Downtown Wausau Street progress

Downtown Development Zone Sees Infrastructure Progress as New Businesses Emerge

September 21, 2023

Object HomewaresStreets and Sidewalks to be Ready by Mid-October, Paving the Way for New Children’s Imaginarium

While Wausau welcomes new businesses to the River District, progress continues around the downtown development zone to improve infrastructure and create a more accessible environment for these and future establishments destined to call Wausau home.

The new businesses include:

Dave Eckmann, president of Wausau Opportunity Zone, is inspired by the growth and improvement of downtown Wausau. "It showcases the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity that thrives within this community," he said.

Forward BeverageThe active presence of new businesses also demonstrates a commitment to serving the local market. Amy Yanzer, Forward Beverage Co.'s owner, is preparing her new taproom at 303 North Third Street. She provides non-alcoholic beverages suitable for people of all ages.

"Our menu ranges from soft cocktails that my kids love to social seltzers that help adults relax without alcohol. We ensure our beverages are delicious and free from additional or artificial sugars, sweeteners or dyes," she said.

The new establishments will decidedly complement Wausau's current urban landscape, aligning with the upcoming opening of the Children's Imaginarium and housing options on the horizon.

This week revealed what's transpiring inside the museum as windows were installed in the building's façade. HOM Furniture, the adjacent building, also received new windows. Starting Monday, September 25, KidZibits will install the highly anticipated exhibits in the museum. The St. Paul-based exhibit fabricator created six interactive displays firmly rooted in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Children Imaginarium Fall Opening

One of the exhibits ironically replicates real construction scenes reminiscent of those ongoing in downtown Wausau. "The Construct It gallery invites guests to put on their hardhats and explore the building process with various tools and materials," said Julie Bollmann, new executive director of Children's Imaginarium.

Bollmann, a mother of two, has lived in Wausau for about 17 years and held various leadership roles within the Wausau School District and UW-Stevens Point. She also served for three years on the museum's board of directors.

The daily transformation of Children's Imaginarium has been exciting for Bollmann since starting in August. "This opportunity breathes life into this part of our community and will bring more foot traffic to downtown Wausau," said Bollmann.

Road construction around the museum should be wrapped up before the doors open later this fall. "The contractor is currently working on installing the storm sewer system and grading the roadway for the pavement and sidewalk installation," said Allen Wesolowski, city engineer.

For lasted video updates on the street and museum progress, watch 2-Minute Drill: Episode 20.

What’s Happening in Wausau

September 23 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Wausau Elk’s Adventure Race
Join in on the fun at the Wausau Elk’s Adventure Race happening this Saturday. Starts at the Elk Lodge in downtown Wausau. Sign up your 4 person teams at$25/person.

September 22 – 23
Ragnar Trail Wisconsin
Check out exciting trail racing at Nine Mile Forest this weekend. Teams of runners set out to conquer a series of challenging trails day and night. Click here to learn more about this event.

September 23 from 12:30 – 6 p.m.
Bull Fall Brewery Octoberfest
Enjoy German food, beer, music, contests, raffles, and more. Come dressed in your best Oktoberfest gear for a chance to win a prize! Go to the website for more information.

Saturdays and Wednesdays – 7:30 a.m.-until sold out.
Wausau Farmers Market
Find fall flowers, plants, vegetables, fruit, meats, cheese, fresh eggs, honey, maple syrup, baked goods, coffee and so much more. Visit the market on River Drive!

September 28 – 30 at 7 p.m.
CenterStage Band & Show Choir Perform “That’s So 70’s!”
Enjoy a variety of music, choreography and customs representing the 1970’s. The event is held at the Grand Theater and is free. Visit CenterStage for more details.

October 7 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Harvest Fest
Annual event in the heart of Downtown Wausau on the 400 Block featuring a large pumpkin patch, pumpkin carvings and sack race competitions, a costume contest, a petting zoo and lots of kid’s activities. Food and beverage vendors on site. Go to Wausau Events for more information.

Don’t forget to check out the local art museums and historical society for current exhibits and events.

Be Wausome and Enjoy Wausau!

Exciting changes are happening in downtown Wausau. Wausau Opportunity Zone (WOZ) invites the community to stay informed at WOZ is leading the charge toward a new era of prosperity by partnering with Greater Wausau Prosperity Partnership, local governments, businesses and organizations.