Loos Custom Homes to develop 13 lots on the northwestern side of Whitewater

At Whitewater’s City Council meeting Loos Custom Homes of Johnson Creek, through Gremar LLC, announced their purchase of 13 vacant lots on the Northwest side of the City of Whitewater. The Council settled on a Developers’ Agreement for construction to begin this year. The agreement was explained to Council by Public Works Director Brad Marquardt.

“We appreciate the effort the Greater Whitewater Committee put forth to attract single family housing to the Whitewater market, they were very instrumental in bringing Loos here,” Common Council President Patrick Singer said before the meeting. “We want to thank Cory and his team for being willing to invest in our community I think they’ll find a lot of demand so hopefully they can get these built quick and filled.”

The Greater Whitewater Committee, Inc. (GWC) with the help of 25-35 professionals (local bankers, realtors and city officials) created the subcommittee called the Single-family Housing Taskforce. The goal of the task force was to work with the City of Whitewater to market the available lots in the city to housing developers in the area, with the ultimate goal of building more single-family homes in Whitewater. An invitation was sent to approximately 50 developers to attend the Single-Family Housing Taskforce meetings. Loos Custom Homes Director of Land Development Cory O’Donnell responded positively and attended every meeting held. “This will be a great project for Loos Custom Homes and Whitewater,” said O’Donnell. “Since the taskforce sent us a letter asking to join them I knew we would make something work to develop in this beautiful city.”

Groundbreaking is planned to start in August of this year for the 13 lots purchased. O’Donnell said after the initial 13 there is an option to purchase 20 more lots. Development of the 20 more could start as soon as 2019. “First Citizens State Bank is happy to be part of a project that will help meet the needs of our customers and our community,” First Citizens State Bank President Jim Caldwell said. “We hope the project creates local jobs, increases patronage to local businesses and increases revenue to our local governments.” Caldwell also said local realtors have told him the demand for single-family housing is high, but the shortage of those homes in the city has made it difficult for families to move. The task force had its first meeting in November 2017. Over the course of six meetings, the task force was able to develop a plan to increase the amount of single-family housing in the City of Whitewater. The first two meetings consisted of identifying why there was a lack of housing in the city. The meetings informed everyone involved what developers needed to begin construction on the land.

“After the first meeting, it became clear there is a need for more marketing of Whitewater to the surrounding areas and to potential developers for positive projects,” GWC President/CEO Jeffery Knight said. “Whitewater has so much to offer and we’ve shown Cory that, now we need to show others.” Knight also mentioned the amount of land potential Whitewater has to offer developers. He stressed the need to market Whitewater and how the task force achieved that goal. Each successive meeting after consisted of working together to create a plan for Whitewater single-family housing and that led to the Loos Custom Homes’ purchase. Guest speakers attended each meeting to inform the task force of the need for single-family housing or the roadblocks to building in the City that may occur. Guest speakers included: University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Economics professor Russ Kashian, Advisors from Ehlers and Associates, Whitewater Neighborhood Services Director Chris Munz-Pritchard, Whitewater Public Relations Specialist Kristen Mickelson and Whitewater Finance Director Steve Hatton. Each meeting ended with a discussion of the next steps and what action needed to be taken to make the City of Whitewater even more successful than what it already is. “This partnership will benefit everyone, and the city will have more homes for its workforce,” GWC Chairman Larry Kachel said. “The GWC couldn’t be happier with the outcome of this task force.”

For more information about the Single-Family Housing Taskforce and the GWC contact Jeffery Knight at jpk@knightpublicaffairs.com or 920.728.0662.

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