By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — Members of the Wausau City Council this month approved a $10.5 million development project that will bring up to 60 full time jobs to the area within two years.

Scannell Properties LLC on Dec. 5 submitted a letter of interest on behalf of a confidential client interested in building a 175,000-square-foot warehouse on a 16.48-acre parcel of land in the city’s Business Campus Expansion Area. The jobs created are expected to have wages in the $15-$20 per hour range, according to city documents.

The price for land in the expansion area was previously set at $12,500 per acre, which means the land proposed for the project is worth about $206,000.

In the company’s initial Dec. 5 proposal, Scannell had asked to purchase the oddly-shaped lot from the city for $1. Instead, Scannell will buy the property for $200,000 but will receive $200,000 in a reverse tax increment financing agreement one year later if they meet “all the metrics” of the development agreement, said Economic Development Director Chris Schock.

“The proposal is to sell (the properties) to them for the posted price, which is approximately $200,000, and then we would allocate a one-year reverse TIF for $200,000,” Schock said at the meeting. “So, it’s even.”

Those metrics have not yet been publicly released, as a copy of the development agreement was not immediately available and was not included in the city council or committee packets before the deal was approved. Wausau Pilot and Review has requested a copy of the document and will update this story when that information is received.

In a traditional TIF district, a municipality pays money to a developer to spark redevelopment. The money is then repaid over time though the additional tax revenue generated by that development.

 A reverse TIF district, however, has no upfront funding from the municipality and instead helps pay for projects by returning a portion of the additional tax revenue generated to the developer over a number of years.
Scannell is a privately owned real estate development and investment company that focuses on build-to-suit and speculative development projects throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company was involved in building office and manufacturing space for Wausau Window and Wall Systems more than a decade ago.