- Associated Press - Sunday, December 25, 2016

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) - A developer is pitching a plan to convert a former dog track in western Wisconsin into a baseball stadium and office park.

The Hudson City Council is considering the development plan for the former St. Croix Meadows that has been vacant since the greyhound racing track closed in 2001.

Minnesota-based KF Investments is looking at developing the 131-acre site into the Northwoods League baseball field and a mix of office and residential developments, including high-end townhouses and corporate headquarters, the La Crosse Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/2hVMnDa).

The property is for sale for nearly $8 million and has not yet been purchased. It has not been purchased, but Klint Klaas, a commercial real estate developer with KF, said he hopes to close on the vacant property by the end of January.

Klaas, who played two years in the Houston Astros’ minor league baseball system in the mid-1990s, would be part of the ownership group hoping to enter the Northwoods League, which includes the Eau Claire Express.

The dog track opened in 1991 before attendance dwindled and attempts to convert it into a casino site did not get state approval.

Hudson community development director Dennis Darnold said the property would need to be rezoned, which would allow a “more campus-like development, including corporation headquarters. Getting a job creation tax base there is important.”

Darnold said the existing 150,000-square-foot dog track building may remain if it is deemed structurally sound. There have been six weeks of discussions with KF about their plans, which currently call for the baseball park and “corporate possibilities” available for occupancy in 2018, he said.

“There is some immediacy to the project with that time schedule,” Darnold said.

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Information from: La Crosse Tribune, https://www.lacrossetribune.com


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