A rendering of the northwest
corner of the Fowler Lake Village project proposed for
OCONOMOWOC — The Community Development Authority on Tuesday
recommended the development agreement between Fowler Lake
Village, LLC, and the city after it was announced that First
Bank Financial Centre decided to back a $6.4 million loan.
Fowler Lake Village is a $18 million, 32-unit mixed-use complex
in development for a parcel of land behind City Hall.
Economic Development Director Bob Duffy said FBFC has come
forward and offered to purchase the bond for private placement,
which would “essentially eliminate the city’s financial risk,”
The risk involved with the financing of the developer’s
agreement was one of several concerns expressed by CDA members
and the public.
T he assessed value of the land the city plans to swap with
developer Jeff Seymour for properties he owns on St. Paul and
Pleasant streets has not been established. However, Duffy said
an appraisal has been commissioned and should be back to the
city within the week.
A rendering of the southeast corner of the Fowler Lake
Village project proposed for Oconomowoc.
Milwaukee-based attorney Bruce Block, who has previously worked
with the city on financing development projects including an
unsuccessful attempt by Seymour to build a condo development on
what is now the Village Green, explained that the city now has
very little to fear as it will no longer be liable for
nonpayment of the loan.
“The twist that Mr. Duffy talked about tonight, it does appear
there is a lender out there that is willing to instantly take
the position of providing this mezzanine loan in exchange for a
revenue bond issued by the CDA and city. It means effectively
we’re privately placing this debt,” Block said.
After Block’s explanation, Mayor Jim Daley moved to amend the
development agreement’s language so that it reflects the new
arrangement. The motion was approved. The development agreement
was approved shortly afterward.
The CDA first approved a motion to grant a favorable opinion of
how the the concept plans of Fowler Lake Village fit the
city’s downtown revitalization plan.
Duffy said the development fits the plan
well, and said that one of the preconditions in the
agreement is that 70 percent of the value of the project be
sold before the loan money is given to the developer. Daley
emphasized that the project will have an ownership component
that has been part of the city’s downtown plan for years.
“This is something that has been
identified as a need for the downtown for 10-plus years,” he
said. “We’re trying to identify solutions to work through
the shortcomings of our downtown.”
The approval is the next step in a
“We’re not in final design phase,” Duffy
said. “We’re here today because we entered into a ... (good)
faith indication to the developer that they are able to move
forward and put some elements together and that we would
continue to move forward in a partnership.”
The CDA will need to act further on the
development, as will the Plan Commission and the Common