Madison proposes TIF district to deliver $115 million to the evolving … – Madison.com

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South Badger Road, including the Badger Building, left, Centro Hispano, center, and Metro Transit’s South Transfer Point on Madison’s South Side. A proposed tax incremental financing (TIF) district could help deliver about $115 million in improvements to the area, including $4 million in development loans for a project at the transfer point. 
Metro Transit’s South Transfer Point is seen through the windows of Madison College’s Goodman South Campus.
In an ambitious move, Madison is seeking to create a potent tax incremental financing district that could help deliver a record $115 million to support an array of initiatives on the fast-changing South Side.
If approved, the district would mean tens of millions of dollars for South Side housing, streets, parks, bus rapid transit stations, bike and pedestrian improvements, development loans, land purchases, small business assistance and more.
The borders of the TIF district, called TID 51, would be the Beltline, Fish Hatchery Road, John Nolen Drive and Wingra Creek. It’s intended to address long-overdue infrastructure needs, historical inequities and needs from absorbing much of the town of Madison last fall, city officials said.
Rev. Alex Gee talks about change happening in South Madison
All told, TID 51 is projected to have $99.4 million in costs eligible for TIF funding, and $15.5 million in costs that would be repaid through assessments to property owners or with state or federal grants.
“The creation of TID 51 will allow us to make significant, needed investments in South Madison, particularly in affordable housing and small business support,” Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said in a statement. “The TID 51 plan is guided by what we heard over several years of deep engagement with the South Madison community, and the projects it will fund will be shaped by community engagement as well.”
To jump-start the effort, because some TIF districts take time before they start producing new tax revenue, the city also is looking to amend the project plans of two successful TIF districts on the Near East and East sides to donate $65.2 million in support of TID 51 over its first five years.
The proposed TIF district on the South Side is expected to deliver millions of dollars to improve John Nolen Drive.
The proposals will be shared in an informational meeting at noon Friday of the Madison Joint Review Board, made up of representatives from the city, Madison School District, Dane County and Madison Area Technical College. It would have to approve any new TIF district or make changes to existing ones.
In January 2022, the City Council adopted the South Madison Plan, which recommended the creation of a new TIF district to help address displacement due to gentrification, increase home ownership and maximize opportunities for existing residents and business owners.
With TIF, the city’s most potent economic development tool, the city and other local taxing entities agree to freeze property values in an area. Tax revenues from growth are then invested in private development, initiatives or public infrastructure. When investments are repaid, the district is closed and the higher-valued property is fully returned to the tax rolls.
For TID 51, the city also intends to apply a so-called “half-mile rule” that allows the city to spend tax revenues within a half-mile of the district’s boundaries.
“We recognize there’s a strong, existing neighborhood there today,” city Economic Development Director Matt Mikolajewski said. “We want to foster investment in South Madison in a way that respects the existing neighborhood while addressing a historic lack of investment.”
The initiatives include:
“The proposed investments in parks, affordable housing and small business support are more significant than in past TIF districts,” Mikolajewski said.
A proposed TIF district would deliver $4 million for improvements to Penn Park on the South Side.
Donor districts
The 35-page project plan anticipates development that will occur to serve as economic “generators” of new tax revenue, including 65,000 square feet of commercial development at the corner of Badger Road and South Park Street; more than 330 housing units and commercial development at South Park Street and North Avenue; hotels around the Alliant Energy Center; and an already approved housing project to redevelop the Coliseum Bar property at John Nolen and Olin avenues.
The city, however, has learned that without significant upfront and public investment, growth through redevelopment and revitalization can be slow.
A proposed TIF district project plan envisions spending $4.5 million to acquire and clean up All Metals Recycling along South Park Street.
To help speed revitalization, the city intends to use a pilot TIF financing strategy for TID 51 through amendments to the project plans and boundaries of two other TIF districts.
Also, the city is looking to amend an existing district on the South Side, TID 42, to provide $2.8 million for stormwater and parking structure costs at the Village on Park mall.
The picnic pavilion at Heifetz Park on the South Side. A TIF district is expected to deliver $485,000 to remodel the shelter and make other improvements there.
The City Council and Joint Review Board are expected to consider approvals of TID 51 and amendments to the three other TIF districts in the spring.
It’s been a year of change possibilities in Madison with major advances in aid to the homeless, funding for the Public Market, passage of sweeping change for the bus system, new buildings rising, remarkable proposals to transform the South Side and Lake Monona waterfront, and the 25th anniversary of iconic Monona Terrace. It’s a continuing honor to help share what’s happening with you. Here’s a sample of my coverage of a dynamic, ever-evolving place.
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Dean Mosiman covers Madison city government for the Wisconsin State Journal.
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South Badger Road, including the Badger Building, left, Centro Hispano, center, and Metro Transit’s South Transfer Point on Madison’s South Side. A proposed tax incremental financing (TIF) district could help deliver about $115 million in improvements to the area, including $4 million in development loans for a project at the transfer point. 
The proposed TIF district on the South Side is expected to deliver millions of dollars to improve John Nolen Drive.
A proposed TIF district would deliver $4 million for improvements to Penn Park on the South Side.
A proposed TIF district project plan envisions spending $4.5 million to acquire and clean up All Metals Recycling along South Park Street.
The picnic pavilion at Heifetz Park on the South Side. A TIF district is expected to deliver $485,000 to remodel the shelter and make other improvements there.
Metro Transit’s South Transfer Point is seen through the windows of Madison College’s Goodman South Campus.
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