Janesville56.8°

Condos up next in Lake Lawn’s plans

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Mike Heine
December 28, 2007
— Lake Lawn Resort is ready to move into the next phase of a planned $390 million redevelopment.

Resort officials have asked for city approval for the construction of 130 two- and three-bedroom condominium-type units in five buildings near the marina on Delavan Lake.


The “Villas at Harbor’s Edge” could bring the city $1.7 million in additional real estate taxes and boost the city’s room tax revenue from $500,000 to $1.1 million annually, company officials say.


The request is the first for new construction on the resort property. Most of the resort’s 280 rooms have been remodeled, and many public areas are in the midst of remodeling.


The concept already has been approved. Lake Lawn officials now want approval of precise plans, said Fred Walling, Delavan zoning administrator and building inspector.


“They’re a very detailed set of plans,” he said. “They want to make sure they get what they want, and the city wants to make sure we get what we want.”


The 1,600- to 3,200-square-foot condominiums would be priced between $500,000 and $1.3 million. Owners could use them as much as they want or let the resort to rent them out to customers, said Pat Nelson, chairman and president of Delavan Resort Holdings.


The five buildings will cost about $85 million.


“We’d like to break ground by this spring and have the first units done by the end of the year,” Nelson said.


He said the pace of construction will be market driven but estimated it will last about three years.


“We’ve been taking (ownership) reservations since October,” he said. “We offered it to existing (Lake Lawn) condo owners first. We’re now opening it up so that anyone that would like can get on the reservation list.”


Nelson did not expect sales to be affected by a recent slowdown in the housing market, led on by the sub-prime mortgage collapse.


“This is a different market than your typical residential market,” Nelson said. “We’re dealing with people where this is a second home. A lot of these people are cash buyers.”


Lakefront condo plans did not drift much from the original proposals already approved by the city council, Nelson said.


The biggest change was the addition of underground, or ground-level parking beneath the living areas. The move would eliminate several paved parking areas, he said.


Although the condos will line the edge of the marina, which will stay the same size with about 160 boat slips, Nelson said. The boat ramp may be moved east, pending approval from the state Department of Natural Resources.


Future plans for the resort call for the addition of a 455-room hotel, additional conference space and maybe an indoor waterpark.


If everything in the plans is built, the resort could hold about 4,000 people.


Resort officials say the addition of the lakefront condos will generate 100 new jobs and add $3 million in payroll.



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