As the sale of a large part of the former Bucyrus campus draws nearer, we continue to take real actions to enable redevelopment of the property, and other challenging parcels in and around our downtown.
The latest example: The South Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday approved the boundaries and project plan for Tax Incremental District No. 5, and making TID 2 a “donor TID” to potentially provide early funding for the new downtown district.
From the Milwaukee Business Journal …
South Milwaukee elected officials approved a $5.7 million city funding plan to help a New York investor redevelop the campus that Caterpillar Inc. is vacating and to encourage other companies to revitalize surrounding properties.
The spending through a tax incremental financing, or TIF, district would promote an area in the heart of the community to businesses, rebuild infrastructure and potentially offer incentives to developers. Most of the properties where city officials want to encourage private investment are along Milwaukee and 10th avenues.
The largest property in the redevelopment plan is 29 acres north of Milwaukee Avenue. That campus was the home of Bucyrus stretching back to the late 1800s. Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) has operated there since acquiring Bucyrus International Inc. in 2011, but the manufacturer announced it will be out by the end of this year. Those office and production operations are moving to land Caterpillar owns north of Rawson Avenue in South Milwaukee, and to other locations, including Tucson, Ariz.
Caterpillar’s move prompted planning by the city to support redevelopment of the approximately 750,000 square feet of office and industrial buildings on the former Bucyrus campus. During that effort, New York real estate investor Reich Brothers LLC emerged to buy the property. Reich Brothers has not detailed its plans.
“We’ve got to get this right, and we’ve got to be partners in getting this right,” said South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks “It’s the heart of our city. Our city grew around this campus and around Milwaukee Avenue. It’s a top priority for me.”
The city TIF plan endorsed this week offers between $560,000 and $2.17 million to redevelop the Bucyrus campus. That includes $205,000 in grants the city has already raised, or would apply for.
Reich Brothers is expected to buy the South Milwaukee property this month. It currently belongs to One Liberty Partners Inc. of New York state, which has leased it to Caterpillar. … There’s also money in the TIF district for nearby properties that have redevelopment potential. Those include the former Bucyrus Erie employees club building on 12th Street, properties at 1010 and 1012 Milwaukee Avenue and properties on 10th Avenue.
The TIF plan was approved by the Common Council on Tuesday. Before becoming official, the TIF district requires final approvals during a July 24 meeting of a Joint Review Board comprised of representatives of other local taxing districts, including Milwaukee County and the South Milwaukee School District.
That TIF district would pay off the planned city spending with property taxes generated by new development in the area. The TIF plan predicts $24.1 million in new developments between 2019 and 2034.
More details in my previous post on this … and much more to come as start redeveloping the campus and continue our work on Milwaukee Avenue and beyond.