NEENAH — Developer Tom Vandeyacht plans to build a $22 million apartment complex on the former Bridgewood nine-hole golf course which closed in 2019.
The project would require the city to pay $3.16 million to Vandeyacht, operating as Bridgewood Luxury Apartments, over 15 years to help with the development.
It would also require the city to build a bridge over the Neenah Slough – known as Neenah Creek within the city limits – off Jewelers Park Drive to serve as the main access to the development and to build a new trail along it. from the south edge of the property between the Jewelers Park Drive trailhead and the Harrison Street trailhead.
The cost to the city is estimated at $500,000 for the bridge and $150,000 for the trail.
The proposed development agreement will be considered by the finance committee this week and could reach the common council next week.
The Vandeyacht development would consist of 268 apartments: a 60-unit building along Harrison Street and 26 eight-unit buildings. Each apartment in the eight-unit buildings would have an attached garage and a private driveway.
Chris Haese, director of community development and assessment for Neenah, said the apartments would be a good fit for the golf course property.
“In terms of floor plans and amenities, they’re on the higher end of the rental spectrum compared to some of the other units being built in the Fox Cities,” Haese said.
Vandeyacht previously developed two other apartment complexes in Neenah: the 184-unit Pendleton Park on the west side of town and the 53-unit Cobblestone Creek Townhomes on Winneconne Avenue.
“Rental rates are very good, so clearly there is always demand for the units we see,” Haese said.
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Bridgewood Golf Course closed in 2019 due to competition and unpredictable weather conditions and was put on the market for redevelopment.
In March 2021, Bridgewood golf course owner Rich Batley said he was working with a potential buyer to build a retirement community on the property, but that project never materialized.
Vandeyacht’s luxury Bridgewood apartments would be located east of the Cameron Circle condominiums and south of the Best Western Premier Bridgewood Resort Hotel & Conference Center and the Ground Round Grill & Bar.
Access to the 46-acre development would come from the new bridge at Jewelers Park Drive, with the aim of minimizing the effect on condominiums at Cameron Circle, and Harrison Street.
According to the development agreement, Vandeyacht:
- Build the $22 million apartment complex. The schedule calls for the completion of 32 units by the end of 2023 and the completion of the remaining units by 2028.
- Provide easements for public trails along the western and southern boundaries of the development.
- Allow the city to discharge stormwater into a pond located at the southeast corner of the property.
The city :
- Provide up to $3.16 million over 15 years as a development incentive. The money would be paid in annual installments after sufficient property taxes on the new development had been collected.
- Build a bridge over Neenah Slough from Jewelers Park Drive to serve as the main access to the development. It should cost $500,000.
- Build a public footpath along the south edge of the development. It should cost $150,000.
Neenah budgeted $100,000 last year to help redesign the golf course. “There will have to be additional borrowing to support the project,” Haese said.
The city’s investment in the development would be recouped through a new incremental tax funding district (#12). The golf course is located in TIF District No. 7, but the investment period for this district will end in early July.
When a municipality creates a TIF district, any additional property taxes generated by new development in the district – the increment – are used to reimburse the municipality for any costs or commitments it has incurred to complete that development. Tax revenue from the increase is diverted from the school district, county, and technical college for as long as the district is in place.
Contact Duke Behnke at 920-993-7176 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @DukeBehnke.