City Announces Major Progress in Capitol East District

Monday, October 18, 2010 - 7:58am

Agreement to Purchase Don Miller, Madison Sustainability Center to Accelerate Economic Development Efforts

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and Alders Marsha Rummel and Bridget Maniaci joined neighborhood and business leaders to announce that the city has signed a letter of intent to purchase Don Miller on East Washington Avenue. The City also announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has approved a $300,000 grant for the Madison Sustainability Commerce Center, to be located in the district.

"The Capitol East District has been the site of ambitious city efforts to encourage infill development for several years. But we know that especially in this economic climate, we must do more," Mayor Cieslewicz said. "This purchase can be the spark that ignites these economic development efforts. Today is a major step forward in realizing the tremendous potential in the Capitol East District to encourage development, grow our tax base and create jobs."

The purchase will use city land-banking funds, pending passage of the 2011 city budget.

"The Don Miller parcels offer a unique location to achieve our employment and residential redevelopment goals on both sides East Washington Avenue. It represents the first step in the evolution away from a suburban-oriented highway development to a more sustainable and urban live-work employment district," Alder Marsha Rummel said. "The purchase of the Don Miller site using land-bank funds follows years of planning and discussion involving the adjacent neighborhoods, Capitol East businesses, alders and other stakeholders on how to grow and green this historic commercial and industrial corridor. With this purchase the city can help direct the revitalization of this important gateway. I join with leaders of the Marquette Neighborhood Association, Greater Williamson Area Business Association and neighbors across the Avenue in welcoming this exciting opportunity."

"This purchase is the first step that will lead to exciting reinvestment and growth in our East Isthmus neighborhoods, and it puts Madison in a competitive position to bring needed jobs and new industries to our city," Alder Bridget Maniaci said. "My neighborhood will benefit tremendously from new services, jobs and neighbors that this site will develop in the coming years."

The city will acquire the 7.76 acre site for $4.73 million, break it into smaller, marketable parcels and position the property for development.

"One of the longstanding barriers to progress in the Capitol East District has been the size of available parcels," Mayor Cieslewicz said. "City purchase means we can acquire the site for a reasonable price, break it into smaller parcels, and return the city's investment. In the long-run, it means tapping into the potential to grow our tax base and create jobs by building this area into the next major employment hub for the region."

The purchase will use city land-banking funds, pending passage of the 2011 city budget.

The Madison Sustainability Commerce Center will bring together leading entrepreneurial firms in the field of sustainability. HUD's $300,000 grant will go toward business planning and market analysis for the Center.


  • Rachel Strauch-Nelson608-266-4611