former mall site. 

But the agreement included language that the owners of units one and two (the first two apartment projects on the mall site) would build the pedestrian bridge/walkway that traverses downtown to the Wisconsin River area. The agreement also specifies that the city may eventually own and maintain the walkway/bridge. 

City Council Member Gary Gisselman objected to that language, amending the agreement to take that language about the city owning the bridge out of its agreement. Council Member Tom Kilian also objected, saying city agreements that say “may” often turn into “shall.”

City Attorney Anne Jacobson says the changes are in order but also could mean that WOZ rejects the agreement, which would restart negotiations. 

The walkway/pedestrian bridge has seen controversy before. City leaders rejected a plan to apply for state ARPA funds to pay for the bridge.