Sparta issues RFP for developing vacant downtown lot

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The 7,806-square-foot property, which has 57.4 feet of frontage on East Division, abuts Nash Creek to the north, and just north of the creek is Balyeat Field, home to the Sparta Town & Country Days Festival and other community events and recreational activities. Courtesy Julius Suchy

The Village of Sparta Downtown Development Authority is seeking qualified developers for a privately owned site in its Central Business District.

The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) purchased the property at 223 E. Division St. in 2015 and tore down the structure in 2016, leaving a blank slate to be worked on by a future developer. Village Manager Julius Suchy said the lot is currently a green space.

The DDA is now seeking interested development firms through a request for proposals (RFP) issued on the village’s website.

“Following the review of proposals, the Downtown Development Authority will select the firm that they feel is the best fit for the development site. Once (a firm is) selected, the Downtown Development Authority will proceed with negotiations on a development agreement for the site,” said Elizabeth Morse, DDA director.

The 7,806-square-foot property, which has 57.4 feet of frontage on East Division, abuts Nash Creek to the north, and just north of the creek is Balyeat Field, home to the Sparta Town & Country Days Festival and other community events and recreational activities. The property is within walking distance of Rogers Park, the Sparta Library and a number of other downtown Sparta amenities.

“The DDA would like to see a two-story structure that features main-floor commercial (retail/office) and second-floor residential,” Morse said, adding the DDA would also like to see the creek side of the building utilized via “a walkway, patio, deck or other means.”

The property would not have on-site parking, but it does have parking available within walking distance for potential customers and residents.

Zoning information for the land, as well as environmental site conditions, development incentives and submission guidelines, is available in the RFP.

Interested firms should plan to submit their application to ddadirector@spartami.org by 10 a.m. Aug. 31.

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