Demolition of the former Fox Point Sportswear building at 1905 E. 14th St. began last Friday. The Merrill Common Council passed a resolution in June to purchase the property, following removal of the building by the current owner, for $450,000. The purpose of the purchase would be to facilitate future multi-family residential development.
The city received initial interest from the Merrill Housing Authority to construct 60 residential units in three buildings on the 5.5-acre site. According to city Finance Director Kathy Unertl, the city put out a request for proposals for residential development on the property and received two. The proposals are from S.C. Swiderski, LLC and Horizon/Merrill Area Housing Authority (MAHA).
There will be two Merrill Redevelopment Authority meetings in September regarding the property. Closed session discussion on the proposals is set for Tuesday, Sept. 6, with public presentation of the proposals set for Sept. 19. here will be presentations by the developers on each of the housing proposals, as well as an opportunity for questions and public comments. The Sept. 19 meeting agenda will also include a closed session for RDA Commissioners to discuss and potentially make recommendation on developer selection, Unertl noted.
Nearby residents have expressed concerns over the city’s involvement in the potential residential development. A public hearing in July regarding rezoning of the property was cut short and no action was taken after a resident questioned the validity of the rezoning.