With the building gone, the city of Merrill is renewing its efforts to find a developer for the Lincoln House site at 120 S. Mill St.
The city’s Redevelopment Authority met Thursday with Mike Morrissey of Redevelopment Resources to discuss plans for the property. For the short-term, the city will put topsoil and seed on the lot to establish grass this year. A more attractive fence would replace the chainlink fence put up for the demolition. The fence would protect the site from damage.
Morrissey recommended a sign be placed on the site stating that the property is available for redevelopment. The sign would be large enough to be seen from East First Street. The city will be sending out requests for proposal to potential developers outside Merrill, but Morrissey said it is important to make its availability known to possible local developers as well. He also suggested that the city consider conducting an environmental review of the property so that information can be provided to prospective developers.
Before taking any proposals for redevelopment, the city needs to seriously consider what types of developments it wants to see on the lot, Morrissey said.
“The city has over $300,000 invested in this site already and we want a multi-million dollar development there,” said RDA member Kathy Unertl.
Morrissey also noted that the city should have a long-term plan for the site in the event it doesn’t sell quickly. He suggested making the site available to the public as green space, similar to what Wausau has done with the popular 400 Block in its downtown area.