City plans new subdivision
Area by FVTC-Waupaca to be developed
By James Card
Wheels are in motion to develop a city-owned parcel of land to create attractive and affordable housing in the city of Waupaca.
The rectangular plot of land is located between State Highway 22, Godfrey Drive, Industrial Drive and Royalton Street.
The subdivision will be called River North as it sits a short distance north of the Waupaca River.
Notable businesses and institutions in this area are Fox Valley Technical College, Sunny Day Child Care, Spine & Sport Physical Therapy, Carousel Gymnastics, Centerline Machine and Go Riteway Transportation on the Godfrey Drive side of the parcel.
On the Royalton side of the parcel are Paws N Claws, Fastenal, Manufacturer Pallet Disposal, MiTek Mezzanine Systems and Presto Products.
Currently, the parcel of land is mostly featureless. There is a small rolling hill and a handful of trees. It has the look of a semi-abandoned farm field.
“We’ve had some vacant land we’ve owned out there for over 25 years, paid for in completion. We haven’t seen a whole lot of development in this area,” said Mayor Brian Smith. “Our economic development advisor Andrew Dane looked at residential areas throughout our community and he suggested that might be good place for it because other communities are putting residential areas in business and industrial-type places.”
Smith pointed out that the land near the airport was originally slated for light industrial and business use.
Now it is the East Gate subdivision and it is a neighborhood of multi-family and residential homes and has had the most new construction in recent years.
City staff is working with the Hoffman Development Group to create a professional services agreement for wetland delineation, survey work, site design and preliminary engineering. A final version of the agreement is expected to be brought before city council in early February.
“We have utilities out there already; we have the sewer and water. We just have to expand it into that property and we’ll have to put in some infrastructure—the roads and things like that,” said Smith.
A total of 300-418 units will include a mix of single-family and two-family homes, twin-homes, townhouses and multi-family residences.
City Administrator Aaron Jensen pointed out that those numbers are flexible, especially once developers become involved in the project.
Nearby is a network of hiking trails, along with a snowmobile trail and the Waupaca River for paddling recreation. In the center of the subdivision will be a small park.
Jensen sees the benefit of having U.S. Highway 10 in close proximity which would be extremely handy for parents that might have to commute to Stevens Point or the Fox Valley.
The city is working with RW Baird, a financial services company based out of Milwaukee for the creation of a tax increment financing (TIF) district as a tool to develop the land. The oversight of making such a district involves a joint review board meeting, a public hearing, council action and final approval by the joint review board.
This process will take place in early March and last into mid-April.
The city has applied for Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority housing tax credits and expects to learn if the application was approved or not sometime in April.