Proposal for a cellar, incubator kitchen, event venue on the abandoned Wausau Chemical site

By Shereen Siewert

A $ 1.5 million proposal to turn part of the Wausau Chemical site into a business incubator that would have housed a 300-person event venue and other amenities is no longer in the works, confirmed Friday city officials.

Wausau Barrel House and Cannery’s proposal included a co-packing cannery, winery, kitchen, and food truck stalls with indoor and outdoor seating. The project was proposed by Dan and Kimm Weber, owners of Timekeeper Distillery in Wausau, and Lyn Kearns, president of Mosinee Brewing Company.

The group’s proposal included the purchase of the former Wausau Chemical container cleaning property at 180 E. Wausau Ave. for $ 40,000, $ 2,500 more than its estimated value of $ 37,500.

But Wausau’s director of economic development Liz Brodek said the project had since been scrapped. The reason for the withdrawal is not immediately clear, although Brodek said she believed the change was “related to covid.”

“There is no immediate plan to reissue (a request for proposals) for this site,” Brodek said.

The Wausau Barrel House and Cannery is one of several failed projects for the city’s northern waterfront. In December, plans for a brewery and restaurant were also canceled, projects received in response to a September 2019 call for tenders.

The $ 1.5 million proposal for Karma Brewing Company, which would have been located on an approximately one acre parcel of land at 101 Devoe Street, called for the new construction of a 4,500 to 5,000 square foot building for a brasserie and gastronomic pub.

A second plan for a $ 600,000 Founders restaurant, which would have featured a bar, restaurant and outdoor seating, was also withdrawn.

New requests for proposals for these locations have not been issued.

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