Hotel, housing proposal would raze Essen Haus, Come Back In 

JCap Real Estate of Eau Claire is seeking the demolition of downtown’s Essen Haus German restaurant and the adjoining Come Back In to make way for a hotel, housing, and parking, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. The redevelopment proposal is the block’s fourth since 2000.

The proposal would redevelop the properties at 506, 510, 514, 516, and 518 E. Wilson St. and 134, 140, 148, and 150 S. Blair St. to make way for a six-story, roughly 104-room hotel along East Wilson Street and an eight-story, around 150-unit residential building on South Blair Street.

Hotel Ruby Marie at 524 E. Wilson St. and its Up North Bar would undergo remodeling and remain as a separate structure.

Ald. Marsha Rummel, 6th District, represents the site and is scheduling an online neighborhood meeting for 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 9; login details are not yet available.

The new proposal differs from previous ones in that, rather than pursuing one large building across multiple parcels both inside and outside the First Settlement Historic District, JCap would instead offer two buildings, with housing in the historic district and the hotel outside of it.

Rummel, while expressing overall enthusiasm for the proposal, did cite concerns over congestion and access at South Franklin Street and whether or not the new buildings would fit in with the shorter condominium buildings there. She also suggested saving the two-story Come Back In, built in 1875 and remodeled in 1990.