Editor's note: This story is part of a series looking back at some of the biggest stories of 2018. Find the rest of the series here: Top Ten 2018.
The sight of the old St. Croix Meadows Dog Track, which sat vacant for years, is now a thing of the past, though Hudson residents still have a bit of time to wait for the highly-anticipated St. Croix Meadows redevelopment.
The project, first presented in 2016, will bring a baseball stadium, hotel, conference center, office spaces, residential spaces and more to the now empty site off Carmichael Road.
Demolition on the site began over the summer.
With nothing but the last turrets left, Gov. Scott Walker visited the worksite in July to officially announce a $500,000 redevelopment grant awarded to the project.
Construction is set to begin in 2019 with the baseball stadium.
The St. Croix River Hounds, the Northwoods League set to call the stadium home, will start playing in the 2020 season. The opening season was pushed back due to delays of the site development, as well as the requirement of the Northwoods League that an even number of teams join at once.
Final development plans were again approved for the project in 2018, a requirement after the year that passed after the initial approval in 2017.
Changes in the recently-approved final development plan include:
• The hotel is now 100 rooms rather than 150, and the amount of occupants supported by the conference event center has been reduced from 1,000 to 700.
• The developer at first thought they could use the existing building, but have since decided to construct a new 30,000 square foot building for the clubhouse.
• The office space has been increased an additional 15,000 feet.
• The indoor sports complex has been replaced with a high-tech flex space.
• One building that was set to contain a large brewery, event space and baseball suites has now been split into two buildings. One of the 15,000-square-foot buildings will hold a brewery with a taproom. The other building of the same size will house the concessions, bathrooms and upper level suites for the baseball stadium.
• Multi-family units in the development have increased by 70.
A new Phillips-Medisize facility will open in the St. Croix Meadows redevelopment site. The design, development and manufacturing company, which currently has locations on Hanley Road in Hudson and Wisconsin Drive in New Richmond, will build a 220,000 square foot building for light industrial and manufacturing.
The building will be located on the western 34 acres of the St. Croix Meadows redevelopment site.
A final development plan was approved by the city in November.
Specifics on a new Mayo Clinic medical facility have not yet been determined, though land for the facility has been purchased.
Mayo Clinic bought 9.2-acres of land off Stageline Road, north of the Hudson 12 Theatre.
The city of Hudson approved a conditional use permit for the land in February. The conditional use permit was needed for the medical facility that falls in a grey area of the city's code - not quite a clinic, not quite a hospital.
Administration Regional Chair Michael Morrey said in a statement that the permit allows Mayo to explore how to best utilize the land.
"We have been working with community leaders as well as internal stakeholders to determine how Mayo Clinic Health System can best serve the growing healthcare needs of this area," Morrey said.
The process, he said, will take time.
"If a project is approved for Hudson, this will be a multi-year process," Morrey said.