City to Sell Edgewater Manor, Expand Downtown TIF District
By Brandi Makuski
Edgewater Manor could soon have a new owner.
The Community Development Authority (CDA) has agreed on terms for the sale of the housing unit with Wausau-based Seramur Family Limited Partnership. The deal calls for a price tag of $800k, with $300k in incentives and doubling the unit’s occupancy to 162. Current residents will likely be allowed to stay.
Seramur also owns The Windsor Apartments and The Windsor Centre on HH & Hoover Ave.
For the deal to move forward, the City Council would have to approve expanding the downtown TIF district. If the council denies the expansion, the sale will not proceed.
The 81- unit building, built in 1979, has experienced waning vacancy since 2009, when CDA Director Michael Ostrowski said HUD resources dried up, and city resources haven’t been able to keep the building up to standard. Ostrowski said the units were market rate apartments, and the CDA isn’t meant to oversee those properties anyway.
“It needs significant upgrades to the units- $15k- $20k per unit, to the tune of $1.5 to $2 million,” he said.
The move is designed to bring the property back on to the city tax rolls, which could generate almost $60k in annual tax revenue the city currently doesn’t have.
“That could cover the mall borrowing, which would reduce the debt for city taxpayers,” Ostrowski added.
City officials say they’ve been privately negotiating for months with Seramur, which recently purchased the lot where Northwestern Mutual building sits just south of Edgewater, which Ostrowski said is one option for adding more parking spaces to the housing unit.
Ostrowski said he expects the investment in the property to raise its value substantially, and could bring the city $55-$60k in tax revenue annually, which the city doesn’t currently receive.
Seramur would receive a $300k incentive over the first six years providing improvements can bring the property value to $2.4 million. Mayor Andrew Halverson said the city is comfortable working with Seramur, a company that “has a proven track record” of successful property investment.
Halverson added there “was no need” to place the property on the open real estate market.
“We felt very comfortable with the offer from Seramur,” Halverson said. “If this (deal) doesn’t happen, we may well take that step.”