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JANESVILLE

Economic Development Director Gale Price stopped to acknowledge the milestone before he presented a possible tax increment financing agreement to the City Council on Monday night.

A year ago, Price said, the city had just held a housing forum to discuss the city’s dire need for more residences. Monday night, the first finalized housing development since then had come before the council.

After a handful of unanimous 6-0 approvals, including $7.6 million in incentives and a separate city-funded road project, Janesville will soon have 260 new market-rate apartments on the city’s southeast side.

Council member Jim Farrell was absent.

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The council annexed roughly 40 acres of land at 2696 E. Racine St. from the town of La Prairie to facilitate the project. The development will extend Myrtle Way through the property, located just off Interstate 90/39.

Janesville officials have advocated for boosting the city’s housing stock, and the proposal that was on the council’s agenda Monday is not the only one in the works.

The council also approved a zoning change that will allow Cedar Crest to add 25 more units, and it held a first reading for a 115-unit multifamily development on the former baseball fields off Woodman Road.

But the project on Racine Street was the highlight of Monday’s meeting. The council approved five different related measures to make it happen.

The 40 acres first needed to be annexed from the adjoining town and then zoned—37 acres as residential with the rest as conservancy.

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A TIF district boundary was then amended to add 117 acres, including the area where the apartments will be built. The boundary changes will also transfer $10 million from that district into the downtown TIF district, which Price said will come in handy for future ARISE-related projects.

The council then approved a development agreement with landowner Ryan Shoelace. Under the deal, the city will cover the eventual extension of Myrtle Way through the property so it can connect to Delavan Drive.

The city has budgeted $588,000 for the road project, although that could change once the project goes to bid, Price said.

The final measure the council approved was the focal point of the project. It was a $7.6 million incentive agreement between the city and developer MW Residences—a partner of Madison-based Hovde Properties.

The city will give $3.6 million for the first two buildings and $4 million for the remaining three. The money is coming from excess revenue from within the TIF district, meaning Janesville will not take on debt to distribute the funding.

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The project has an estimated value of $23.7 million. It will require one more approval Thursday from the joint review board.

As for the other two projects, the Cedar Crest expansion will add 6.2 acres on the northwest corner of River Road and Kellogg Avenue. The land will have room for 11 duplexes and three single-family homes, Planning Director Duane Cherek said.

The 115-unit multifamily residential project on Woodman Road and Mayfair Drive would replace vacant baseball diamonds. The project will now head to the plan commission and eventually return to the council Aug. 26 for a public hearing.

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