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Woodman’s Food Market Plans Move a Step Forward

Waukesha Plan Commission advances tax incremental financing plan.

An employee-owned grocery store that could include some city financing cleared another step of hurdles as it plans to begin construction in 2012 when the Plan Commission gave officials with Woodman’s Food Market several approvals Wednesday night.

The property at the site at East Main Street and Highway 164 was designated as being in blight by the Plan Commission. The Plan Commission also established boundaries and a project plan for the grocery story, which includes eight outlots for additional retail stores, after a public hearing that did not draw any public comments.

is expected to open in summer of 2013 if all plans move forward. The store plans on hiring 119 full-time and 100 part-time employees.

The preliminary plans for the 238,873-square-foot building with an additional 3,150-square-foot automotive service center and a 1,728-square-foot car wash building were approved by the Plan Commission. Revised plans will have to return before the Plan Commission for final approval before construction can begin.

While moving forward with some steps, there are a few additional approvals before the project starts.

The next steps in the tax incremental financing incentives include approvals by the Finance Committee, the Common Council and Joint Review Board. Tax incremental financing incentives are generally paid back to the city through the increased property taxes on the property.

The is looking at offering Woodman’s $3.5 million in “pay as you go” expenses that would be paid “partially or in full through development incentives,” according to a draft document about the plan that is going before city boards.

 “This means that Woodman’s would pay for the $3,500,000 TID incentive up front and as the tax increment from the project is realized the city would reimburse Woodman’s for this up front cost,” the document states. “This scenario puts all the development risk on the Woodman’s. If the project does not result in the values anticipated then they will not be reimbursed the total $3,500,000 anticipated.

"In these uncertain economic times this scenario is provides the City with the economic development tool needed to satisfy the financial gaps in proposed development plans without putting the taxing entities at any financial risk.”

The project is expected to increase the property value of the Woodman’s site by $15 million. The value of the property would increase with additional commercial buildings in the outlots.

A memo from Steve Crandell, community development director and interim city administrator, stated that any partnership with Woodman’s requires a developer’s agreement.

“TIF allows a city to use the taxes generated by new or improved properties in the district to pay for improvements that attract new development,” Crandell states in the memo. “Theses revenues are used to finance many worthwhile public improvements in the district such as sanitary sewers, storm sewers, water mains and the street improvements and developer incentives.

“… Tax Incremental Districts No. 21 is being created to encourage/promote redevelopment on property privately owned which is blighted. The creation of TID No. 21 will have a very favorable impact on the growth and prosperity of the area and the entire city.”

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