LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

The city of La Crosse has been working on what they call "Riverside North" for years. It's a 65 acre stretch that runs along the Mississippi River just north of downtown.

The city is now taking its plan for redevelopment to the public for a fresh set of eyes.

It's using a series of intensive planning sessions to get the public involved in the redevelopment process.

City officials, past and present, encouraged residents Monday to share their own ideas of what the site should be redeveloped into.

They stressed the importance of public involvement when planning a project like this one.

They also used past city projects as examples to show what redevelopment can do for our area. 

"I think a lot of people might remember what downtown looked like. Not many years ago when we had the grain elevators, and Piggy's, we had a lot of pigeons down here from the trucks that brought corn into town, We had rats down here, high power lines and now we have this gorgeous L.H.I. complex," said former La Crosse Mayor John Medinger.

The city says the area would be nothing without the help of local businesses and the community.

City officials hope the Riverside North project will see the same kind of success.

"Realistically, that Riverside North site is going to take years if not decades to fully build out, but you have to start with a vision for what's possible. That's what made this area and especially our downtown so successful was that vision," said La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat.

Residents will have the chance to share their ideas through a series of upcoming public meetings:

  • Wednesday, May 14 7-9 p.m. at the Weber Center for the Performing Arts, 428 Front Street; Topic: Introduction to Charrette & Redevelopment Site, Public Workshop
  • Saturday, May 17 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.  at Western Technical College – Coleman Center, 304 6th Street, Room 133-B; Topic: Review Alternatives
  • Thursday, May 20 7- 9 p.m. at the Weber Center for the Performing Arts; Topic: Final Presentation