The city of Beaver Dam is hoping to attract a mixed-use development to a downtown property in need of improvement.
According to a press release from engineering director Todd Janssen, the city has put out a request for proposals for redevelopment of a parcel of city-owned land at the corner of Ryan Cantafio’s Way and South Center Street. The city is looking for a mixed-used development with owner-occupied residential units and a commercial element.
The parcel is part of a tax increment finance district, which means the city is able to offer incentives to developers, which would help attract projects, and would use increased tax revenue from new development to pay off the debt. The city also will investigate grant opportunities for a redevelopment project.
“Development of this site is a critical phase of Beaver Dam’s broader downtown redevelopment plan and is expected to be a major focus of ongoing economic growth efforts,” the city said. “Beaver Dam is committed to reducing barriers and providing incentives, clarity and certainty throughout the development process for projects that support the city’s economic and community expansion objectives.”
According to documents, the city is looking at housing with a price range of $180,000 to $260,000 and possible commercial uses like a restaurant, retail, lodging, event space or offices. Such a project would continue development in the area like the lofts on Madison Street and improvements along the river’s edge.
The parcel includes the former site of the Reilly auto dealership and the historic Milwaukee House, which has since been demolished. The vacant site is currently used for a farmer’s market. The properties on the parcel were sold from Dodge County to the city in 2017 and 2018.
The state Department of Natural Resources found soil contamination from petroleum on the site in 2007. The DNR closed the matter in 2013. A future developer would have to work with the DNR over soil disturbed or excavated on the site.
A plan for WDS Construction to build its office building on the site fell through in 2013. WDS instead chose to build in an industrial park on the north side of Beaver Dam adjacent to Highway 151.