JANESVILLE

Janesville is taking the first step toward clearing space for future industrial development on the far south side.

The city council on Monday night will consider buying a single-family home at 123 W. Highway 11 with the intent to eventually demolish the building. Janesville plans to do the same with a neighboring home at 107 W. Highway 11, but its sale agreement is not finalized, Economic Development Director Gale Price said.

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The homes are just north of the Dollar General warehouse.

The city would buy the home at 123 W. Highway 11 for $147,000 with an additional $17,500 for relocation expenses. The purchase price is close to estimated market value, and the relocation money comes from a formula governed by state statute, he said.

The home sits on 54 vacant acres. The other home is part of a 16-acre site where a $20 million, 160,000-square-foot NaturPak pet foods facility is currently under construction.

The home on the NaturPak site would likely become green space. IPM Foods, which has a soup packaging facility on Janesville’s east side, would operate the plant to process and package pet food, he said.

In an odd quirk, the homes are located within the town of Rock despite being almost fully encircled by city land.

The adjacent city property is currently farmed but is zoned for future industrial use.

Upon purchase, the city would annex the properties and then demolish them. The city would also amend the boundaries of a tax increment financing district so that the parcels would be included, Price said.

Removing the homes would make the vacant land more attractive to potential developers. The vacant land could be divided to house multiple tenants, he said.

Price hoped to finalize sale terms with the remaining home by the end of March.

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