2 TIF districts aimed at Appvion, old Kmart site

Appleton wants to create two new tax incremental financing districts aimed at rehabbing an industrial corridor on E. Wisconsin Avenue and retail space on W. College Avenue.Kmart site on W. College Avenue.

When a TIF district is created, the amount of property taxes collected by local schools and governments is frozen at the “base” year’s value. Any new tax revenue generated from the rising values — or increment — goes toward paying off the investments — and is diverted from the other taxing entities. Unsuccessful TIFs prolong the time before tax dollars are directed back toward local schools and governments.

The first new district, TIF 9, would pump $7 million between 2014 and 2040 into the E. Wisconsin Avenue area surrounding Appvion, formerly Appleton Papers.

“We’ve had a few developers interested in these sites, and Appvion is looking at doing an expansion that would help position them for the future,” said Karen Harkness, the city’s community and economic development director.

Mayor Tim Hanna said Appvion is crucial to the city’s economy with its 1,000 local employees. The city also wants to help rehab the nearby building used by Eagle Supply and Plastics, which will move in October to Little Chute.

“The Eagle Plastics site has been on our radar for a number of years, we worked hard to keep them in the city and weren’t successful,” Hanna said. “But we have a property that’s ripe for some development.”

The W. College site includes the 12-acre shuttered Kmart plot that has sat dormant since 2008. The new TIF 10 would dedicate $4.7 million between 2014 and 2040 for development.

“It has the former CVS Pharmacy that has been empty since 2009, and an eclectic mixture of industry and commercial in that area with the (Fox Valley) Warming Shelter, St. Vincent de Paul and Car City,” Harkness said.

The city’s Plan Commission approved the two new TIFs so they’ll go to the full council next week. They also need approval by the Joint Review Board, which will meet Sept. 19 with members from other taxing entities.

— Nick Penzenstadler: 920-996-7226, or npenzenstadler@postcrescent.com; on Twitter @npenzenstadler

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