City approves agreement for major housing development
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — New housing looks to be on its way to Marshfield’s northeast side after the common council signed a development agreement with Nicolet Lumber Inc. on Tuesday night.
The agreement states that Nicolet will construct “11 multiplexes with 12 units each over the next two years for the purpose of multifamily housing” and calls for the units to be constructed in phases over 2016 and 2017. The property to be developed is about 22 acres “located north of East Emerald Street and east of North Hume Avenue,” according to the agreement.
North Hume Avenue will serve as the development’s eastern border, and if North Anton Avenue were extended north, it would serve as the western border. The apartments will extend north about as far as the northernmost of the high school tennis courts, and just south of the apartments will be the residential housing on Emerald Street.
The property, combined with the development project, is to have an assessed value of at least $8.4 million.
According to the agreement, the city will reconstruct Hume Avenue from Becker Road to Emerald Street and then extend Hume about 910 feet farther north. City Administrator Steve Barg said rebuilding and extending the existing portion of North Hume Avenue would cost the city $650,000.
Director of Public Works Dan Knoeck said that Nicolet will pay to extend sewer and water mains to the development site at a cost of about $115,000, and the city will pay to extend the water and the sewer mains for the remaining length of North Hume Avenue. Nicolet will also pay the cost of special assessments, estimated at $43,000, for “street and sidewalk improvements on Hume Avenue adjacent to the subject property,” according to the agreement.
“Over time we believe that the improvements that come from this … will cover our investment,” said Barg. He added that this development could also help “open up lands to the north.”
“Extending Hume Avenue is really something that we were going to do some day anyway,” Barg said.
He added that the portion of Hume that currently exists is “essentially a glorified driveway.”
Nicolet is the same company that built the Heritage Estates apartments southeast of Marshfield.
“The reason they’re doing (the new project) is because that project (Heritage Estates) has done very well. I mean, they’re filling up faster than they ever expected to,” Barg said. “The price range (for the new housing units) will be somewhat comparable, maybe a slight bit lower, but fairly comparable to those other ones (Heritage Estates).”
The development agreement spells out that Nicolet cannot transfer the property to an entity that would be tax exempt for 10 years from the date of the project’s completion.