Village leaders in Sussex are hoping to take a second stab at sparking development at the former Mammoth Springs Canning Company site near Main Street and Waukesha Avenue.
The village will once again enter the taxing district market, and is poised to make a significant investment in the site with the hopes that increased tax revenues will turn a profit for residents.
Site owner Arthur Sawall purchased the property in January 2010, and has plans to construct a seven-building complex with a mix of retail and residential spaces. The construction would occur in phases with two "high-end housing" buildings coming first. According to the proposal, new multifamily or commercial buildings would arise annually from 2014 through 2019.
Where the money goes
In order to see the project through, the village is prepared to invest $4.7 million in the construction of the $21.6 million project. The village would provide $2.1 million in 2013, with $1.6 million designated for development incentives. The remaining funds would cover land acquisition and Bugline Trail relocation costs.
Sawall said an extensive amount of bedrock would require him to remove and transport a great deal of rock in order to accommodate underground parking on the site, which would be costly. Sawall hopes to begin construction in spring.
The village would issue another $1.2 million in 2016 as developer incentives. Another $1.443 million would be advanced to the developer for a stream project, decorative fencing, streetscapes, utility work, and administrative costs. The advance date would be determined by the progress of the project.
One major hurdle was cleared earlier this month after Sawall received approval to relocate the Bugline Trail, which passed through the center of the redevelopment site. Relocating the trail became quite the pickle when federal and state reimbursements were required to change its location.
When all is said and done, the village hopes to come out in the black. According to the village’s taxing district proposal, roughly $9.1 million in revenue would be generated through increased tax value on the site.
Hearing expected in February
Village leaders still need a boundary agreement for the taxing district. The project plan is being reviewed for modifications. A public hearing on the taxing district proposal would be held in February, and could go to the Village Board for approval as early as March 12.
It isn’t the first time Sussex leaders have used the taxing district option. After the cannery closed in 1996, the Community Development Authority amended the boundaries of its redevelopment plan to include the Mammoth Springs site. In 2001, the village amended the boundaries of its fourth taxing district to include Mammoth Springs. However a variety of issues associated with a development proposal made it unfeasible.
After another failed attempt in 2003 to kick start development on the site, the site stood silent until the taxing district closed in 2009 and M&I Bank acquired the site. In 2011, M&I Bank sold the site to Sawall.