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Council to vote on TIF expansions in Janesville

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Jim Leute
April 24, 2014

JANESVILLE­--City officials are forecasting new commercial property development with a combined assessed value of $133 million in the next six years, and they want to take steps now to prepare for it.

The Janesville City Council on Monday will vote on two proposals that would add acreage to existing tax increment financing districts on the city's east and south sides.

The first would add about 150 acres to TIF 32 on the east side. It would include 11 parcels in land bordered by Racine Street to the south, Highway 14 to the east and South Wuthering Hills Drive to the west. It also would include a parcel north of Enterprise Drive and west of Wuthering Hills.

The second would add about 150 acres to TIF 35 on the south side. The majority of that—142 acres—would be bordered by the Highway 11 bypass on the south and Beloit Avenue to the east. It would also include a small parcel that the city recently bought as a buffer for the SHINE Medical Technologies project east of Highway 51.

In TIF 35, the additional acreage would sandwich about 85 acres committed to the SHINE project and another 226 acres that have not yet been developed in the city's “shovel-ready” industrial site.

Al Hulick, a city economic development coordinator, said officials have had several discussions about expansion projects and potential new construction in the areas proposed for addition to the TIF districts. The projects, he said, could result in new jobs.

“In order for these projects to move forward, the administration must be prepared to offer a competitive incentive package,” he wrote in a memo to city council members.

TIF 32

Hulick said potential development could result in about $60 million in new property value and about $23.5 million in new property taxes over the life of the TIF district on the east side.

About $30 million of that new development already occurred with the construction of the St. Mary's Janesville Hospital and Dean Clinic-Janesville East.

The rest could come from potential projects that are either being discussed in their preliminary stages or others speculated based on the size of vacant parcels, he said.

“One of those parcels is a 34-acre site along Highway 14 that could accommodate a 250,000-square-foot building,” he said.

That and another large site could generate projects that the city estimates could each add $12 million in property value to the district.

The district's expansion also could affect existing companies, Hulick said.

“Some is land owned by companies that have the capability to expand,” he said.

One of those is the 110,000-square-foot building at 505 S. Wuthering Hills Drive.  Owned by Helgesen Development Corp., the building is fully leased to Cummins Emissions Solutions.

Owner Jeff Helgesen has said he plans to build a 120,000-square-foot addition to the building.

The district's additional acreage also would increase the city's development and borrowing costs.

But all of that money, estimated to total about $14.2 million, would not be spent unless projects move forward, Hulick said.

“We don't spend money unless those projects actually exist,” he said.

If the district builds out as city officials expect, the $60 million in new valuation would produce taxes and other revenues of about $29.3 million.

As city costs are subtracted, the district would break even in 2020 and have a balance of about $15.2 million if it is carried through to its full lifespan in 2028.

TIF 35

City documents suggest potential development in the district could result in about $73 million in new property value by 2020.

A significant portion of that would be covered by the SHINE project. The city hopes to land another $27 million in new development at its certified site, Hulick said.

The remaining $15 million or so is tied to other projects and three buildings that Helgesen plans to build along West Venture Drive.

Over the next couple of years, Helgesen plans new buildings of 300,000 square feet, 225,000 square feet and 65,000 square feet. The first two would be spec buildings, while the third would be home to Helgesen Development Corp.

The additional acreage in TIF 35 also would increase the city's development and borrowing costs to about $21 million.

If the district builds out as city officials expect, the $73 million in new valuation would produce taxes of about $27.6 million.

As city costs are subtracted, the district would break even in 2027 and have a balance of about $6.4 million if it is carried through to its full lifespan in 2031.



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