The City of Greenfield has first dibs on a large chunk of valuable land that could become a prime location for developers.
After several years of back-and-forth negotiations, Greenfield officials reached an agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation granting the city the right to purchase more than 13 acres of land north of the I-894 Loomis Road exit ramp.
The land is informally known as "Greenfield Crossing."
The city has until July 1, 2014, to purchase the land with a price tag of $2.841 million. In addition, if an acceptable park-and-ride replacement site is made available for the current lot off Loomis Road, the city could purchase an additional 5 acres for $1.149 million.
“The price is locked in; the area is locked,” said attorney Alan Marcuvitz, who negotiated the deal for the city. “If the city chooses to go ahead, the city has the right, but the city has no obligation,” to purchase the land.
Through the agreement, the city also has the ability to market the site to potential developers, even though the city does not own the land.
Director of Neighborhood Services Richard Sokol said his department would solicit proposals from experienced real estate brokers on a contingency basis.
“We’d market it through a broker, who would only get paid if we work out a deal,” Sokol said.
City officials said the best-case scenario would be for the city to purchase the property from WisDOT one morning and sell it, along with some adjoining property it already owns, to a private developer later that same day.
Mayor Michael Neitzke said the city would work diligently to find a developer and purchaser for the property that for the last few years has been used by WisDOT as a staging area during the interstate reconstruction project.
“When I was elected 7 ½ years ago, there was a discussion then,” about what to do with that land,” Neitzke said. “Subsequently, the 94 reconstruction project happened. … Maybe in hindsight, the way the economy went, maybe it was a good thing.”
A portion of the land available was once home to a skate park known as "The Turf."
Tell us: What would you like to see built at the Loomis-894 "intersection?" A national big-box chain? Something like Woodman's? A new "downtown" Greenfield? Tell us below!