NEW ULM - The New Ulm City Council approved establishing a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District to help Winkelman Building Corporation (WBC) with building a 35-unit apartment complex at 2107 N. Highland Ave.
WBC previously applied for TIF districts for the project in 2004 and 2009. However, it failed to move on the project each time and the TIFs were cancelled. WBC now plans to build the complex. Construction is scheduled for June, and completion is targeted for the early months of next year.
The complex would include 24 two-bedroom apartments, five one-bedroom apartments, four three-bedroom apartments and two one-bedroom apartments with a den. A community room, a fitness room and elevator would be included. No age restrictions will put on the apartments. TIF and other related programs will require several of the apartments to be priced below half of Brown County's Median Family Income.
An additional 18 units may be added on the complex later, pending market conditions.
The location of the complex would be behind Orchard Hill Assisted Living, near the old Kmart building, and the gravel road would be paved at WBC's expense.
The TIF would help WBC by having it cover the initial expense of the project, then be reimbursed over time through TIF revenues when they are received at Brown County. The TIF district cannot exceed 25 years or $450,000 in reimbursements
Waive purchase rights
The Council also waived its rights of first refusal for approximately 116 feet at the front of Lot 14 at 101 S. Minnesota St.
The City had to make a determination on the land after the owners, Dannheim Development Inc., notified they had a potential buyer. The City previously put the agreement on the land when it recovered several segments of distressed land around the property. The paperwork was designed to give the City first chance at buying the land if it ever became interested in building a housing project, such a Broadway Haus on the site.
The asking price for the land was $95,000, which was more than the Council was interested in spending with the current budget.
The Council also approved use of the City Community Development Block Grant funds for down payment assistance ranging from $3,500 to $7,500 for the EDA's Milford Heights housing project.
City Manager Brian Gramentz said the fund is been used less often, while the banking market has shifted to require larger down payments for loans. He said people interested in the City's low-income housing, which only averages around two house sold per year and currently only has two homes for sale, often struggle to find the initial down payment. He said the funds would not be at risk of being overused and they would still go towards to initial purpose of the grant funds, which is assisting low- and middle-income families.
The down payment must be repaid on moving, unless the person receiving it lives in the house for at least 10 years.
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)