Agreement requires firm to pay back $600,873 for scuttled Highland Ridge development
The Village of Grafton has reached a settlement with the developer of a proposed residential project on the former Manchester Mall property.
The Village Board on Monday approved an amended escrow agreement with E.J. Plesko and Associates, which finished the commercial phase of the Highland Ridge project but failed to complete the second phase, a multifamily development that originally called for more than 60 townhouses and 70 condominiums on the 14-acre parcel.
The commercial phase — a shopping center anchored by a Pick ’n Save grocery — was completed in 2009.
Through its Oak Street No. 1 partnership, E.J. Plesko sold the land in 2014 to Village Pointe Commons LLC, which plans to build a $22 million senior-housing development with 227 residential units.
Village Administrator Darrell Hofland said the agreement approved Monday helps pave the way for construction of the Village Pointe Commons, which is being developed by Tarantino & Co. of Waukesha. The agreement requires E.J. Plesko to give the village $600,873 “to pay back or buy down the amount of incentive payments,” he said.
The accord also requires the approval of the village’s Community Development Authority.
In 2008, the village agreed to provide $4.48 million in developer incentives for the original residential project, which was expected to add more than $30 million to the property value of the south commercial district. The Village Pointe Commons will result in “$10 million in lower property value upon completion,” Hofland said.
“With the completion of the commercial phase, the village had high expectations that the original developer would be able to follow through on the residential phase,” Hofland said.
“Due to changes in the economy and financial lending practices, the market for condominium development is not viable.”
Of the Village Pointe Commons project, Hofland said “the village is pleased with the planned senior housing campus by such a high-quality developer.”
Although the Village Pointe Commons project was approved earlier this year, the developer has yet to obtain building permits and pay all fees, Hofland said. Those requirements must be met by the end of June.
Grading and other on-site work is scheduled to begin in July, Hofland said.
Redevelopment of the former Manchester Mall shopping center property has been touted as a major upgrade to the south commercial district. Besides boosting property valuation in the village’s tax incremental district No. 4, the project will help Grafton fill a need for senior housing identified by marketing studies, officials said.
The Village Pointe Commons will offer a continuum of care for older adults, with units ranging from independent living to assisted living to full-time care.
Plans call for construction of three-story buildings with 122 total apartments for independent living. An assisted-living community will include a 45-unit residential-care apartment complex and a 20-unit community-based residential facility.
The campus will have a 24-bed memory-care facility and four one-story casetta buildings offering 16 total units for ranch-style independent living. The buildings will be arranged in four-unit groups with a shared community room featuring a fireplace, kitchenette and seating.
Plans also include an aquatic center with a lap pool, whirlpool, locker room and fitness center.
Tarantino officials said early this year that construction is expected to begin in mid-summer. They said the project is likely to be completed in phases, with extended work potentially delaying a full build-out until 2018.