Prairie du Chien strip mall redevelopment gets new affordable housing and commercial

Posted by on Jun 21, 2022 in News | 0 comments

Prairie du Chien strip mall redevelopment gets new affordable housing and commercial

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, WISC. (with excerpts from The site of a blighted Prairie du Chien strip mall will get new life as much-needed affordable housing and commercial space. The development includes 96 units of affordable housing along with small, community-oriented businesses. Vandewalle & Associates was instrumental in creating and managing the mixed-use redevelopment plan–from vision to reuse plan, to implementation and developer recruitment, to grant writing. 

Prairie du Chien Mayor Dave Hemmer said the project is important because the limited supply of employee housing is a major barrier to attracting workers. 

“There are jobs in Prairie du Chien, no doubt about that,” said Hemmer. “Now, we’re going to have places for people to live.” 

“As folks look for job and career opportunities in new communities, access to housing ensures they can live closer to where they work,” Governor Tony Evers said in a visit to the site. “Not only will this project meet several of the most pressing needs of the Prairie du Chien community, but it will create a new commercial center.”

Carol Roth, executive director of Driftless Development Inc., the economic development organization serving Crawford County, said she frequently hears of the pressing need for quality, affordable housing in the area. 

“That is really one of the biggest challenges for anyone trying to start or grow their businesses,” she said. “It is difficult to grow if there is no place to live.” 

Another aspect of the project is the development of 43,000 square feet of commercial space in new buildings on the northern half of the site, which are projected to result in the addition of $7 million to the tax base.  

A $250,000 grant from WEDC’s Idle Sites Redevelopment Grant helped make it possible. The Idle Sites Redevelopment Grant Program is intended to stimulate job creation in idle, abandoned or underused manufacturing and commercial sites. The grants help ensure that distressed properties can be redeveloped to boost community investment, property values and jobs. 



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