Wausau, WI (OnFocus) The Wausau City Council has approved a $1 million forgivable loan for Wausau Opportunity Zone Fund, Inc. (WOZ) so the nonprofit can move forward with purchasing the Wausau Center Mall for $3 million.
The nonprofit, which was organized by two foundations for the purpose of acquiring the struggling mall, said its acquisition of the property depended on support from the city. The two organizations involved are the Judd S. Alexander Foundation and the Dwight & Linda Davis Foundation, which successfully bid on the property.
While there are no concrete plans for the mall, which opened in the early 1980s, the goal of the purchase is to provide long-term economic benefits for Wausau by maintaining a vibrant downtown, while avoiding “undesirable property uses” if an outside entity were to purchase the space, according to city documents. Representatives from both foundations commented that their goal is not to make money, but to enhance the community.
The city of Wausau will not be going into debt to finance the loan, instead using excess money from a planned street extension.