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Platteville council to vote on Library Block project tonight
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The Platteville Common Council will vote on the developer’s agreement for the Library Block project tonight.

Information about the Library Block project can be read at the city’s website, The developer’s agreement can be read at 

The meeting will be in the Municipal Building second-floor council chambers at 7 p.m. The meeting can be viewed live on CenturyLink cable channel 36.

Before project developers started buying properties, the Library Block — bordered by West Main, South Chestnut, West Pine and South Elm streets — included the library, the Block, Scott & Heenan Law Offices and Block Apartments (the former Cunningham Hospital), the Southwest Wisconsin Community Action Program Neighborhood Health Partners clinic, a dance studio, a real estate office, three houses, and a 16-stall parking lot shared by the library and First English Lutheran Church. 

The project has changed considerably since a feasibility study was authorized in December 2012. At the time, the Community Development Block Grant application for the study proposed, besides the new library and health clinic, a community center and housing for low- to moderate-income people, families and senior citizens.

The first version of the project, estimated at $19 million to $21 million in March 2013, proposed redeveloping the entire block for a new 22,000-square-foot library, a hotel to the specifications of the GrandStay Hotels chain, student or multifamily housing, a replacement Neighborhood Health Partners clinic, and “traditional retail.” 

After First English declined to sell its parking lot, and with other changes, the project became $16 million in the new library, a 72-room Holiday Inn Express hotel, and surface and underground parking, with the clinic moving into the present library after the new library is built. 

Another snag, a new location for the health clinic during construction, was apparently resolved, according to developer Troy Hoekstra, with the clinic’s moving to the former Platteville police space in the first floor of the Municipal Building.

Instead of paying $1 per year for the library, the city will be paying the developer $1.5 million over seven years in a lease, paid for by general tax revenue or potential Tax Incremental Financing district revenue. Market-rate leases are required under federal New Market Tax Credits, which the developer is using.

In return, the city is getting guaranteed tax increments, though those don’t recoup the $1.5 million lease until after the lease is completed. The city’s tax increment schedule guarantees $100,000 in 2017 and $155,000 per year from 2018 to 2024, and $125,000 per year from 2025 to 2036. The total is $2.685 million, with $1.03 million of that during the expected seven-year library lease.

The city’s Library Block Frequently Asked Questions states that the city will receive $3 million in return over 20 years from the $2 million loan from Tax Incremental Financing District 7. Besides the guaranteed increment of $2.685 million, the remaining $315,000 is expected to come from TIF revenue, either from TIF 7 or one of the city’s two donor TIF districts.

The developer agreement with Miners Development LLC was approved April 30, 3½ hours before the deadline for the agreement to be approved. The council approved a letter of intent with United Development Solutions June 9, in which the city agreed to lease commercial space from the developer at $10 per square foot for at least seven years.