The Town Board approved the project plan and tax-incremental financing district for the Corners on Feb. 18 without fanfare, after just a couple questions of clarification.
It was the 73rd draft of the project plan, which was a result of several years of discussion between the town and The Marcus Corporation, the developer behind the apartments and retail center planned for the southeast corner of Bluemound and Barker roads.
At least one person was excited about the passage.
"I had to stop and think, 'Oh my God, we've (been) talking to the town for about three years,'" said Katie Falvey, director of real estate for Marcus. "Everybody has worked so hard to get to this moment. It's sort of like pinch me."
The creation of the TID will allow the town to collect money from increased property taxes on the development to pay off its contribution to the project, about $34.3 million, which will come largely from selling bonds.
The approval of the TID set the clock ticking from Feb. 18 on the 27-year limit on how long the TID can remain open, though the town plans to recoup its contribution quicker than that. It plans to close the TID in 2034.
The town's money will go toward public improvements, including site preparation, a parking structure and a bridge over Poplar Creek.
Town Supervisor John Schatzman made a point that in approving the plan and TID, the town was not approving the issuance of bonds, which is anticipated to begin in June.
"The town is in no way obligated to borrow money in regard to what we're doing tonight," Schatzman said.
But Falvey said the town is obligated to provide its contribution to the project if certain contingencies are met by Marcus, such as securing loans and equity and getting enough tenants on board.
"That's why this is so huge," Falvey said. "It's kind of ironic it's so subdued."
The project plan will also have to be approved by the Joint Review Board on March 13, but Falvey said she wasn't very worried about that because the board has reviewed the project already.
Falvey said with the Town Board's approval of the plan and TID, Marcus hopes to start demolition soon. She said the company is currently refining its schedule in order to maintain the goal of opening by fall 2015.
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