By Dan Spalding
WARSAW – The city’s director of Community & Economic Development, Jeremy Skinner, said Monday he’s aware of potential plans for four significant residential developments in or around Warsaw.
“We’re talking to potentially four different developers right now with four different projects that don’t exist right now,” Skinner told the city redevelopment commission Monday afternoon.
While he did not identify the four locations, he said each of the projects could entail upward of 100 houses.
Such pronouncements about possible residential development in the city have been rare in a county where demand for affordable workforce housing is mighty.
Attracting new residential construction to the city has been a top priority for Mayor Joe Thallemer’s administration in recent years.
Skinner said he’s excited about what he’s hearing, compared to a year ago when he said trying to attract developers was “like pulling teeth.”
“What I’m seeing now is actually people drawing things on a map and asking how do we make this work,” he said.
Plans being considered this year could translate into construction next year.
“But I’m excited what 2022, 2023 and 2024 look like,” he said.
Skinner said he’s confident some of what’s being considered will come together.
“I’d say the last three, four months, there’s been a lot of good conversation.”
Two years ago, the city established two residential Tax Increment Finance districts to help lure new housing to those areas by reinvesting with TIF revenues.
Skinner said Monday night that one of the four areas falls inside one of the two new residential TIF districts created by the city to entice residential construction and boost nearby school enrollment.
Two others are adjacent to the districts and two could be annexed.
The locations are areas that Skinner said he has been directing developers to consider.
“I’m encouraged. We’re getting invitations we were sending out, but now you gotta figure out how to make it work,” he said.
News of the possible residential projects came during Monday afternoon’s redevelopment commission where Skinner provided an annual report on the city’s TIF districts and tech park.
He then delivered a shorter recap at the city council meeting later Monday, April 5.
The annual report details how each of the TIF districts is being used to promote economic development and documents that upward of $6.6 million was been dedicated to three TIF districts and the Warsaw Technology Park in 2020.
Revenues from the two residential TIFs will begin showing up next year.