Brookfield Firm Taking Over Stalled Stony Ridge Development

The Brookfield-based property management firm Pre/3 is doubling down on its Sister Bay offerings with a new 48-unit apartment complex. The firm is also negotiating to take over the single-family home portion of Keith Garot’s stagnant Stony Ridge development on Highway 57.

Outgoing village administrator Zeke Jackson told the village board Nov. 21 what he has learned from dealing with developers who have not always delivered on promised timelines.

“One of the things I’ve learned is that developers, I think, are fantastic at achieving many things that we need them to achieve and I think we should be willing to put in writing to the things they talk about with our leaders and citizens,” Jackson said.

Garot’s Stony Ridge project, originally slated to be complete in October 2015, was supposed to have 24 apartment units, 16 condo units, 13 single-family homes and on-site storage. To date, one apartment unit is under construction.

Jackson told the village board that Pre/3 is taking over control of the single-family homes with construction by Tim Halbrook Builders.

Sarah Hillenbrand, vice president of real estate investment and development for Pre/3, said the group is still reviewing the development agreement with the village.

“We are doing our due diligence right now,” Hillenbrand said. “It’s hard to come into the middle of the project.”

“It’s in everyone’s best interest to see Pre/3 obtain ownership of the property,” Jackson said in an interview after the meeting.

The village helped Garot secure a $590,000 loan through the Bank of Luxemburg to construct roads and utilities around the Stony Ridge project. The village is now helping reposition that loan around Pre/3 and Halbrook’s construction.

Halbrook would build the homes on behalf of Pre/3, who is only involved in management of finished properties and not new construction.

“There’s a lot of moving parts that have to line up,” said Jackson.

While the original Stony Ridge project was expected to create more than $7 million in net new construction, the construction of these 13 single family homes will go a long way in recovering a portion of village expenses within the Tax Increment Finance District (TIF).

The village has a good working relationship with Pre/3 after the completion of 36-unit Niagara Ridge luxury apartment complex on North Highland Road. Completed in 2016, that complex now has a waiting list.

“Niagara Ridge has been an extreme success for us,” said Hillenbrand. “Our experience through that process led us to conclude that there is more need for housing in Sister Bay.”

Pre/3 purchased the quarry property behind Shopko from the village and will build a 48-unit apartment complex that will be similar to Niagara Ridge, but not as luxurious. Rental rates are expected to be less than $1,000 per month for a two-bedroom unit.

The Plan Commission preliminarily approved the development agreement for the project, only requesting the agreement be rewritten in the village’s standard format. The agreement presented to the commission was written by Pre/3, not the village, as is standard practice.

Denise Bhirdo, who has the finest-toothed comb of all commission members, was concerned with using a developer’s agreement instead of the village’s, but otherwise had no questions.

Jackson is leaving the village in mid-December for a new job in Waterford, Wis., and said he hopes to get the agreement wrapped up before then. The village board will consider the project at a special meeting with the plan commission Dec. 12.

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