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Wednesday

April 2014

23

TIF district proposed to help Sussex cannery development

Development getting closer, proposal to move Bug Line

Village of Sussex - The nearly 20-year dream of redeveloping the former Mammoth Springs Cannery Company site at Main Street and Waukesha Avenue is about to become a reality after village officials and developer Art Sawall cleared two major hurdles last week.

Sawall anticipates beginning construction of two 30-unit apartment buildings in May. The Mammoth Springs development will eventually include five residential buildings with one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 750 to about 1,100 square feet renting for $945 to $1,300 a month. In addition, there will be two one-story retail buildings at about 6,500 square feet each.

Waukesha County and village officials have agreed on Sawall's proposal to move the Waukesha County Bug Line Recreational Trail from the center of his property to the north and west boundaries of the 11-acre site.

Sawall has agreed to donate about an acre of land along the new trail route in order to meet federal requirements for transferring park and recreational right-of-way initially acquired with federal funds.

The village will agree to purchase the former site of Quality Welding that Sawall recently acquired. The acquisition will enable Sawall and the village to link the new segment of the Bug Line to the existing trail on the west side of the cannery site.

The Waukesha County Board, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of the Interior must approve the plan before it can be implemented.

However, Sawall said construction of the apartment buildings can begin before final approval of the trail transfer because the buildings are not on the trail right-of-way.

However, the transfer of the trail is needed to complete the development project.

TIF district

The Community Development Authority has scheduled a Feb. 21 public hearing on a proposal to create a 40-acre tax incremental financing (TIF) district that covers most of the downtown residential and business districts including Sawall's property. Later that evening, at the Plan Commission meeting, Sawall is scheduled to outline his proposal seeking a conditional use permit for the project.

The new TIF District 6 would generate real estate tax revenues that would be used to pay off the construction of about $2.1 million in public improvements and incentives for the estimated $21 million project.

The public hearing was scheduled after Community Development Authority members last week indicated they are willing to support creation of the TIF district which must be approved by the Village Board.

The triangular-shaped district would be bounded on the north by Main Street and south by Silver Spring Drive. The triangle intersection of Main Street and Silver Spring is the western boundary. The easternboundary would be Waukesha Avenue from Main Street south to Silver Spring Road.

Dave Anderson of Public Financial Management of Milwaukee, the village's financial adviser, told the Community Development Authority establishment of the TIF district contributes to orderly development of the village by providing opportunity for continued growth in the tax base and job opportunities.

However, both Anderson and Sawall said the development project is feasible only if the village creates a TIF district to help fund public improvements.

Real estate tax revenues generated in the TIF district as a result of new economic development would be set aside to help pay for public improvements for the project rather than being distributed to the village government, school districts and other local government units.

Over the 26-year life of the proposal, the new TIF district is expected to generate about $9.1 million in revenues, some of which will be used for the public improvement projects.

Those projects would include land acquisition, relocating the Bug Line, infrastructure improvements including sidewalks, curb and gutter, bike paths, street lighting and landscaping plus construction preparation for the apartment buildings including underground parking.

"The projects listed will provide necessary facilities and support to enable and encourage the development of TID #6," Anderson said.

"With numerous financing options available, the village is able to obtain the fundsnecessary to finance all projectscontemplated by this plan," he said.

"The village is able to obtain financing for the improvements required by TID # 6 and the projected revenues will be sufficient to repay all of the district's obligations," Anderson concluded.

Mammoth Springs Canning Company operated for more than 75 years before closing the plant in March of 1996. The company used rail to transport goods. The railway right-of-way in the center of the site was abandoned and later became the Bug Line Recreational Trail.

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