Wausau’s second Riverlife project is officially on ice

Riverlife project

What would have been the second Riverlife project in the city’s flagship development area is now officially on ice, city officials say.

The city’s Economic Development Committee Tuesday voted to terminate its agreement with developers Viegut, Riveron and Ohde to develop a condo project on part of the Riverlife development area. That termination decision came after the committee met in closed session to discuss the particulars. 

It also came after numerous delays and revisions. The development team, which managed to get the first RiverLife project finished after two failed attempts by previous developers, proposed the condo projects before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The developers came back to the city for three different revisions to its agreements that removed a promised amphitheater and continually reduced the number of units. 

How the second Riverlife project fell apart

The final deadline on the last agreement was Nov. 1, and the city Nov. 2 sent out a 30-notice that the developers were in default of their agreement. They had 30 days to fix that default by taking ownership of the property. That time came and went with no action. 

The city council still needs to approve the termination, though it seems unlikely they would stray from the committee’s decision. City leaders then would most likely put out a request for new proposals. 

The incident is the latest in the troubled saga of the RiverLife Development area. The first project went through multiple developers before getting built. The second has been ongoing since before the pandemic started; and a third project proposed by T.Wall Enterprises erupted into controversy over city development processes.

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