The Deerfield Village Board has given the preliminary green light to a proposed new 70-unit market rate apartment complex on its south side.

The Village Board voted unanimously on Nov. 23 to allow Lakestone Properties, of McFarland, to move forward with a pre-development agreement for its proposed apartments on Autumn Wood Parkway.

They would be built in-between the Deerfield Dream Park and a longtime strip mall that contains the Pickle Tree restaurant and Brown’s Heating & Cooling, and once was home to the Jamboree Foods grocery store.

In a letter to the village, Lakestone Properties said it’s envisioning three buildings of 20-30 units each. The buildings would each be two stories high.

The property is in a village tax incremental finance district, and the firm said it hopes to tap into village TIF assistance.

The company has completed similar developments in Mount Horeb, Stoughton and Oregon.

Village Board member Scott Tebon, who chairs Deerfield’s Planning Commission, said the commission on Nov. 16 recommended approval of the pre-development agreement with Lakestone Properties.

Tebon said its plans call for 1 and 2-bedroom units, undergound parking and “nice finishes all around,” including solid-surface countertops and secured entrances.

“Part of their proposal is that they need TIF to make the project work,” Tebon said.

As part of the pre-development agreement, the village’s financial advisor, Ehlers, Inc., would do a financial assessment of the TIF request, Tebon said. Lakestone Properties would pay $10,000 toward the cost of that assessment and legal review by the village’s attorney.

Tebon said the property lies in the village’s TIF district #4, which is active through 2028.

“Lakestone is fine with this agreement as presented,” Tebon told the Village Board. “I think this would be the first step in allowing them to move forward.”

Tebon stressed that the pre-development agreement “is not approving the granting of TIF in any way; it’s just allowing Ehlers to do the (initial) analysis.”

Tebon said Lakestone Properties, unlike a different developer that had envisioned building on the site earlier this year, is not earmarking its apartments for seniors.

“It’s just market rate housing,” he said.

Tebon said the apartments are generally envisioned to support local residents who work in Deerfield’s industrial park, and elsewhere in the area, who are in need of affordable housing.

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