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Madison, WI 53703
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District 3 Blog

Grandview Hwy 51 and Judge Doyle Square (Oh My)

September 9, 2015 6:34 PM

Hi Neighbors,

I've got a lot of info to share so I'll try to be concise. (You know that's not easy for me).


The plans for Grandview Town Center have hit a few snags because the developer's proposed plans do not match what the neighborhood and capital improvement plans call for. The project could face serious hurdles with the Urban Design Committee and Plan Commission (two city committees that the city council look to when deciding whether or not to approve a project) because it features 1 and 2 story single-use buildings when the plan and previous committments on the part of the developer call for taller, multi- and mixed-use, more interesting buildings which will be timeless piece of our neighborhood. The concern is that the currently proposed style, size, and use of the buildings wastes a great opportunity to develop and demonstrate new urbanism and walkable neighborhoods in favor of what is very snazzy and new age mini mall. 


I am currently considering what's best for the neighborhood right now and for the future, and I would appreciate your thoughts on the subject. In your view, should we go for it with this project and get commerce and services moving in this neighborhood, setting aside our original visions for he project? Or do we hold out for a project proposal closer to our original vision and risk losing development in Grandview for another few or even several years? I want to be sure I have all the input I possibly can so please click reply and pen me a quick (or detailed), note on your thoughts. Many thanks.

Hwy 51 and Cottage Grove Road

CG Road--
The current traffic pattern will stay the same for a couple more weeks.

Pedestrians should still use the south sidewalk.

Bicycle lanes will be open in each direction, adjacent to automobiles, but the Capital City Trail will continue to be closed until October.

USH 51--
The USH 51 SB exit and entrance ramps will continue to be closed until October 1, 2015.

We anticipate 1 day time lane closure on northbound USH 51 for bridge maintenance; Tuesday through Friday, 9-3:30 PM.  We are not sure which day, weather pending.
We anticipate a single lane closure northbound USH 51 for bridge maintenance Friday night September 11 6PM-10AM and Saturday night September 12 6PM-11AM.

We anticipate 1 day time lane closure on southbound USH 51 for asphalt paving adjacent to existing USH 51 traffic; Tuesday through Friday, 9-3:30 PM.  We are not sure which day, weather pending.

Judge Doyle Square

When I was talking with many of you earlier this year we had a lot of great conversations about the pros and cons and details of a proposed Judge Doyle Square Project, and I think we should review some of those. Key details of the current proposal are that a biotech company called Exact Sciences would be moving downtown and making a few hundred good paying job hires, and paying most of their way in doing so. The city has money set aside in what's called TIF (tax incremental financing), to help cover what Exact Sciences is unable to put in up front. The downtown building construction will also include a new parking garage to replace the crumbling Government East parking garage, and a 250-300 room hotel. 

Pros - A new parking garage that we need anyway; another hotel bringing in commerce and room tax from tourism; and a huge downtown employer which is accesible via car, bike, or transit. It bears mentioning that large employers shifting out to the suburbs in recent decades has resulted in a more car dependent society, increased carbon emissions, and a gap in accesibility to good-paying jobs for urban citizens, so a major downtown employer like this one is rare gift.

Cons - The city will pay for construction of exra parking spaces which will be used exclusively by Exact Sciences (and ES will collect revenue from these spaces); investing the TIF money in this project means we won't be able to allocate it to the Madison School District. As a coach at La Follette who sees kiddos packed 30 to a classroom, this certainly speaks to me.

Once again, I would truly appeciate you input here. I believe JDS is good investment for the city but I certainly understand those who would rather use the TIF money right now rather than invest it. I have received a good deal of email on this topic already, but not a whole lot from District 3 residents. Please be in touch about your thoughts so that I can make the best-informed vote possible on your behalf.

Well, that's a lot of content for one message! Thank you for reading and considering and for being engaged in our district and our great city. I look forward to hearing from you

Cordially yours,

Amanda Hall
Alder, District 3

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