City Comes to Agreement to Purchase Union Corners

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - 9:45am

City Purchase to Realize Infill Development Potential

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and Alder Marsha Rummel announced today that the city has come to an agreement to purchase Union Corners using the city's land-banking fund. A resolution authorizing the purchase will be introduced at tonight's Common Council meeting.

"The purchase of Union Corners is an investment in one of the largest and most important infill developments in the city," Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said. "Without city purchase, the site would likely be developed in piecemeal fashion. Now, we will have the opportunity to realize the full potential for an exciting infill development on the East Washington Corridor."

"The purchase of Union Corners utilizing land-banking funds will allow us to plan for the rebirth of this key east side parcel," Alder Marsha Rummel said. "Using land-banking funds is an innovative strategy to insure that this major opportunity for city-building meets the broadest possible community need. For over a year, interested neighbors and other stakeholders have discussed Union Corners with a focus on community benefits. I welcome the opportunity to engage the community in the next phase of creating a new vision for Union Corners."

"Land-banking makes sense at Union Corners," said Dan Melton, Chair of the Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara Neighborhood Association. "This corner is important and valuable, and smart developers know this. Because of the purchase, the city and the neighborhood can expect better use for this site."

Pending Council approval, the city will purchase the Union Corners site for $3.3 million, which is below the city's appraisal of the site at $3.9 million and well below the assessed value of $4.5 million.

"Not only are we able to purchase the site at a low price, but we'll also work on a process to sell the parcel, returning the city's investment and jumpstarting urban infill development in the process," Mayor Cieslewicz said.

"The Union Corners site was part of the inspiration for putting land-banking funding in the city budget this year, so it's appropriate that it should be the first place we put it to use," Council President Mark Clear said. "It's a great match to the land bank criteria that the Economic Development Committee created earlier this year. This purchase is key to the city's core economic development strategy: creating environments where job creation, development and growth can thrive."

The resolution also includes $60,000 from the land-banking fund for a site review analysis, redevelopment plan and development of a process for accomplishing that plan.

  • Rachel Strauch-Nelson, 608-266-4611