Frantz Community Investors is asking the city for a multi-million tax increment finance district loan for the first phase of its projects on the East Riverfront Development project, slated to begin construction this fall.
The city’s economic development and finance committees on Tuesday approved a plan to give $2.24 million in no-interest loans to the developer to help finance the project, and a reduced ground lease for five years. If tax revenue generated by the project doesn’t pay back the loan, the loan will become a conventional one financed by a bank.
Frantz also is seeking two grants totaling $500,000 to address soil conditions on the site. In return, the city is negotiating to receive a percentage of profits beyond the return on investment from the project, says Wausau Economic Development Manager Christian Schock.
The first phase of the development incorporates roughly $20 million in new buildings, including townhouses, an apartment complex and a mixed-use commercial building. Work on those projects is slated to begin in the fall, Schock says, and should conclude in 2017. The city expects to bring in roughly $400,000 in taxes a year from the first phase of the development.
The total Frantz project is predicted at $80–100 million, with subsequent phases approved individually by the city. It’s been touted as the largest single development in Wausau’s history. Schock says some city financing was expected, as is the case with most developments within a tax incremental district.
Meanwhile, crews are working on the public amenities in this riverfront area between downtown and Bridge Street. The streets and a bike trail are on schedule to be complete by October, Schock says.
Construction of the family fun center and restaurant Wausau on the Water also is underway, and the foundation for the laser tag arena has been laid.