STEVENS POINT, WI (WSAU) - The planned sale of a city-owned apartment building in Stevens Point is back to square one. Edgewater Manor is an 81 unit building along the riverfront that city officials decided to sell when federal HUD dollars dried up. The city’s Community Development Authority had arranged to sell the property to Seramur Family Limited Partnership for $800,000. The property would also be placed in a tax incremental financing (TIF) district where the Saramur company would receive up to $300,000 in tax credits if the value of the property reaches two million dollars in six years.
At Monday’s Finance Committee, several residents spoke about the appearance of a bad deal and criticized how the sale was arranged. Many also spoke against having the 30-year-old apartment building placed in a TIF district since it is not blighted property, and can be sold to a private developer without the incentives and for more money.
One other developer that has shown interest in acquiring Edgewater Manor for nearly a year is Krista Mendyke, who operates nearby Pioneer Place Apartments and three elderly assisted living homes in Stevens Point. Her company hand-delivered paperwork with a $1,000,000 offer for Edgewater Manor along with $10,000 in earnest money to Mayor Andrew Halverson, City Attorney Louis Molepske Sr, and CDA Director Michael Ostrowski at about 4:00 p.m. Monday. The offer also has no requirement for TIF district dollars. Chairman A. Logan Beveridge referred to the surprise offer as the “800 pound gorilla in the room” and they needed to figure out what to do. Most committee members were unaware of the new offer. At that point, the committee decided they had to send the issue back to the Community Development board to decide how they wish to proceed. Mayor Halverson says the CDA could seek sealed bids, go for the open market, or proceed with the deal in place, but that will be up to them.
Along with Seramur Family Limited Partnership and Mendyke’s KJM Properties, there are at least two other property developers interested in Edgewater Manor. Resident Mary Ann Laszewski and Anchor Apartments owner Jeff May also spoke against the way city officials arranged the sale and the use of tax incentives.