After four months of courting developers for its riverfront project, the City of Stoughton Redevelopment Authority is preparing to receive a detailed proposal from the only remaining interested party.
Curt Vaughn Brink LLC’s redevelopment proposal is due Monday, Aug. 26, and the RDA has approved a form for evaluating the plan, with a hope for ample green space and sustainable building practices outlined in the proposal. RDA chair Roger Springman told the commission he will review it with city staff and might ask for clarification on details.
The RDA plans to review the proposal Sept. 11, and Brink plans to be present to answer any questions.
Brink had presented his vision for the proposed riverfront redevelopment project in a public meeting Wednesday, Aug. 7, and Springman reported that it generated an “enthusiastic” response from the crowd of 75 attendees. Brink also explained the project did not involve Mandt Park, as was a misconception and concern of many in attendance.
The redevelopment vision space includes space for small businesses, homes and a variety of apartments, including single bedrooms at around $1,000 a month, two bedrooms at $1,500 and three bedrooms for $3,100.
The RDA asked consultant Gary Becker, at his suggestion, to revise the RDA’s 2007 redevelopment plan once the plan approval process begins, showing how Brink’s project would be built. That is expected to be finished around November, Becker said.
The redevelopment plan would then be used to guide the Plan Commission’s approval process and also enforce a development agreement, which must be consistent with the redevelopment plan.
If the RDA select Brink as the developer and get through the negotiation phase of the development agreement, it can then apply for the use of brownfield grants, which could provide up to $500,000 for environmental cleanup and remediation. The grant the RDA is seeking requires a 3 to 1 match, but the matching funds can be from other expenditures related to the redevelopment of the riverfront.
A Department of National Resources grant to fund a pedestrian bridge has been pulled for this year, but the DNR will still fund the riverfront trail and amenities, Springman reported. This was done because of the possibility of removing the dam, which could change the size of the Yahara River and lead to putting in an improperly sized bridge.
The city will have to wait for the dam to be removed next year before applying for the DNR grant again, council representative Regina Hirsch explained.
With many buildings already demolished in the redevelopment area, the former public works garage at Fourth Street is next in line. The demolition bid specifications for the aging garage are expected next week, Mayor Tim Swadley told the RDA.
Swadley predicted the demolition would be out for bid until around October or November, and he said the hope is to get the demolition done this year. The blacksmith shop on South Street, also in the redevelopment area, is to be demolished by Dec. 31, and it was put in as an alternate bid in case the city gets the bids back before Oct. 15.
The city is also looking to purchase property to the east of the blacksmith shop, including a lot that the city will use for the riverfront trail, along with a second lot featuring an old Stoughton Trailers warehouse building, Swadley said.