BY November 21, 2016
The Norfolk City Council unanimously approved a study on Monday night that declares the Skyline Apartment building and surrounding area as blighted and substandard. This gives the developer an opportunity to use tax increment financing (TIF) to improve the property.
Community Planner for Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District Jan Merrill spoke to the Council and recommended the study be approved.
She referenced the study which details problems with the Skyline Apartments building including out dated heating and cooling systems, fire suppression systems and living quarters. The building does not meet current ADA and UFAS codes.
Fire Chief Scott Cordes says it is a big deal that there isn’t an automatic fire suppression system in a building that houses so many people. He praised the council and the developer for their efforts in addressing the fire safety concerns.
“It brings incredible comfort to us to know that, should this occur, that that property is going to be protected in a manner that it hasn’t been for all these years,” Cordes said. “So it’s a substantial gain to where we are to where we would be going.”
City Councilman for Ward 3 and Mayor-Elect Josh Moenning lives directly next to Skyline Apartments and on property included in the blight and substandard study. This declaration does not affect his house in any way. Moenning says the developer, Seldin Company* has been straightforward with the city since they began talks about two years ago. Seldin* has indicated an interest to continue the building’s mission of providing affordable housing for the low income elderly population. Moenning says this potential redevelopment is consistent with the goals of TIF.
“(TIF) provides a development incentive for older properties, redevelopment in areas of the community that might not see it otherwise,” Moenning said.
Seldin* has claimed they will invest as much as $65,000 into each living unit as part of the redevelopment process.
*Wishrock is the Developer; Seldin (listed as the Developer) is our management company