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Realtor to help Milton market business parcels

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Neil Johnson
April 16, 2014

MILTON—The city of Milton is contracting with a local real estate firm to help it market business parcels the city owns along the Highway 26 bypass corridor.

The city council this week unanimously voted for city staff to forge a deal with Janesville real estate group Coldwell Banker Commercial/McGuire Mears & Associates to market several industrial and commercial properties in the Crossroads Business Park.

The park is along the Highway 59/Highway 26 bypass corridor on the east side. The city has shown a renewed push to spur industrial and commercial development there since the bypass opened in fall 2013.  

Under the deal, which the city is calling an “exclusive real estate agency” agreement, McGuire Mears would market the city's business park parcels and seek buyers to develop there.  

According to city memos from City Administrator Jerry Schuetz, the city would only pay the realty group a commission if it played a direct role selling land and a development took place. If a developer contacted the city directly or if a sale fell through, the city would not pay the firm.    

The city earlier had planned a six-month deal with a broker and a possible six-month extension.

Bill Mears, a broker and partner at McGuire Mears, said the company normally deals with private-sector clients, although it has had limited agreements with the cities of Janesville and Beloit.

Mears said he's not yet sure if his firm would work directly for the city of Milton or as intermediary between the city and buyers or developers.  

“That's getting into the weeds,” Mears said, explaining his firm would be in talks with the city later this week over what agreements it could forge.

The deal comes after the city removed from the April ballot a referendum to shift the duties of City Hall employees. It sought to give Schuetz a greater role in marketing city parcels for development.

The council yanked the referendum, in part, because at the time City Hall was dealing with developer Bill Watson on a 1,500-acre land annexation option, city officials said.

Officials said they didn't want it to appear the city was restructuring duties at City Hall simply to accommodate that deal.



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