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Sunday, March 03, 2024

City committee discusses East Washington plans

A city committee considered proposals for a future development on the 800 block of East Washington Ave. at a meeting Thursday.

Three companies, C.D. Smith Construction, T. Wall Enterprises and Gebhardt Development, submitted proposals for the development, which will be a mixed-use structure including residential and commercial space with a grocery store.

The committee did not make a decision on which proposal to support at the meeting, although community members who spoke at the meeting’s public forum mainly supported the Gebhardt development, calling it the most exciting proposal.

Gebhardt Development’s proposal includes a Metcalfe’s Market grocery store, bicycle and pedestrian accessibility as well as modern housing units.

The city’s Planning and Economic Development Division recommended the Gebhardt proposal for approval.

David Waugh, development chair of the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association, said the proposal was a great example of businesses the city needs to attract to the area around the 800 block of East Washington.

“I think the rooftop farm and the sustainability industry focus in the Gebhardt proposal is a great example of the types of businesses we need to be attracting here,” Waugh said.

However, Mark Sweet, who spoke on behalf of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union, voiced concerns over an ongoing labor dispute at Metcalfe’s Market.

Metcalfe’s owner Tim Metcalfe said the business has successfully negotiated numerous contracts with UFCW over the years and expects to do the same in the current situation.

The two other proposals also included a grocery store, but each partnered with Fresh Madison Market.

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