Beaver Dam’s Plan Commission unanimously approved creating a tax increment financing district for the former Lakeview Hospital properties Wednesday.
Plans are in place to transform the area with a high-end condo development by 2022. The city has a development agreement with JCW Development for the project. Should the Beaver Dam Common Council approve creating the TIF district, the revenue generated will go toward cleaning up and demolishing the vacant Lakeview building, 208 LaCrosse St., which is estimated to cost more than $1 million.
The city currently owns the Lakeview property and would turn it over to JCW, fresh for development. With a TIF district, the city pays for its costs and debts, including incentives for developers, with the increased tax revenue from development. Taxpayers would not be on the hook for the costs, but the revenue generated from the tax district would not go into local services and programs as they normally would until the TIF district is closed.
JCW already owns one of the three properties, the historic Silas McClure House on Third Street, and the city will soon hand over the site of the former Executive Apartments for $1. The apartment building was destroyed in an April fire.
The developer is guaranteeing at least $4 million in new property value, which officials say is a very conservative estimate, and is expected to add about $175,000 a year to the tax rolls. That is the money that would go toward paying off the demolition and other TIF district costs.
The new TIF district, the city’s ninth, will be designated as a blighted area, which will allow it to stay open for 27 years. In total, the district is expected to come with $2.8 million in costs, including $1 million in interest. Other costs include updating infrastructure and the roadway, the $225,000 the city paid for the hospital property from Beaver Dam Community Hospital, and administrative costs.
The city is looking at the possibility of a grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to help with the demolition, which would help close the TIF district earlier if the city is successful.
The project timeline is still in its early stages and full detailed plans have yet to materialize. The cleanup of the Lakeview site will probably start in 2019.
An additional cost will be adding historical markers on the sites. It’s not yet clear what will happen to the McClure House. The house is not on the National Register of Historic Places and was restored in recent years by a former owner. Moving the house would be a costly endeavor.
The Executive Apartments were destroyed in a fire April 7 and later demolished, leading the owner to sell the property to the city for $1. The previous owner asked only that a marker be placed on the site for the two people who died in the fire.