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Edgerton expands business park

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Neil Johnson
August 29, 2012

— The city of Edgerton has sealed an $800,000 land deal that will add 50 acres to the city's business park on the north side, city officials announced Tuesday.

City Administrator Ramona Flanigan said the city council behind closed doors last week authorized the city to make an offer on the land, a triangle-shaped parcel of tilled farmland on the east end of the business park.

The city for weeks has been in closed-door negotiations with the landowners, who are listed under a trust owned by Edgerton-area residents William and David Kienbaum, according to city officials.

Flanigan said the owners settled last week on an offer from the city of $16,000 per acre. The parcel is east of Highway 51 and is bordered on the east by Goede Road.

Flanigan said the land purchase will expand the size and versatility of the city's business park, giving the city a large parcel it can offer developers.

Prior to the land deal, the business park's largest parcel totaled 15 acres, and many of the other parcels 10 acres or less, according to city records.

Flanigan said many larger warehousing and logistics companies want to develop on 30 to 100 acres.

"This I-90 corridor is extremely attractive to those types of businesses, but we have not been able to respond to any of those parties because we haven't had a piece of land large enough," Flanigan said.

The city does not plan to break the new parcel into smaller lots but leave it as a single, 50-acre lot.

"We already have several smaller pieces in our existing (business) park that are ready to go," Flanigan said. "Our intention is that this parcel would not be divided with roads. Our intention is to market the parcel whole as one part of our business park, so that now our business park has a 50-acre piece, a 15-acre piece, and several smaller pieces. This adds another potential."

The new land is located in a tax increment financing district that has a value of $16.6 million, a "strong financial position," according to city records.

Municipalities use TIF districts to offer sites to businesses at discounts to spur development, which increases property value. Municipalities then use extra taxes generated from properties to repay costs of improvements.

The city would pay for the land purchase through tax increment financing, city officials said.

Flanigan said the city was pressed to purchase the 50 acres now because the city has nearly reached its state-mandated limit for property that it can own in TIF districts.

The state allows municipalities to have a maximum of 12 percent of their total property value tied to TIF districts. Once a municipality reaches that limit, it cannot create or expand TIF districts.

Edgerton now has 10.8 percent, or $33.8 million, of its property value tied to properties in TIF districts.

Flanigan said some TIF developments, such as the renovated tobacco warehouse apartments along Fulton Street and the expansion at the Mercy Edgerton Medical Center on Main Street, will add value that could soon push the city beyond the state limit for TIF properties.



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