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Partridge Estates expanding

Project to add 36 units in New London

By Scott Bellile

Partridge Estates is set to construct three more apartment buiildings, bringing additional market-rate housing to a city running short on it.

“Just today I did get a signed development agreement for Premier Partridge Drive Apartments phase two at the end of Partridge Drive,” New London City Administrator Kent Hager told the economic development committee on May 30. “So that’s going to start moving forward real fast.”

The first phase of Partridge Estates’ three 12-unit apartment buildings was constructed in 2015 and 2016 on Partridge Drive. The road is located just north of New London’s business district along Shawano Street near the city limits.

The addition will double Partridge Estates’ total living units to 72.

Phase two will be “pretty much a carbon copy of what we did the last development,” Robert Tollefson, project engineer for Harris & Associates in Appleton, told the New London Planning Commission in March when it approved the site review.

Representatives for Partridge Estates are set to close the property purchase in the coming days, Hager stated in a memo to the economic development committee dated May 24.

According to the application for site review, Premier Real Estate Management, LLC is purchasing the land from Darwin Handschke. The project will be situated on 4 acres to the northwest of Partridge Estates’ existing apartment complexes.

Construction is expected to be completed by Nov. 15. The company’s cookie-cutter apartment designs used around the state tend to make the projects speedy.

“They’ve built a lot of them,” Hager said. “They don’t change the footprint, the design or anything. From what I understand, it’s the same building.”

The city has been anticipating the expansion for some time. Partridge Estates phase two was recently delayed after it was determined the sanitary sewer main needed to be elevated.

In December, the city council authorized Hager to negotiate the development agreement. In the agreement, the city offered $30,000 toward a lift station to elevate the phase two plot and help solve the land problems.

Additionally, the city offered to contribute up to $130,000 to extend the Partridge Drive roadway and its associated utilities to service the new apartments.

The city council in April voted to allow Wood Sewer & Excavating of New London to complete the road extension for $73,477, just a little over half of the maximum $130,000 commitment.

Partridge Estates is expected to draw more residents to New London. Hager said the current apartment complex is occupied by many tenants who moved from the Waupaca and Shawano areas.

“The thing that surprised me is, I checked with the manager out there, I was a little worried that they were taking people from within the city and just kind of shuffling them around a little bit. But she assured me that over 80 percent of the people that are moving in out there are coming from outside of the community, which is a real good thing. So we’re adding people to the city,” Hager said.

Economic development committee member Bill Bishop said it’s a positive sign that, for how often the committee hears that New London’s industries are struggling to find workers, people continue to move to the area.

“And the other interesting thing is I’m hearing from realtors that there’s a lack of housing for sale in town, that people are looking for houses to buy and there aren’t enough available,” New London Mayor Gary Henke said. “We’re, I think, very fortunate.”

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