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Delavan could move ahead with Lake Lawn condos

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Kayla Bunge
August 3, 2008
— Lake Lawn Resort could move ahead with the next phase of its $390 million renovation and expansion if the Delavan City Council approves an amended developer’s agreement Tuesday night.

“The city got what it needed (with the developer’s agreement),” said Thomas Ruhs, CEO of Delavan Resort Holdings. “I think we can live with a lot of that.”


The council will consider final approval of the developer’s agreement as well as plans for five lakefront condominium buildings called the Villas at Harbor’s Edge.


Alderman Dave Kilkenny, who has long called for a new developer’s agreement, said in an e-mail to The Janesville Gazette he expects the council will approve the amended agreement.


“There might be some wrinkles that will need to be ironed out and some points clarified, but I think we will get it done,” he wrote.


According to the proposed agreement:


n Lake Lawn must give the city a timeline for the completion of its renovation and expansion projects, including the Grand Delavan hotel and conference center and an indoor water park.


n The city will give Lake Lawn a timeline for the completion of $4 million in water and sewer improvements to the tax incremental finance district that includes the resort.


n Lake Lawn has given the city a statement of financial commitment to the Villas at Harbor’s Edge and must submit to the city administrator an annual balance sheet. Lake Lawn also must give the city a statement of financial commitment to the Grand Delavan hotel and conference center and an indoor water park.


n Lake Lawn will dedicate, at no cost to the city, the land needed for improvements to the intersections of Highway 50 and the resorts entrances, including its main entrance, which will be relocated to North Shore Drive.


Kilkenny said the purpose of the developer’s agreement is not only to ensure both parties are on the same page but also to ensure that the city’s investment in the TIF isn’t for nothing.


Ruhs said it’s up to the city council to give Lake Lawn the green light, because the resort already is behind schedule because of the city’s continued delay.


“We’re looking for affirmation from the council,” he said, “and their support of the project.”


Ruhs said moving forward with Lake Lawn’s plans come at a much-needed time.


“I think the council is looking at the big picture,” he said. “They’re cognizant of what’s happening in the region and see this as a very positive development project.”


Ruhs said the city not only stands to reap the benefits of increased property value and real estate and room taxes.


“In such a dire economic situation, we can provide jobs and spend some money in the local economy,” he said.


IF YOU GO
What: Delavan City Council meeting regarding approval of an amended developer’s agreement and approval of final plans for the proposed Villas at Harbor’s Edge at Lake Lawn Resort.
Where: City Hall, 123 S. Second St., Delavan.
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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