Madison and Dane County will continue to attract new residents and businesses. Maintaining the quality of our rural and urban settings will require both new development and innovative, sustainable redevelopment. Madison’s isthmus will be key to Madison’s continued economic progress. We need to ensure that new proposals and redevelopment build on the positive attributes of our Isthmus neighborhoods.
- New developments – commercial and residential – that are sustainable, innovative, and set in neighborhoods in ways that make them increasingly vibrant without destroying their character are a positive evolution in our city. The Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Plan and the City’s East Washington BUILD Plan are strong guides for successful development projects. District 2 needs to maintain a mix of housing, rental properties that are affordable, support home ownership by district residents, and enhance and complement neighborhood character. We must also solicit and support local commercial developments that create jobs with living wages.
- Revitalizing the properties along E. Washington Ave. provides a tremendous opportunity for the neighborhood. These developments can bring new residents and families to the neighborhood, which in turn supports our schools and local businesses. New development, which supports an active pedestrian traffic and street life in the neighborhood will improve the overall safety of the neighborhood. Assuring that we appropriately situate development is critical to our quality of life.
- Revitalizing existing buildings supports not only the survival of neighborhood businesses but allows the growth of a thriving small business community. Business opportunities in new developments should be designed to complement our existing businesses.
- Neighborhood residents and business owners need to be part of the critical review of each development proposal to ensure that it is in the best interests of the neighborhood as well as the city.
- Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) must be limited to projects that could not otherwise be done and which accomplish specific city and neighborhood goals. TIF should be provided fairly and with attention to ordinances and TIF guidelines.
- Both the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association and Capitol Neighborhoods have established processes for engaging development teams, businesses, and residents in the review of new proposals. As potential customers for new developments, residents provide important insights that improve development proposals and help to ensure that new developments are in the best interests of the neighborhood and the city at large.
The Impact of Neighborhood Input
The following developments are all examples of neighbors, business people, and developers working to make sure that the right development occurs in the right place, that the buildings add to the character of the neighborhood, that additional residential and business opportunities are created on the isthmus, and that important historic resources are preserved.
– Factory District Apartments at 1222 E. Washington. A blighted property was replaced with a 3-story apartment building with commercial/retail space on the ground level along E. Washington. Neighbors and the developer worked together to reduce the building’s height, thereby reducing the impact on adjacent residential neighborhoods.
– Galaxie. In its finishing stages, this infill project brings 244 apartments, a long-awaited full service grocery, additional commercial and retail space, and 42 condominiums to Tenney-Lapham. The parking garage is shared by residents and businesses, but will also be available for Breese Stevens Field events, helping to reduce the impact of those events on the neighborhood.
– First Methodist Church and 22 E. Dayton. This project involved three parcels and cooperation between property owners. The solution allowed for an expansion of the church, a new attractive 49-unit apartment building, and the relocation of a residential structure to a vacant lot on the same block.
– James Madison Park Houses. The sale of these three buildings to private owners resulted in restoration of the structures to include a bed and breakfast, a single family residence, and a multi-unit residential building. This result maintains the character of the neighborhood and preserves valuable parkland, a win-win-win for residents and D2 and Madison.
– The Women’s Club Building / Samba Brazilian Grill. The Women’s Club Building was constructed in 1907 as a venue for a group of civic-minded women. In 2005, demolition of the building was proposed, but intensive efforts of Madison residents gave a new life to the building and led to restoration and the housing of new specialty restaurants.
– City Row Apartments. This large redevelopment along Johnson St. brought expanded affordable housing in the neighborhood. Input of the neighborhood residents resulted in architecture scaled into three separate buildings which fit comfortably in the neighborhood urban landscape.
– Constellation. This project resulted in an additional 205 rental units as well as increased commercial space in the neighborhood, and brought several new office and retail ventures to this location, including restaurants and cafes. Some apartments have income restrictions of 80% Dane County Median Income.
– Hillel, 611 Langdon St. The redevelopment at Hillel, which included neighborhood input resulted in a building that is striking architecturally and in a scale and mass suitable for the location.
– Quisling Clinic Apartments. The restoration of these two historic buildings, plus an addition to create expanded residential opportunities, was done with sensitivity to the historic district in which it resides as a result of resident input.
These area a few examples of the right development occurring in the right places. These are projects that benefited from strong neighborhood involvement with the development team to work out the details that ensure that new development enhances the character of our neighborhoods.