Housing development moves forward

Ozaukee Press Staff

The Emerald Ridge residential and industrial development in Saukville neared closer to breaking ground when the Village Board signed off on two aspects of the project last week.

One major step forward for the Neumann Developments project is the rezoning of the northern portion of the development from agricultural to industrial.

The development, to be located east of Hope Living Lutheran Church on farmland, will be bisected by Highway 33 with the residential portion south of the road and the industrial portion on the north side.

The southern portion of the development — a 17-acre lot that will contain both single and multi-family housing — had already been rezoned, but the northern portion was not considered by the Village Board until March 2.

 The rezone was unanimously approved.

Claude Lois, the village’s engineering development consultant, said early plans for the industrial portion of the development have the property divided into three large lots, but that the number of lots may change before they are finalized.

Steve DeCleene, President of Neumann Developments, said he believes there is market demand for large industrial lots but that the final amount of lots and their sizes will be based on what companies are looking for.

Another major advancement for the development was Village Board approval of a new tax increment finance district, which will reimburse Neumann Developments for constructing infrastructure like roads and water mains. The Joint Review Board will have final say on the TIF during its March 17 meeting.

Senior municipal advisor for Ehlers Inc., Greg Johnson, said infrastructure costs for the development are estimated to be about $8 million.

Conversations with village officials indicate that Neumann will cover the costs up front, then be reimbursed with tax value generated through the development in what is referred to as a “pay as you go” arrangement.

Johnson said the arrangement does not require the village to borrow money and puts no risk on the village to reimburse Neumann.

“If the tax increment generated by the new development is not sufficient to repay the developer… the village is under no responsibility to make up that shortfall,” he said.

For the $8 million in tax dollars the village will dedicate to the project, Johnson said Ehlers expects the development will add $41.2 million in value from the residential portion alone. The TIF is projected to pay off infrastructure costs in 20 years but Johnson noted it may close earlier depending on industrial developments.

With only one single-family building permit issued in the village between 2016 and 2021, Johnson said the development will address a housing need in the village.

 “There certainly has been some pent-up demand for housing in the village as well as opportunities for additional investment in development,” he said.

Along with Joint Review Board consideration of the TIF, another step of the project will be consideration of a developer’s agreement by the Village Board in March.




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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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