First street development

A preliminary rendering of the First, Second and Commercial Street block in downtown Hudson. This view is from Second Street and Wisconsin Street. Reuter Walton and ESG.

The Hudson Common Council considered plans for a luxury building for the downtown waterfront at its meeting Monday, May 16.

Hudson Common Council approved 

  • A pedestrian caution sign on River Ridge Road. The area has a great deal of bicycle and pedestrian traffic, particularly in the summer. The matter was added to the agenda after a community member from District 1 requested council consideration. 

  • The Hudson Lions Hometown Music Fest. 

  • The purchase of a 2014 Ford F-150 from Hudson Ford in the amount of $22,300.

Reuter Walton Development and ESG Architects presented preliminary plans for a multi-use development at 307 Second St., 321 Second St. and 100 Commercial St.

The land, owned by lifetime Hudson resident Ron Gagnon, sits between Second and First streets, with waterfront views and holds the empty Associated Bank building. 

At least for now. 

Gagnon’s family has owned property in the community for decades, including purchasing land when the old toll bridge shut down in the 19950s.

“We’ve been active in Hudson for a long time,” Gagnon said. 

The plans, though in the early stages of brainstorming, are immense. 

Included in preliminary work-ups are 113 market rate dwelling units, about 2,800 square feet of street level commercial space and 170 or more underground parkings stalls. 

It’s a $50 million investment. 

The council was presented with renderings that explored the views of the proposed development from various perspectives, including from north Second Street and the Hudson Dike, all of which can be viewed on the River Channel’s Youtube recording, 

First/second street development

A preliminary rendering of the First, Second and Commercial Street block in downtown Hudson. This view is from First Street and Wisconsin Street. Reuter Walton and ESG.

There were four main project goals outlined in the presentation: 

  • Create a large-scale economic development opportunity in downtown Hudson. 

  • Create a legacy project that contributes to the neighborhood character. 

  • Increase neighborhood vitality and safety. 

  • Increase available housing options in the neighborhood. 

There is one major restriction the developers will need a variance to proceed – building height. 

Since the property is just west of the St. Croix Riverway district line, there are strict rules in place by the DNR to preserve the area nearest the water. 

The regulated height is 45 feet. The plans are looking at about 50 at its tallest point. 

Bob Loken with ESG Architects, explained that this is the best way the building could be built on the sloped land, preserving the integrity sought by the regulation. 

That will be up to the DNR and the Hudson Board of Zoning Appeals to decide. 

The presentation concluded with some questions from council members and acknowledgements that the building is eye-catching. 

The purpose of this presentation was to give the council a birds-eye view of the prospective plans, as the developers move forward on applications, public hearings, approvals and more.

City Administrator Aaron Reeves assured council members that this project is in the early stages and that it would be in front of them numerous times before final decisions are made. 

No action was taken. The developers will continue honing the plans.

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