City to consider Lincoln House site development proposal
The city of Merrill’s Redevelopment Authority, City Plan Commission and Committee of the Whole will hold a joint meeting Wednesday, Jan. 20 to discuss a developer’s proposal for the vacant Lincoln House property in downtown Merrill.
MSP Real Estate is proposing to develop a 40-unit multi-family housing project on the site at 120 S. Mill St. According to a letter from MPS to the city of Merrill, of the 40 units, 34 would be reserved for residents at or below 60% of the area’s median income. The project would be one building, four stories tall, including a small retail space, underground parking, a community room, outdoor patio area and an on-site leasing office.
“The subject site located at 120 S. Mill St. represents an incredible opportunity to create a high quality development in one of the best locations in downtown Merrill,” noted MSP Director of Development Mark Hammond. “I am confident that with our experienced development team we can deliver the type of high quality project that the city of Merrill is looking for and that other cities have received and come to expect from MSP.”
Hammond noted that MSP has developed over 1,350 units of workforce housing for moderate income individuals and families in the Midwest.
MSP is asking the city to sell them the property for $1 and provide TIF development incentive up to $1,085,000. In addition, they are requesting that up to 30 parking stalls in the city-owned parking lot west of the property be made available for project residents at no cost. The new building would include 30 parking stalls in the basement as well.
Proposed financing for the $6 million project includes nearly $4 million in WHEDA low to moderate tax credits. The sale is contingent upon the project receiving WHEDA tax credits. The deadline for submitting a tax credit application to WHEDA is the end of January. WHEDA would announces whether the project was awarded a tax credit in May.
According to Merrill Finance Director Kathy Unertl, the development is significant in that it would increase the total assessed value of the entire downtown by about 50%. The proposed development is projected to produce over $1 mill in tax increment over the next 20 years.
The joint meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Council Chamber of City Hall and will be followed by a Common Council meeting, during which the property sale and development incentive will be considered.