Update: Responding by email to questions about the proposed Milton Dairy Queen restaurant, All Points Public Relations associate Rachel Nehring wrote: "We are in the process of finalizing a few details and drafting a press release to announce the new restaurant." She anticipated those materials becoming available next week, she wrote.
Taking several actions, the city’s Plan Commission and common council approved July 7 a certified survey map (CSM) making available a 2.5-acre parcel of city-owned land for purchase by Capital Asset Investments, LLC, upon which the company plans to build a fast food restaurant. The land, 1181 Gateway Drive, is near Kwik Trip.
An offer to purchase the land made by Capital Assets was approved by both the council and Plan Commission on June 16. The CSM divides what was previously a nearly 6-acre piece of city-owned land, leaving a second parcel of 3.28 acres under city ownership to be marketed for future development.
In a separate action, council approved a Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) Development Agreement with Capital Assets, which City Administrator Al Hulick described as a “standard” agreement that was required for the fast food development to occur.
As stipulated within the agreement, the city will sell the land to the developer for $1 and in return, the developer must create a 2,700-square-foot “facility” on the land, which will generate an annual property tax payment of not less than $8,750 for ten years.
“The difference between the land value ($87,500) and the $1 sale price will be the ‘incentive’ for development,” Hulick wrote in a memo to council.
The project has an anticipated completion date of Dec. 31, Hulick wrote, adding that the new value created will be included within the 2021 tax rolls.
The property is located within TIF district No. 6.
Next steps in the process include setting a date for the land sale closing and receiving a site plan from the developer for review by the Plan Commission.
“There is noting else needed,” Hulick said, adding: “The lot has an existing street and utilities.”
Councilmember Larry Laehn asked what would happen if the developer was unable to meet the stipulations within the agreement and did not generate $8,750 in taxes.
“They must meet the minimum tax payment,” Hulick said, adding that the developer is required to pay $8,750 to the city annually for ten years. If the project does not generate the amount in real property taxes, he said, the developer would be required to pay the difference, referenced in the agreement as “tax equivalent payments,” until the full obligation of $87,500 was repaid to the city.
In a follow-up interview, Hulick noted that a personal guarantee for the project was not required because of the size of the amount due.
“As long as they build something there will be value,” he said, noting that any default on taxes would be processed through normal tax collection channels.
Capital Asset Investments, LLC, Manager Michael McKenna did not respond by phone or email by press time to the Milton Courier’s request for verification that the new facility will be a DQ Grill and Chill.
On June 25, a Facebook user named “Michael Patrick” engaged with Facebook commenters responding to a Milton Courier story about the Milton city council accepting an offer to purchase land upon which, Hulick said, a developer, Capital Asset Investments, intended to build a fast food restaurant. After a commenter asked: “Anyone know what franchise it will be?” Michael Patrick wrote: “DQ Grill and Chill.”
According to the Dairy Queen website, the company announced its DQ Grill & Chill concept in 2002 and today has 2,000 restaurants. Features include modern open-air grill design, separate “grill” and “chill” kitchens, and a modern outdoor patio, among others.
The full Dairy Queen system has over 6,000 locations throughout the US, Canada and 20 other countries, according to its website.
A floor plan for a nearly 2,700-square-foot DQ Grill & Chill as shared on the company’s website has a seating capacity of between 66 and 72.