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Village Will Pay to Restore Underground Parking at Fox Bay Building

Whitefish Bay village trustees grant $277,000 to refurbish 24 underground parking stalls in exchange for 20 surface stalls behind the building for public parking.

In an effort to free up precious parking space, Whitefish Bay will contribute $277,000 to the restoration of a neglected 24-stall parking lot under the Fox Bay Building.

In exchange, the village will get public parking access to 20 surface parking stalls currently reserved for tenants and employees of the Fox Bay Building. The surface lot will remain under New Land's ownership.

The Whitefish Bay Village Board on Monday night unanimously approved a development agreement that would give New Land Enterprises, owner of the Fox Bay Building, $277,000 of the estimated $300,000 project cost to restore the now-unusable underground parking lot. Trustee Lauri Rollings was absent.

That will allow New Land to lodge its tenants' vehicles below ground while freeing up its surface space behind the building for the public.

As part of the development agreement, New Land is obligated to keep the underground lot in use for 20 years. Trustees asked Village Attorney Chris Jaekels to negotiate with New Land and extend the agreement to 25 years.

Jaekels said the sum of additional parking will be needed to make up for the temporary parking shortage created by the construction of The Mandel Group's 100-unit apartment development, which is expected to break ground in February. The development agreement states the underground parking renovations must be completed by Feb. 15, or at the very latest, April 1.

"After it's done, if you take into consideration these stalls going back into use, combined with the net loss from Mandel, we'll actually have a net gain in parking," Jaekels said. 

Jaekels said New Land objected to The Mandel Group's apartment development because it would create parking shortages for tenants and their customers. The village held several closed-door negotiation sessions with New Land Enterprises, which refused to pay for the restoration of the underground parking lot.

In the end, the village agreed to pay for 92 percent of the project cost, with any additional costs to be incurred by New Land.

"We decided it was in the village's best interest to get that parking lot up and running again, and no bank was going to lend them the money," Jaekels said.

The public funds are coming from the village's first tax-incremental finance district, created about 10 years ago. The $300,000 project cost would fix the parking structure's water damage, electrical problems, ventilation and other issues.

Under the development agreement, New Land is able to decide how the 24 underground parking spaces will be allocated among building tenants and customers. New Land may also charge rent for the underground parking, as long as the rent prices don't lead to an underutilization of the lot.

New Land will also repaint the lines of the 20-stall surface parking lot directly behind the Fox Bay Building. The village will make that parking lot a two-hour public parking lot without any further restrictions from New Land, which will maintain ownership of the lot.

The village will pay New Land incrementally as work is completed. If New Land does not hold up its end of the development agreement, the village will have an option to purchase the surface level parking for $1.

Bob McBride December 04, 2012 at 01:03 PM
This is the best deal we could negotiate with New Land? Aren't they hanging on by a thread as it is? We're essentially giving them a new revenue source for peanuts. Aside from just not completing the renovation, what constitutes them not holding up their end of the agreement? If employees of the businesses choose not to rent parking spaces, how do we stay on top of them not using the surface lots anyways? What's to keep New Land from maximizing revenue from the spots by advertising secured, indoor long-term parking for people other than tenants or others utilizing the area? Did we bring some "experts" from Shorewood in to negotiate this one?
Absolutelyfabulous December 04, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Was just a matter of time before closed door deals came to light that were necessary for this project to proceed. Village financing of $4,600,000 is now $4,900,000 A blast from the past Absolutelyfabulous 3:30 pm on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 Just a question and I've brought it up before. Are any of the businesses adjacent to the parking lots that are to be redeveloped going to receive any financial compensation from the Village of WFB for their hardship/loss of business during construction? If so, will this be announced to the public/taxpayers of WFB after the initial 4.9 million TIF is approved. That's what they did in Shorewood, though the only business directly affected is Sendiks and they received one hell of a pay out and they have the gall to make note that their business is suffering during Mandel's construction of his apartment complex on the parking lots that Sendik's utilized. Now, Mandel has said he will keep parking spaces open in WFB, but that was also the case in Shorewood. There are alternatives close by that people may utilize and never come back ie Walgreens/Ye Olde Pharmacy on Port Rd in place of Fitzgerald's on Silver Spring. Just as an example. Ye Olde delivers. "Sendik's Sales Shrinking As Mandel Group Development Takes Root" http://shorewood.patch.com/articles/sendik-s-sales-shrinking-as-mandel-group-development-takes-root http://whitefishbay.patch.com/articles/residents-weigh-in-on-public-funds-for-mandel-apartment-project
Absolutelyfabulous December 06, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Interesting series in NYTIMES.. UNITED STATES OF SUBSIDIES A series examining business incentives and their impact on jobs and local economies Part 1 How Taxpayers Bankroll Business Part 2 Winners and Losers in Texas Part 3 When Hollywood Comes to Town ____________________________________ Wisconsin Wisconsin spends at least $1.53 billion per year on incentive programs, according to the most recent data available. That is roughly: $268 per capita 10¢ per dollar of state budget http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/12/01/us/government-incentives.html

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