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Developers Show Off Plans To Revamp Aging Downtown Eau Claire

City Leaders Tout Project As A Potential Economic Boon

Eau Claire officials hope a hotel renovation project will help rejuvinate the city's downtown. | Photo: Jereme Rauckman (CC-BY) 

Developers in Eau Claire have unveiled plans to renovate a dilapidated, downtown hotel and city officials are optimistic that the project will help rejuvenate the city’s center.

A group of investors, including Eau Claire software developer Zach Halmsted, bought the ailing, eight-story hotel last year vowing to pump $16 million into a complete remodel. It’s expected to reopen later this year as the Lismore Hotel.

Eau Claire Economic Development director Mike Schatz said he expects there to be an economic ripple effect.

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“There will be spinoff dollars spent downtown when people start staying here overnight and visiting some of the shops,” said Schatz. “So, that’s going to be a big, big help for the local businesses that are located downtown.”

Schatz said the new 123-room hotel will pair nicely with a proposed performing arts center that is a key part of the city’s Confluence Project.