Businessman Mike Sexauer will start negotiations with La Crescent city officials next week on a development agreement to build housing on the Racetrack property.
Sexauer has a deal to buy the property contingent on approval of the development agreement by the city council by March 1. He said Tuesday that he plans to build 75 housing units on the site and possibly also an apartment building with 42 units.
The city council on Monday learned that Sexauer was the developer behind the plans to build at the Racetrack property and agreed to authorize city attorney Skip Wieser to enter negotiations with him.
City administrator Bill Waller presented a list of items to the council that will be negotiated as part of what the city is calling a “preliminary project development agreement.” They deal primarily with how infrastructure and other site preparation costs will be divided between the city and Sexauer.
The city council is expected to vote on the proposal at its Feb. 26 meeting.
The Racetrack property is located just off County Highway 6 behind Wieser Memorial Park in Crescent Valley and is owned by a family trust formed by William and Delores Cornforth.
Sexauer is the CEO of La Crosse company Badger Corrugating, which manufactures and distributes building materials. He declined to say how large the planned investment in the project was but did say he was confident he could secure a development agreement with the city by the March 1 deadline.
Among the items to be negotiated with Sexauer as part of the development agreement is how the cost of the access road and utilities from County Road 6 are allocated, Waller said. The city also will look for a list of items to be “privately constructed by the developer prior to the installation of utilities.”
The Racetrack property was annexed by the city in 2016 and is about 89 acres in size, although not all of the property is suitable for development, according to a study of the site commissioned by the city.
One property owner who lives near the site and attended Monday’s council meeting said he and other neighbors were disappointed that they had not received notification from the city of the development plan.
But Wieser said adjacent property owners would receive notification of final site plans and have the opportunity to attend plan commission and city council meetings to speak about the project.
The development agreement the council is likely to vote on at its Feb 26 meeting is likely to be followed by a final site plan as the project progresses.
The council also voted at Monday’s meeting to hold an informational meeting at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, March 1, that will deal with the extension of city utilities along County Road 6. Affected residents will be notified of the meeting, at which a preliminary engineering report for the project will be reviewed.