Sunday, December 24, 2017

"Foxconn highlights lack of rental housing"

MOUNT PLEASANT — The promise of Foxconn Technology Group and many thousands of new jobs here has jolted housing developers to heightened interest, village officials say. And some developers have asked whether incentives might be available for a residential project.

It might be tempting to toss out the idea of using incentives when developer interest is strong. But it’s not that simple, according to a discussion by Mount Pleasant Community Development Authority members on Wednesday.

CDA Chairman Rob Richardson had put the topic of incentives on the agenda to try to give Community Development Director Sam Schultz some guidance for his future talks with prospective developers.

Schultz said the staff has had five to 10 meetings since the Foxconn development agreement was signed. “The vast majority of those are residential developers.”

“They all ask — as all developers do — whether there’s any incentives for residential development,” Schultz said. “We typically push them away from it, mostly because that’s been the departmental stance.”

Schultz said the village’s financial advisers at Ehlers do a fair amount of residential incentives.
However, they’re typically tied to: a redevelopment project; a site with significant environmental issues; an urban decay setting; or a mixed-use project with large-scale commercial or office components.

“We haven’t had a ton of very site-specific inquiries for residential,” Schultz added. “People are just kind of feeling out the general lay of the village right now.”
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