STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- Stevens Point leaders are again looking for options for the Edgewater Manor building. The city council this week decided to seek proposals from developers for the Water Street property.
Mayor Andrew Halverson says there are several possibilities for the Edgewater site, depending upon what developers are interested. “The council confirmed that they were interested in releasing an RFP (Request for Proposals) which will be for the potential sale and/or redevelopment of the Edgewater property, so in essence, the RFP process will allow us to vette proposals that would come in, which could include selling it, could include rehabbing it, or it could include raising the building and redeveloping the entire site.”
Mayor Andrew Halverson says the Edgewater Manor building is costing Stevens Point money and it is one of the few riverfront and downtown areas that could be redeveloped. He says that is why the council wants to see what proposals come in. “The idea of the city independently without HUD (Housing and Urban Development) subsidy trying to run on its own a subsidized senior housing facility simply is not financially appropriate for a community of our size. It’s barely appropriate for a community the size of Madison or Milwaukee, so we need to find some alternatives.”
The Mayor admits this is difficult for the city, but he believes getting this property back into the private sector is best for the entire community. “Regardless of the concern that we have for these residents, regardless of our qualitative want to support them and do what we can, we don’t just work for them. We work for the entire community and we have to balance that. We want to be extremely respectful of the impact seniors have had on our community for years. That’s important, and that’s never going to leave our minds when it comes to how we determine the future of this building.”
Halverson says if HUD were still helping with subsidized senior housing, it never would have come to this. “If this were a HUD subsidized property, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. It is not (subsidized). It cannot be ‘re-HUDinized’ for lack of a better way to put it because of a lack of capital dollars available through Housing and Urban Development nationwide. This is a phenomenon that’s not unique to us. Those dollars are simply not there for Section Eight.”
The city has set a deadline to receive RFP’s within ninety days. Then, the city will start evaluating the proposals.