The City of Stoughton Redevelopment Authority is one step away from selecting a developer for the Yahara riverfront.

The RDA voted unanimously Sept. 11 to accept a letter of intent from developer Curt Vaughn Brink LLC under the condition that a final master development agreement would address some concerns raised by the commission. The developer must meet four terms of an addendum that will resolve questions that the letter of intent does not answer.

Brink is the only developer in consideration for the project after two candidates withdrew and three others were rejected. While the commission liked many elements of the proposal Brink brought in August, it was not as comprehensive as some expected.

The letter of intent uses non-binding language and lays out the general terms of Brink’s plan. RDA chair Roger Springman and commissioner Carl Chenoweth responded by drafting an addendum outlining their four main concerns.

The first two are financial – Brink’s financial history and his capability to fund the project and whether it can generate sufficient increment over time, as the RDA hasn’t seen any proposed numbers for the project yet.

The commissioners want a better understanding of the first three years of the project in order to make sure the redevelopment gets off to a good start. They also want a clear idea of Brink’s plan to use and protect the historic power plant building on Fourth Street.

The RDA accepted the letter of intent under the condition that Brink must satisfy the terms of the addendum, which Madison-based attorney Dan O’Callaghan agreed to on Brink’s behalf. The city and Brink are now in a 60-day period for negotiating the master development agreement, though the dialogue can be extended if needed.

Brink could not attend the RDA meeting, as he was at the Wisconsin Economic Development Association’s community and economic development award banquet, where he was an award finalist for his work on Hotel Indigo in Madison.

O’Callaghan reassured commissioners Brink’s vision will remain that of a mostly residential neighborhood and that Brink is already preparing for the redevelopment’s timeline.

“In terms of the phasing of the development, what’s really important to Curt is to start thinking about how to do it most efficiently,” he said. “The infrastructure is there towards the west end of the site and development could occur there earlier than anywhere else in the site.”

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