News & Media

Daily Tribune building sold

Thu. Dec 20, 2012

Daily Tribune building sold
Incourage leaders plan community-led project to develop iconic downtown site

By Nathaniel Shuda, Daily Tribune Media [email protected]

News story from http://www.wisconsinrapidstribune.com/

Leaders of a local nonprofit agency hope to work with the community to develop a plan to reuse an iconic downtown building for sustainable community development.

As part of its efforts to foster dialogue that incites positive change in the south Wood County area, Incourage Community Foundation of Wisconsin Rapids has purchased the former Daily Tribune Media building with the intent of working with residents, business owners and organizational leaders to devise a community focused plan for the property, said Kelly Ryan, the foundation’s chief executive officer. “We’re committed to investing in the renovation and the reuse of that building because it’s very important to the history of this community and its future,” Ryan said Wednesday.

This week, Daily Tribune Media moved into a new office building, at 101 W. Riverview Expressway, Suite 131, that better suits the organization’s current needs, General Manager and Editor Allen Hicks said. Its distribution operation will be housed in a separate Wisconsin Rapids facility. When the decision to move was made, the company started looking for a buyer of the property that has been home to the Daily Tribune for more than half a century.

“We are pleased to sell the building to Incourage Community Foundation,” Hicks said. “It has a terrific track record of community partnerships and positive development in the Wisconsin Rapids area.”

Funding for Incourage’s purchase of the former Daily Tribune building and likely renovations comes from both Forward Community Investments, a statewide financial institution that helps communities by investing in development projects, and from the various investments the foundation has made using donations from more than 6,000 local donors, Ryan said.

“We use a portion of our portfolio to invest in local impact … so we’re looking for a social return on the investment as well as a financial return.” The idea for using the building came several years ago when the foundation was looking for a permanent home, Ryan said. As one of several locations agency leaders had considered before settling on their current building, the riverfront property caught the eye of one of the group’s leading benefactors. “The first time we looked at the building was with Gilbert Mead, who was very enthusiastic about its location and for its potential for a positive impact in the downtown area,” she said.

It was Mead’s vision of people working together to accomplish common goals to make their community a better place that caused foundation leaders to embark on a journey to work with community leaders and residents to devise a unified approach to development of the property, said Gus Mancuso,who has led many of the foundation’s organized conversations with a variety of local groups. “Whatever we do, we want this process to be sustaining in its efforts,” Mancuso said. “We have a chance to build on our community’s legacy and sustain that legacy. … It’s not just the next best thing; it’s something we invest in for a very long time.

“The best answer is what comes about when people have a chance to work together and share all ideas,” he said. “It’s not a small group of people deciding what’s best for the whole of all people. I think it’s important for us to be patient and come up with the best answer.”

The new Daily Tribune Media office is set to open today in the former Hollywood Video space near the Rapids Mall.

Built in 1958-59 at the direction of then-publisher William F. Huffman Jr., the iconic, seemingly round building connected to a larger rectangular structure was the second to house the Daily Tribune,after a fire destroyed the first building, located on an adjacent lot, said Dave Engel, author of the local history focused River Cities Memoirs columns and books. Located at 220 First Ave. S., the structure also housed WFHR-AM 1320 from 1960 until the radio station moved in the early 1980s to its present location.

From Incourage: Daily Tribune building purchase – FAQ


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  • About Incourage

    Established in rural Wisconsin in 1994 to serve the changing needs of the south Wood County area, Incourage has become a nationally-recognized leader in place-based philanthropy and community development. Guided by values of equity, opportunity, and shared stewardship, Incourage envisions a community that works well for all people. One physical manifestation of this vision is the redevelopment of the Tribune building, which demonstrates Incourage’s user-centered approach to growing a strong and inclusive local economy.