Apartments proposed for Pumpkin Patch development

This photo of the proposed Roers Development apartments shows the new three-story development in the Pumpkin Patch development, with West Main Street to the south and another street, Lantern Lane, servicing the apartments.

The Pumpkin Patch Development on South Thompson Road will include a new apartment building if a Sun Prairie Plan Commission recommendation made Nov. 10 is approved by the Sun Prairie City Council.

Acting on a staff recommendation and following a public hearing, the commission voted unanimously to recommend the council amend a Planned Development District General Development Plan (GDP) to allow residential uses and modify development standards on Lot 1 of the Pumpkin Patch Commercial Shopping District located south of West Main Street and west of South Thompson Road.

Roers Investments LLC, based in Minneapolis, sought approval of the amendment to construct a 200-unit workforce housing apartment complex on the a 5.29-acre lot located south and east of the intersection of West Main Street and South Wildwood Street.

Ross Stitely, representing Roers, and architect Kathleen Laird, from Korb & Associates Architects, made a brief presentation to the commission outlining the project. Stitely and Laird both said Roers Investments has agreed to work with the city to relocate green space and move the building back from the street edge to allow a greener street frontage.

“I just want to take a moment to tell you how excited we are to be working with your city,” Stitely told the commission.

Stitely said the buildings would be leased by tenants who earn 50 percent of the Dane County median income, with a handful of units available to those earning 80 percent of the Dane County median income. He also said Roers intends to apply for WHEDA tax credits and could also apply for City of Sun Prairie tax increment finance (TIF) assistance.

But Sun Prairie Community Development Director Scott Kugler cautioned the commission not to consider the incomes of those who could potentially live there, but instead for the commission to consider the development’s appearance and density when weighing an approval recommendation.

“We should not be considering the occupancy in making a zoning decision,” Kugler said.

In response to another question, Kugler said the commission should not be considering any entitlements to 660 units already granted to another developer along West Main Street between Thompson Road and South Grand Avenue. Kugler recalled the entitlements to Gold Leaf Development include a mix of multi-family residential that could include mixed use developments relying on market conditions before being developed.

Jeff Hundley, from Pumpkin Patch developer Sun Prairie Partners LLC, said several different developments were considered for the parcel, but that Roers was the best fit.

Stitely told the commission that Roers is a “build and hold” developer whose plans include building the complex and holding it for a minimum of 15 years.

The amendment, if approved by the council, will allow the development with a density of up to 32.7 dwelling units per acre to accommodate a three-story, 173-unit multi-family residential development. That could be increased to four stories if the applicant agrees to increase the amount of green space.

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