Beaver Dam Common Council moves to create new TIF district for Lakeview Hospital properties

October 2, 2018

The Beaver Dam Common Council has started the process to create a new TIF district in the Lakeview Hospital area.

A tax increment financing, or TIF, district would allow the city to provide incentives to developers to build on the properties. The council voted Monday night to pay MSA Professional Services $12,000 to help create the district, which will include putting together documents and analysis. This is only the first of many steps necessary to establish a TIF.

The council approved the payment to MSA without discussion. The proposed TIF would cover the property of the vacant Lakeview Building, 208 LaCrosse St. and two adjacent properties: the site of the renovated Silas McClure home and the site of the former Third Street apartment complex, which was ruined in a fire earlier this year and later demolished.

City officials are in the middle of discussions and negotiations to turn the area over for development. The Lakeview Building, which is owned by Beaver Dam Community Hospital, has sat empty for years as plans for its future have fallen through. The hospital repurchased the property back in 2016 and private discussions about what to do with it have been ongoing. Hospital officials envision residential development.

A firm associated with Ben Westra, president of WDS Construction, purchased the McClure home property. The owner of the Third Street site, now just a hole in the ground, is donating the property to the city, which apparently has a buyer in mind for an immediate property flip.

With a TIF district, the city will pay for incentives to developers on the backs of higher tax revenue in the future, which will come from the increased property value from redevelopment. The city would typically not hand out an incentive until a project came close to completion.

For a time, new revenue from property taxes as development continues would go to paying for costs and debts of the TIF district instead of for public services as they normally would.

The Common Council on Monday also approved another proposal to provide $700,000 to the developers of a new hotel near the mall through the use of a separate TIF district there once the hotel is complete. The TIF district for the mall area was created in an attempt to combat blight and the new hotel is the main part of it.

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