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North La Crosse

Business Association

Highway 53 Plan Implementation

Several members of the North La Crosse Business Association (NLBA) were instrumental in creating and economic and beautification plan for the Highway 53 corridor on the City of La Crosse's Northside.

As a result, the NLBA is an advocate for the implementation of the plan.

City's Highway 53 Master Plan Page (history, plan, etc.) >>

Plan Goal

The primary purpose of this Plan is to create a strategy to manage future growth within the corridor in a manner that will foster an attractive destination with strong businesses, vibrant neighborhoods, and beautiful surroundings. The Plan will focus on the strong interrelationship between land use and transportation  and a corridor that is safe, comfortable, provides access to the natural amenities offered by the BlackRiver,  and is convenient for motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users.

GOAL#1: Grow and enhance the Corridor as a location for business

GOAL#2: Establish a land use pattern that promotes community.

GOAL#3: Improve all modes of transportation.

GOAL#4: Create an enhanced gateway to the City of La Crosse.

PRINCIPLE #1: Advance Livability through creating connections between neighborhood businesses, recreation, and natural surroundings

PRINCIPLE #2: Diversity of use, buildings, and environment

PRINCIPLE: #3: Promote Neighborhoods through connectivity, memorable gateway, maintain scale and character of neighborhoods. Easy to naviate, create landmarks, destinations, aesthetics and sense of place.

PRINCIPLE #4: Foster sustainability & resiliency by focusing on land use as the influencer on transportation corridors.

Study Area

Implementation Plan


The study looks at improvements that can be made, breaking them into pulse nodes, multi-modal, design (landscaping & streetscpaing), and corridor-wide.

It then lists each item based on the following:


    •  Low: $0-$100,000
    • Medium: <$1 million
    • High: > $1 million


(Low, Medium, High)


  • Short: < 1 year
  • Medium: < 3 years
  • Long: > 3 years

Responsible Party

(City, Business Organizations, Neighborhoods, Developers, Wisconsin DOT)

Committee Work

Plan Implementation Strategy

The group worked with a prioritized project sheet.

The top priority of the group was to implement components of the Uptowne Summit Plan >>. however the Uptown Collective disbanded.

The decided to work on projects that would have the most visual impact. 

A CIP request for trash receptacles & Benches was approved in the amount of $114 existed in October 2022. There is another $50k in facade improvements available.

John's Auto Body

Many hours were spent pursing this because cleaning up this property was determined to be a top priority by the Committee. It was suggested by a former City Council member to use ARPA funds to buy the property out. Vicki made calls. It is a very complicated path to resolving. HISTORY: This property owner is not happy with the City after being moved to this location when the La Crosse Center was built. The current site, along with a portion of Central States Warehouse and the mobile home park are contaminated from back when the CSW building was a manufacturer of mercury gages. LADCO and the DNR were contacted about grants to clean up the site and the monitoring wells . They stated the site needed to be vacant for about two years to qualify. The site is further complicated by an easement for a billboard owned by Mike Collins but maintained by Lamar and it being impossible to get a new/replacement sign along the Great River Road. They have mentioned swapping for another location, however. At one time, the billboard face fell damaging John's roof and who did or didn't pay for that repair. There are disputes between all parties mentioned. The City is denying John a sellers permit until site improvements are made resulting in a lawsuit for restraint of trade. The owner is willing to move if the City will pay him moving costs and an amount believed by the City to be far beyond its value. The owner also wavers between whether he gives the property to his son. The owner does not trust assessors who he believes will under-value the property. 

Banner Replacement From I-90 to Gillette St

Status: Robin Moses is designing the last banner, which required us getting a Loggers baseball player not showing "Loggers" (due to the DOT potentially considering it advertising).

Next Steps: We must get the final design and take it to the City for design approval. We must get DOT approval via this application >>. We get them printed. The City will hang the banners upon completion.

Decisions to Date:

  • We looked at Onalaska's metal medallions design due to its longevity vs vinyl banners. We got specs (25 lb weight) and renderings emailed from the manufacturer. This created a quote from Gexpro (company next to McDonalds on Ward Ave that provides municipal light-poles & fixtures). We decided the 18" sizing is too small for the speed of traffic and $1000 each too expensive for the stretch needed. The medallions are better as a decorative addition to walking traffic (Caledonia Street?)
  • Adapt banners designed by Robin Moses for Downtown La Crosse with Northside images for consistency, however using only red
  • Not to use images of people that may date the banners
  • Pay a photographer to get photos of the Copeland Park train and eagle viewing area (bill to come)
  • Pay Robin Moses $600 for design-work. She will work with La Crosse Sign
  • Banners to date approved >>. Getting additional (generic) Loggers photo designed.
  • Email from La Crosse Sign: Double sided 72” x 24” 18oz printed banners run around $100.00 ea with customer supplied, print ready artwork. So, looking at around $4000 for them all. Qty: 6 – Livingston to Moore. Qty: 14 – Moore to Palace. Qty: 19 – Palace to George

Boulevard Beautification

STATUS: needs plan approval

  • In Fall 2022, the group decided to get a proposal from Coulee Region Ecoscapes to create draught resistant, low-maintenance landscaping to replace what the DOT put in as part of the Intersection redo with I-90.
  • Coulee Region EcoScapes needed to review the space in the Summer of 2023
  • Coulee Region EcoScapes Proposal >>

Facade Improvements & Central State Warehouse, Specifically

STATUS: Vicki needs to update the flyer she created to circulate information

  • There are facade and upper-level improvement grants available that were updated after the NLBA was nearly done with a brochure. The brochure needs updating.
  • Central States Warehouse was approached about removing the wood framework and paintings along Central States Warehouse. Owner Cliff LeClaire was interested in using the grant funding however he did not necessarily want to pay to have the artwork painted on it since beauty is not a value-added asset for a cold-storage facility. The committee discussed puting up billboard-structures to use interchangeable vinyl along the building. This is complicated due to the mounting inching into the sidewalk area.

    The artist who painted the North Country Steak Buffet was approached for painting something simple yet long along the structure. 

    LeClaire then sold to a California owner. The manager expressed interest in tearing down all the stucco, which would potentially be more visually interesting. He is interested in the facade information.

Benches & Trash Receptacles

STATUS: we were buying benches along the bike path near the Eagle Viewing area and also trash receptacles, if City Parks approves emptying these.

Vicki did a drive-through of the corridor looking for bench locations. The only places people gather are bus stops, which has their own budget. There group decided that puting benches on sidwalks in front of private proeprty (ex. one by the crosswalk by Kwik Trip) was not something we should do without permission since those properties would have litter accumulating and would have to clear snow around a bench.

The group decided to buy additional benches along the bike route facing the river closest to the Eagle Viewing area. We need Park & Rec approval for this.

Uptown Implementation

STATUS: police security cameras being purchased. Need plan from businesses.

The Uptowne Collective will spend approxmiately $7,000 of just under $7500 of their funds on police cameras. Several business owners were asked to submit ideas for improvement. One pointed to the Uptown plan for implementation.

Historic Designation Sign & Mark Jewellers Recognition

STATUS: Tim Acklin was to identify a public space to put a sign and get pricing.

With the new designation of Caledonia Street as a Historic District, a plaque recognizing the streets history wants to be purchased as well as recognizing Mark Jewellers facade improvement as a success of the program and to encourage more use of facade grants.

Copeland Park Improvement

STATUS: Need a scaled down plan for implementation with Park & Rec Conversation

Much work was put in by neighborhood groups, the NLBA, and Northsiders into making Copeland Park more of a destination. The plans that were created are unrealistically expensive and need a lower-cost version that can then be prioritized in the CIP.


To create collaboration between business and community for the betterment of all.

PO Box 402, La Crosse, WI  54602-0402


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