Edgerton development struggles to fill space
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Kim Schuetz, the new real estate agent representing the Fulton Square condos, plans to throw a “grand reopening” for the project from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10.
The event at 111 W. Fulton St., Edgerton, will include refreshments and door prizes, she said.
“It will be a good event to get people reacquainted with the project,” she said.
A development in downtown Edgerton isn't selling space as quickly as it hoped. The Fulton Square developer had hoped to sell one or two condos a month, but have yet to sell any. Kyle Geissler reports. You can read more in Wednesday's Janesville Gazette.
EDGERTON Keller Development couldn’t have picked a worse time to complete a $6 million mixed-used project in downtown Edgerton.
The real estate market has suffered nationwide this year, but the economy has been particularly tough on mixed-use projects, condos and new developments.
Fulton Square, near the corner of highways 51 and 59, is all three. More than six months after completion, the development holds one business and no condo residents.
The developer, Tom Keller, has changed real estate agents and lowered prices on condos in an attempt to generate interest.
Few expected the housing crisis when Keller announced the plans in late 2006. In fact, the city had requested proposals for such a development to attract more people downtown and balance out the businesses on the other side of Fulton Street.
The city promised nearly $1.2 million through tax incremental financing. As the project generates taxes, the city returns the taxes to the developer to pay back investors. The investors, not the city, bear the risk if the project fails to generate enough tax revenue, Administrator Ramona Flanigan said.
The project, completed in spring, includes 26 condos and 16,000 square feet of commercial space. Petry Chiropractic & Wellness bought 3,200 square feet of space and relocated its clinic there.
Two other businesses are interested in renting space, though those deals won’t be finalized for a few weeks, Keller said.
“We always thought the commercial (space) might be the last to go, so we’re relatively happy with that,” he said.
The residential side is another story.
Five potential buyers have submitted written offers for condos, but none could get the necessary financing, said Paula Carrier of Best Realty.
Lenders have been reluctant to finance condos, especially in new buildings, she said.
“In my 100 percent opinion, it is lending standards that are hurting that building,” Carrier said. “It’s not lack of buyers. It’s not lack of interest.”
Until a few weeks ago, Carrier and Chris Sweeney of Pat’s Realty shared responsibility for marketing the condos. When their contract ran up, Keller switched to Kim Schuetz of Bunbury & Associates.
Keller wasn’t unhappy with Carrier and Sweeney’s work, but the lender was pressuring him to make changes, he said. He said it’s not uncommon for lenders to demand changes even with projects that are doing well.
He also has lowered the asking price. Some condos now are available for less than $100,000.
Schuetz plans to market the condos from Janesville to Madison, she said.
“This could be a good fit for a Madison condo dweller who maybe can’t afford a Madison condo,” she said.
Keller had hoped to sell one or two condos a month, and that’s still his goal for 2010, he said. He believes the nation has seen the worst of the recession and the real estate market is starting to revive.
“In general, people are sensing that the economy is coming back,” he said.