Stevens Point landlords fired up over new student housing - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Stevens Point landlords fired up over new student housing

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW)--A new student housing complex is in the works in Stevens Point and landlords are fired up, because they say there are plenty of apartments already in the area.

Developers say the new complex would house up to 100 tenants. But landlords say there aren't enough students to fill the housing that's already in the area.

Developers say it would cost them about $4 million dollars to build a new student housing complex in Stevens Point.

"If the free market says, via these developers that will invest millions of dollars to make this happen, that's their decision," said Stevens Point Mayor Andrew Halverson. "That's not necessarily for the city to say, well based on what we see, there's enough apartments, we shouldn't authorize any of them," he continued.

The city has already given the developers some money. Officials say that $50,000 will be used for clean-up at that site.

"The minimal incentive that we are talking about using to take care of that environmental concern could reap massive financial benefits," Halverson said.

Some landlords say the city shouldn't be giving the developers any money when there are plenty other housing options.

"The only reason the city is involved is because there is a hurdle, there's a financial hurdle for any developer whose going to come in and look at the Cooper Motors site," Halverson said.

City officials say the development will increase tax revenue by about five times the current amount. He says it will go from $19,000 to more than $100,000 in profit per year.

"Any time you have a large development like this, it's a hard thing to pass up," Stevens Point City Assessor James Siebers said.

Officials say Cooper Motors has been empty for more than three years. The developers say they think the student housing complex, just across the street from campus, will be a good fit.

"We feel there is a market growth and the enrollment trends are showing that there are more students attending the university as well," Paul Belschner with SMET Construction Services said.

Stevens Point Mayor Andrew Halverson says, as part of the deal, the developers must include retail space as well. If they don't, officials say the developers will have to return the money the city gave them.

Landlords in the area will have the opportunity to express their concern to the City Council on Monday. That's where the council will take up the issue of approving development as well.

Online Reporter: Cassandra Vinch

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