Tuesday evening, the Merrill City Plan Commission unanimously approved a site plan for a planned 60-unit housing development at the former Fox Point Sportswear property located at 1905 E. 14th St. (CTH G).
A partnership between the Merrill Area Housing Authority and Madison-based Horizon Development Group, the $9.8 million development was officially approved by 4-2 Common Council vote last month. During discussion at that meeting, alderpersons expressed concern over 33 of the 60 townhome style units lacking garages.
As part of an update to the Commission Tuesday evening, Horizon Development Manager Scott Kwiecinski advised an updated development plan now included garages for all 60-units, additional parking to allow for two stalls per unit as well as a storm water retention area.
“These were desires indicated by city staff and we were able to reconfigure the development plan to accommodate them,” Kwiecinski stated. “We now have a better site plan in place than we had before.”
Wednesday morning, Kwiecinski stated the initial project timeline, including a WHEDA (Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority) tax credit application, remains intact.
In June, Horizon submitted a financing application to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. According to Kwiecinski, that application is the first step in the process and was advised a decision would be made by the first week of December.
“Unfortunately the process can take a while,” he said. “But once we receive approval, we can move forward with the WHEDA application in January. If all goes well, we will be green lighted for construction to begin as early as next fall.”
Tuesday’s meeting also included a public hearing on the city’s request to re-zone the former Fox Point property from Thoroughfare Commercial (TC) to Planned Unit Development (PUD), to facilitate the housing development. No one spoke for or against the rezoning during the public hearing.