Oak Creek At Wednesday night's Town Board meeting, Oak Creek agreed to sell almost an acre of land to Dave Epstein, owner of Oak Creek's Chelsea's restaurant and several other properties in town, for a small housing development.
The land, located behind the former Wave Sport kayak factory on the corner of South Arthur and Diagonal streets, has been empty for years. The parcel came into the spotlight this summer when board members discussed auctioning off 36 unused town-owned lots.
The property acquired by Epstein on Wednesday is made up of 19 lots and is perched on a hill overlooking downtown.
It is currently used by the town for snow storage in the winter but was set aside by the town years ago for employee housing.
The town agreed to sell the land for $80,000, a price that board member Mike Kien questioned at a previous board meeting.
"I think your numbers are low, but I want something up there so bad that I'm willing to eat some of the dollars I think this land is worth," Kien said.
Epstein argued the land needed a lot of work before it could be developed, such as bulldozing much of what is now a hillside to make it flat and buildable.
Epstein said the land has potential for nine single-family homes.
Epstein's proposal was submitted in the name of Oak Creek Partners LLC. Epstein did not reveal the names of his fellow investors, only that they were Coloradans he has known since childhood.
During his initial presentation, Epstein told the board he had been working on the idea for a year and it was to be phase one of a three-phase project.
He offered the board $5,000 in earnest money at that time and a contract with the town that would have him building the first house next April.
The planning commission called a special meeting to review his plans in time for the next Town Board meeting.
The sale is contingent on approval by the town's attorney, Bob Weiss.