Editor's note: This story is part of a series recapping the top stories of 2017. Read the other top stories here.
The new year will bring new changes to an old Hudson site. The former St. Croix Meadows dog track will be demolished in January to make room for the new development Hudson Gateway.
With a baseball stadium, brewery, hotel, condos, business offices and more, the development brings for many a welcome change to the property that has sat empty since the dog track closed in 2001.
Developer Klint Klaas said site work is planned to start in January.
From its initial presentation to the city at the end of 2016, the plan was well received by the common council.
"I personally welcome you," Council Member John Hoggatt said at the December 2016 meeting.
Since then the master plan has quickly moved through the city's approval process readying the site for its January start.
Development will continue into the spring of 2018 with new infrastructure and the construction of one of the key pieces—the baseball stadium.
The stadium will be home to the St. Croix River Hounds, a Northwoods League team made up of top college players. Community members helped name the team, sending in hundreds of suggestions.
Construction for the development will be done in two phases, the first starting with the stadium in spring of 2018, and the second phase completed by 2021.
Once done the development will be home to a 150-room hotel, an indoor sports complex with two hockey rinks and a soccer arena, an 80,000 square foot brewery, a restaurant, 130 condos and several office spaces. The multi-use space spans about 130 acres.
"We felt there was a great potential to do something special with the property," Klaas told the council.
The development area is now part of a tax incremental district, approved by the council in July. The tax district allows the tax revenue from the district to go into a separate fund to be used on projects that promote development in the area.
Located off the already problematic Carmichael Road, one of the only concerns the new development has prompted is traffic.
The development is being included in the current Carmichael Corridor study that the city is doing with Short Elliott Hendrickson to address the increasing traffic in the area. The study will develop potential solutions for the future. With state-controlled Interstate 94 in the corridor, Exit 2 on to Carmichael Road is scheduled for a state redo in the next five years or so.