Council approves TIF plan for downtown apartments

MARSHALL — Plans for a new apartment complex in downtown Marshall took two more steps forward on Tuesday. Marshall City Council members approved a Tax Increment Financing district to help developers pay for site, utility and parking improvements — although they weren’t all in agreement on it.

Later, the council also approved updates to part of West Lyon Street that would include more on-street parking near the new apartments.

Construction of a 39-unit apartment building at the corner of Lyon Street and First Street is still planned to start sometime this spring.

In a public hearing on the proposed TIF district, Marshall City Administrator Sharon Hanson went over the history of Block 11, the block at the intersection of College Drive and Main Street where a mixed-use development is being proposed.

“This particular area of our community has been in our development plans for a long time,” Hanson said. Block 11 was included in a downtown revitalization plan in 1996. The city began gradually buying up vacant properties on the block in 2002.

There had been proposals to develop the block over the past few years, but they did not come to fruition. Now, Coldwell Banker Commercial Fisher Group is proposing to build a total of three buildings with residential and commercial space.

The developer is seeking a 26-year, $1.302 million TIF agreement for all three phases of the project.

“It’s basically pay-as-you-go,” Marshall city attorney Dennis Simpson said of the TIF agreement. The total estimated tax increments that would be generated by the development would be $2.6 million.

At the hearing, council member James Lozinski asked why the apartment units were all planned to be market rate.

“I’d 100% support this if it had some kind of an affordable housing aspect,” Lozinski said. “All our studies say we need workforce housing.”

Hanson said she wasn’t sure if the development project would move forward with a requirement for affordable housing units.

Council member John DeCramer said the city was in need of increased housing of all types. A 2021 housing study identified a need for 108 market-rate housing units in Marshall, in addition to affordable housing.

Council members voted 4-2 to approve a TIF district for the Block 11 development project, with council members Lozinski and Russ Labat casting the votes against.

The council also held a public hearing on proposed street improvements on Lyon Street, between College Drive and First Street. City engineer Jason Anderson said that, in addition to reconstructing that stretch of the road, the plan would be to add some on-street parking spaces as well.

Council members voted to approve the street project.


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