Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, June 22, 2024

Metcalfe’s proposes East Wash. location

Two building proposals for the city-owned land along East Washington Avenue envision different futures for the area east of Capitol Square.

Proposed by Metcalfe’s Market, the newest plan for the former site of the Don Miller auto dealership along the 800 block of East Washington is a $45 million package, the centerpiece of which is a new Metcalfe’s location with a rooftop farm.

The city is six months into negotiations with developers over the other proposal for a primarily commercial site with ample parking and office space meant to attract high-tech firms with high-salaried positions.

Tom Neujahr, principal of Urban Land Interests, the developers behind the high-tech commercial proposal, said he was confident in the viability of a plan that would help revitalize and diversify the area.

“The big focus for us is on trying to transform East Washington into an employment center,” he said. “We’ve been very active in pursuing software firms downtown to balance the tenant mix.”

Neujahr said ULI’s 160,000-square-foot plan also features retail space, and the group is in talks with potential tenants for a market that is a “far more appropriate size for the neighborhood [than Metcalfe’s].”

Negotiations have stalled over city concerns about ULI’s proposed timeline for the project. Neujahr said project can be completed in five years; Metcalfe’s project would be finished within a year, according to Ald. Bridget Maniaci, District-2.

“Resoundingly, the neighborhood has more enthusiasm for the Metcalfe’s proposal,” Maniaci said. “These guys are local grocers, not commercial real estate folks.”

While the jobs created by ULI’s plan would be higher paying, the supermarket and hotel included in the Metcalfe’s proposal would create more jobs. The plan also includes office space of its own, which means high-tech companies wouldn’t necessarily be left by the wayside, she added.

 “This is the parcel that is supposed to be catalyst for the entire district,” Maniaci said. “I don’t understand how office buildings on a phased schedule are going to provide the excitement and energy that potential businesses and companies are looking for in the corridor.”

The mayor’s office is expected to make a decision on the proposals within the next month.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Daily Cardinal delivered to your inbox
Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Daily Cardinal has been covering the University and Madison community since 1892. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Cardinal