Ho-Chunk Nation examines potential development venture in La Crosse
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -
One Wisconsin Native American tribe is proposing a new development endeavor in La Crosse, which is a win-win for the tribe and the community.
Overcoming COVID has been a learning curve for the Ho-Chunk Nation of Black River Falls and President Marlon WhiteEagle.
“With the pandemic, we had to close our casinos,” said WhiteEagle.
That’s what sparked other income opportunities for the tribe with a new venture working with Sam Bachmeier, La Crosse Area Development Corporation Economic Coordinator.
“One of the things we’ve seen is that housing is a great need not only for the Ho-Chunk Nation but for the La Crosse area, so wanted to address both of our needs,” WhiteEagle added.
“Our work with the Ho-Chunk Nation started about a year and a half ago back in late summer of 2019,” said Bachmeier. We’ve worked a lot with the Ho-Chunk Nation that they might have potential interest in developing.”
One piece of land the nation looks to especially consider is the 65-acre River Point District.
“We looked at several spots within La Crosse and this was the one that seemed to be the best fit offering a way for us to generate some revenue outside our gaming capacity, we want to add a real estate venture and property management,” WhiteEagle said.
The City of La Crosse is currently working on prepping the former industrial site to start developing the River Point District next year.
“I think it’s a great opportunity, there’s a large swath of land here,” said Bachmeier. “It’s a great opportunity for both urban amenities and natural amenities.”
“The housing market, it’s always going to be there,” said WhiteEagle. “It’s always going to be available.”
Already with an established presence in La Crosse, WhiteEagle says the new endeavor is the right fit for the tribe moving forward.
The Ho-Chunk Nation will propose its plans to the tribal developing committee at the end of January to approve the project and start receiving funding.
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