Market On River To Begin Opening In September

Wisconsin Farmers Union is in the midst of renovating a historic building in downtown Chippewa Falls. It’ll not only be their new headquarters, but a community space.

The 128 W. River Street building, which historically housed the Chippewa Valley Mercantile Co., is adjacent to the Spring Street building that has housed WFU’s headquarters since the 1940s. WFU purchased the 45,000-square-foot building last spring when Machine Tool Camp outgrew the space.

The organization plans to turn the stately brick building into a downtown destination. Officially named Market on River, it will soon house a food hall, meeting spaces, and apartments.

Executive Director Julie Keown-Bomar says the first floor won’t house just any food hall — this one will support WFU. Food vendors will be required to become WFU members and purchase 15 percent of their goods from WFU members.

“When we set out to find a new home for our state headquarters, we knew we wanted to stay in Chippewa Falls, which has been home to Wisconsin Farmers Union since the 1940s,” says Keown-Bomar. “What we didn’t expect was stumbling upon this stately historic gem, which holds so much potential as an anchor for this corner of the city.”

She says the building will foster the local food scene, build community through gathering spaces, and create incubator space for up-and-coming Chippewa Falls businesses.

The project is set to be finished in the fall of 2024, with the first floor opening up to the public in September.