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Prime Oshkosh riverfront sold to new developer

The former site of the Morgan Door Co., a prime waterfront property on Oregon Street that has been dormant for years, has been sold to a new developer.

What happens next at the site is unclear. “Nothing has been submitted to the city for approval,” said Kelly Nieforth, Oshkosh’s director of community development.

“It will have a positive impact on Oshkosh,” said Sam Zyndorf, the broker who represents the new owners and who runs the Toledo, Ohio, office of Signature Associates, a commercial real estate firm based in Southfield, Michigan.

He said the new owners will not be pursuing a residential project or an industrial one. But he said he could not be more specific.

“I really can’t disclose anything yet because my client doesn’t want it to be disclosed until they announce,” Zyndorf said.

An announcement may come next year, “but that’s not for me to decide,” he said.

The other kind of real estate development is commercial, which is a very broad category that can include stores, offices, hotels, amusement parks, casinos and churches.

The location has been branded as the Morgan District, and initial plans dating to 2016 called for $70 million of investment leading to a “mix of multifamily housing, light commercial and retail uses, and a combination of middle to high end condominiums.”

At the time the city approved roughly $40 million in tax-based development incentives and infrastructure improvements. It was to be the site of a downtown grocery store, but uncertainty about whether the Oregon Street bridge might be raised helped to stall momentum.

In 2017 the 27-acre site was marketed as a possible location for Oshkosh Corp.’s global headquarters, which eventually ended up at the old Lakeshore Municipal Golf Course. The riverfront property was listed then for about $3 million.

The following year an impatient Common Council threatened to pull a liquor license from the project but eventually approved a general development plan for a 400-unit residential project, including townhouses and apartments. That construction would have occurred on an 11-acre part of the site at an estimated cost of $30 million.

Since then, and especially in the last year, the city has seen a flurry of development activity, directly across the river and to the west and east of the Morgan District.

Projects that have been approved in concept, started or completed in 2021 include the Brio Building, Mackson Corners, the Boatworks, Miles Kimball and the Mill on Main.

The sale of the Morgan District site occurred “a couple of weeks ago,” said Grant Schwab, one of the founders of the Morgan Partners, the Oshkosh real estate company that put together the original development plans. He declined further comment.

As of early this week, the transaction had not been recorded by the register of deeds and did not appear in the city’s assessment database.

The new owners would be eligible for incentives based on the existing tax increment district that the Morgan District is part of, Nieforth said. But that district is scheduled to close in 20 years, which could reduce the value of incentives available.


Posted By: Oshkosh Examiner on December 8, 2021.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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