Edgerton business park deal falls through
EDGERTON Although it doesn't appear that the city officially killed the deal, sources say there's no way the city will move forward with a land purchase that would have added 50 acres to the north side business park.
The city council in August had agreed to an initial purchase price of $800,000 for the lot at Lake Drive and Goede Road, which is owned by William and David Kienbaum, according to city officials.
But city council member Ron Webb said that deal fell apart late last month after a land survey by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources showed a six-acre portion of the parcel is designated wetlands and cannot be developed for industrial use.
The city earlier this year had trumpeted the land deal because it would have added a bigger chunk of land that could have accommodated a potential large-scale development. Many parcels in the business park are divided into lots of less than 20 acres.
But because of the location of the wetlands in the parcel, the usable acreage would be reduced to 37 acres, Webb said.
The city was unable to negotiate a lower price for the land, although it is still considered farmable, Webb said. The city and the owners were unable to close on the sale. Both parties have essentially walked away.
"Right now, it's kaput," Webb said.
The council on Nov. 19 voted in closed session not to pursue further negotiations to buy the parcel, according to meeting minutes approved Dec. 3. The minutes do not note whether that decision was discussed in any detail in open session or whether city staff ever formalized the decision in public.
City staff was not immediately available for comment.
Meanwhile, the city has been eyeing some potential public-private development options elsewhere in the city.
One developer, Dan Rinehart, had approached the city earlier this fall about a tax increment financing district loan to turn a former tobacco warehouse into an apartment building near the city's downtown.
The city also is considering floating a referendum that officials say could fund plans for a senior activity center.
City officials do not have any immediate plans to direct TIF funding to either of those projects or to any other projects, Webb said.
The council probably won't start discussions on the potential senior center until next year, Webb said. Rinehart is waiting to learn if he'll be awarded a state grant to pay for part of a warehouse project.
As for other potential land deals, the city has no immediate prospects, Webb said.
"We just sit back and wait until something pops someplace," he said.