The Oconomowoc Joint Council took a step forward on Jan.5 by approving a project plan for the Olympia Fields tax supplemental funding district in a 6-0 vote.
Wangard Partners has proposed a mixed-use development that would include a medical office building, newly created commercial lots and commercial structures, and rehabilitated existing commercial real estate. The development, which will be on the site of the former Olympia Resort and its surroundings, will also include multi-family housing.
In November, council established the boundaries of Olympia Fields, which spans 65.7 acres, and declared the area a devastated district in need of blight elimination strategies. According to city documents, 88% of the plots need to be reinvested and rehabilitated.
The current estimated value of the property in the district is $ 14.35 million.
Bob Duffy, the city’s economic director, said land in the TIF District will be used for public right-of-way, as well as improving water quality for stormwater systems and existing pond.
In a note to the Joint Council and the Planning Commission, Duffy said that an 11.8-acre parcel of Edmund Baysari’s estate is critical to the project, as it serves as a gateway parcel for the entire development zone. Baysari died in September 2018 without a will.
“Based on the issues with an estate and difficulties communicating with landlord representatives, the city may need to pursue the acquisition of the parcel through eminent domain powers,” Duffy said.
Duffy said the estimated additional tax financing investment would be $ 18.7 million.
“Currently, Wangard has indicated his willingness to secure $ 64.5 million in additional new investment,” Duffy said. “The remaining land from the plot acquired by the city is expected to attract $ 13 million, for a total of $ 77.5 million in additional new investment. “
Duffy said the TIF District would be able to recoup the proposed expenses in 20 years.
During the meeting, Ald. Matt Rosek withdrew from the vote because his law firm had an independent business relationship with an entity of Wangard Partners. Ald. Karen Spiegelberg was absent from the meeting.
Over the two to three years it would take to build the project, 1,000 construction jobs would be created and around 550 permanent jobs would be created, between the office building and commercial spaces on the property, the president said. and Wangard COO, Matt Moroney. .
“There are a lot of people in the construction business just waiting to get back to work,” Ald said. John Zapfel. “People will be put to work to build this project.… If we can give the developer reassurance to move forward, we will do good things for the people in our community who are out of work.”
The issue of a TIF district is expected to be considered by the Joint Review Committee on January 20.