Edgerton business park land deal 'kaput,' apparently
EDGERTON--Although it doesn’t appear that the city ever 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 triangle-shaped 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 less than 20 acres.
Webb said that because of the location of the wetlands in the parcel, “it reduced the acreage that would be useable to us to 37 acres.”
Webb said the city was unable to negotiate a lower price for the land, although he said it is still considered farmable. He indicated that the city and the owners were unable to close on the sale, and both parties have essentially walked away from the deal.
“Right now, it’s kaput,” Webb said.
Meeting minutes approved Dec. 3 show that the council on Nov. 19 voted in closed session not to pursue further negotiations to buy the parcel, but 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 TIF loan to renovate a former tobacco warehouse into apartments near the city’s downtown.
The city also is considering floating a referendum that city officials say could fund plans for a proposed senior activity center.
Webb said city officials do not have any immediate plans to direct TIF-funding to either of those projects or to any other projects.
Webb noted the council probably won’t start discussions on the potential senior center until next year, and he said Rinehart is waiting to learn if he’ll be awarded a state grant to pay for part of his proposed warehouse project.
As for other potential land deals, Webb said the city has no immediate prospects.
“We just sit back and wait until something pops someplace,” he said.