Developer hopes to add second set of apartments in Edgerton
EDGERTON Edgerton could see a second set of renovated tobacco warehouse apartments sometime next year if developer Dan Rinehart can land a blend of city and state funding to help push the project forward.
Rinehart recently shared plans for the 21,000-square-foot, three-story former tobacco warehouse on West Fulton Street, which he plans to transform into one- and three-bedroom apartments.
It’s the second former tobacco warehouse renovation planned by Rinehart, who said he views it as the second phase of a two-part package.
Rinehart in May finished a $1.3 million renovation on an aging two-story warehouse at 315 W. Fulton Street. The project divided both floors of the 19,000-square-foot building into two–bedroom units.
That complex is next door to the three-story warehouse Rinehart now plans to renovate. He said he has some financing in place, and work could start as early as January if he can secure more funding.
Rinehart said talks are ongoing between him, the city and the lender who financed the first warehouse project. The city had given $285,000 in tax increment financing loan incentives for the first project.
Rinehart said he’s in talks with the city for a similar deal on the second renovation, although the city council had not approved that deal.
The plan for the second renovation would include parking, and some of the apartments would be two-story, three-bedroom units with vaulted ceilings, he said.
Rinehart did not give a full price tag on the project but the aging building, like the first warehouse, needs extensive renovations, he said. The project also hinges on a plan to tear down two nearby rental houses Rinehart has owned since buying the warehouses in 2003.
The houses, which are in front of the first warehouse, would give way for more parking space, Rinehart said.
Work to remove the houses would push the project’s price tag $200,000 higher than what lenders and city officials have indicated they’d be willing spend to aid the development, he said.
Rinehart said one city official suggested he apply for a state grant that focuses specifically on renewing blighted urban properties.
“These warehouse properties fit many of the criteria for that kind of grant,” he said. “You don’t get any more blighted than these buildings.”
Indeed, Rinehart brought the first warehouse back from the brink, replacing the building’s roof, shoring up large areas of brick façade that were literally sliding off and adding an extensive fire sprinkler system.
Rinehart said the first apartments have brought in 30 tenants—mostly professionals who commute to and from Madison—and he’s had “100-percent occupancy” since the apartments’ completion.
He also said rent, which ranges in the mid $700s, is less than that being charged for competing warehouse apartments in Madison.
Rinehart believes demand is strong enough that he can parlay the success of the first project into the second. That’s always been the plan, he said.
“It’s always been looked at by everyone involved, the city, lenders and me as a two-part plan; a package,” he said. “This is one of the final pieces to fix in Edgerton’s Tobacco Row. It’s really going to revitalize the downtown.”