Riverfront development moves forward
SC Sidewski presents housing proposals
By Robert Cloud
SC Swiderski presented its proposals for multi-unit residential development along New London’s riverfront.
Pat McElroy and Madeline Check, with SCS, spoke to the Economic Developmet Committee when it met on Nov. 17.
City Administrator Chad Hoerth contacted SCS about developing the riverfront area.
McElroy is a property manager for SCS, which owns and operates apartment facilities throughout Wisconsin.
He explained his research and feasibility study of New London’s housing market.
McElroy noted New London has a stable population and income levels that could support market rate rents.
He said New London has similar income levels to “Waupaca where SCS currently has 96 units 100% occupied and we are adding 56 more in 2021.”
New apartments could provide housing for commuters, as well as for those working in New London.
Another factor that makes building new apartments feasible in New London is the lack of newly built housing, McElroy said.
Retail shopping opportunities is another factor that can lead to successful development of multi-unit facilities in New London.
“Some of my personal favorites – I really love the rebranding of the downtown area and the riverfront. That’s really exciting for me,” McElroy said. “I also like the murals that are all throughout the town.”
McElroy said the murals show community involvement.
New London also offers residents few market-rate rental options, he said.
He said other apartment buildings in New London have no vacancies, and local businesses find that lack of housing options makes it difficult to recruit workers.
McElroy said New London had an immediate need for 150 units over the next three years.
“To get to that 150 units we feel we need a variety of floorplans with multiple building styles and a range of rental rates,” McElroy said.
Check, an architectural drafter, described three different multi-unit designs that SCS is considering for New London’s riverfront.
The Hampton is a row home with a garage on the back. The front of the house faces the street and the design has a “modern, urban feel.”
The Chelsea is a town home with a back yard on the riverfront, an attached garage and upper level bedrooms with scenic views.
The Bedford has private entrances for each unit, attached garages, two to three bedrooms and private patios.
SCS is already looking beyond a riverfront development project.
Check said SCS believes the focus of the next project should be workforce housing.
She recommended that the project be either near a highway or major employers.
She described a facility with 16-20 units and apartments with two to three bedrooms.
Check said SCS plans to have building designs and possible conceptual site plans to present to the Economic Development Committee at its December meeting.
She presented a timeline that has a proposal selected this winter, site engineering in the summer or fall of 2021, excavating, roads and utilities in the spring of 2022, the buildings started in the summer of 2022 and the first building opened in the spring of 2023.