Mitchell housing project moves forwardRezoning recommended for approval; proposal heads to City Council.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
The Mitchell Planning and Zoning Commission moved ahead plans Monday afternoon for a new housing development.
The planners, meeting at City Hall, recommended approval of a tax increment financing district and some land rezoning. Both are for a proposed 31-unit housing project that would be located south of the Mitchell Middle School on land south of West Eighth Avenue, north of West Seventh Avenue, east of North Iowa Street and west of North Montana Street.
As part of the TIF, an economic development tool that involves initial public funding for improvements, with the money paid back from increased tax revenue from the developed property, North Montana Street would be extended up to three blocks. It is now a gravel road.
The developer of the housing project, Wisconsin-based Antach Management Corp., will repay the city up to $243,526 for the infrastructure improvements, professional and administrative fees, plus interest and a $10,000 contingency fund. It would be repaid over a maximum of 20 years, or whenever the TIF is paid for and ended prior to 20 years.
Final terms will be hammered out when a developer’s agreement is signed with the city, according to City Planner Neil Putnam.
The property is currently valued at $13,370, but the proposed improvements are estimated to add more than $2.9 million to the assessed property value.
The complex will consist of 16 two-bedroom and 15 three-bedroom apartments for a total of 31 units, which will include a combination of single-story, handicapped-accessible, cottage-style townhomes and two-story townhomes. Each will have individual entries, attached one-car garages, and additional parking.
Eleven of the units will be set aside for people of low income or virtually no income, according to Mitchell lawyer Don Petersen, who spoke on both matters during the one-hour meeting. Four will rent for market value, while the remainder will rent for a percentage of the going rate, with government assistance offered to the residents.
“It’s a project that was probably needed in Mitchell,” Petersen said.
He said it will pay an estimated $1.2 million in taxes over 20 years, and $3 million in construction costs will be spent in the community.
The L.L. Musick Family Limited Partnership, a Florida corporation with offices in Mitchell, is asking for the rezoning. It would then transfer the property to the Antach Management Corp.
The L.L. Musick Family Limited Partnership is registered to Kenneth Musick, of Gulf Breeze, Fla. Lindell Musick, of Mitchell, is listed as a general partner.
The property is now zoned single-family residential, and the requested change is to multi-family residential.
“The structures obviously fit in the neighborhood, and we think it will be a good addition,” Petersen said.
While both the proposed rezoning and the TIF were recommended for approval by unanimous 7-0 votes, there was an objection from a citizen in the audience.
Randy Shank, who lives near the proposed development, said Seventh Avenue floods quickly when it rains, and the storm sewer in the area does not handle the water. He said the drainage issue “has to be addressed.”
Public Works Director Tim McGannon said he feels the city will be able to handle it with ease. McGannon said the amount of water that will flow off the property will double, but that should not be a problem for the city system.
Chris Jay and Don Drake, partners in Antach Management Corp., took part in the meeting via telephone. They said the development will be a step ahead.
“We are not going to make any problem worse,” Jay said.
Instead, they will improve the drainage issues, he vowed.
Shank said he was not mollified by that promise. He said with the addition of new hard surfaces, more drainage issues will arise, in his view.
In addition, a section of Seventh Avenue in the area was reworked just last year, Shank pointed out.
“That was a bit of bad luck, wasn’t it?” McGannon replied. “We didn’t know this project was coming.”
Commission Chairman Jay Larson said he lives near the proposed development and is familiar with the site. He said drainage is a concern, but this project may solve other problems in the area.
Mitchell’s TIF Review Committee recommended approval of the TIF on Jan. 14. Both the rezoning change and the TIF will likely come before the Mitchell City Council on Monday night at City Hall.
The developers will then head to Pierre to seek approval from the South Dakota Housing Development Authority for the development, Petersen said, since tax credits are involved. He said a hearing is slated for late February.
Aaron’s proposal shelved
A proposed furniture, electronics and appliance store in Mitchell has pulled its plans off the table.
Aaron’s Retail Store, which was planned for the Walmart Store’s First Addition, is not moving ahead at this time, the commissioners were told, as the owners seek to work out an access agreement with Walmart.
They asked that the plan be “tabled indefinitely,” according to the agenda.