Before the Madison Common Council voted unanimously to approve the University Crossing redevelopment project at the corner of Whitney Way and University Avenue, Noel Radomski, president of the Glen Oak Hills neighborhood association, predicted the area alderman, Mark Clear, would be tossed out of office over it.
"I and others ... are extremely disappointed with [Clear's] leadership, his desire to push through the process without listening to neighborhood associations and without listening to neighborhood citizens," said Radomski, a former alderman who used to represent Clear's district. "Frankly our neighborhood is very happy we'll have a new alder on Jan. 1."
Radomski said that Clear created an adversarial relationship between the neighborhoods that would be affected by University Crossing.
But Clear said that a comprehensive process had been followed for vetting the proposal, which includes a University of Wisconsin digestive health clinic.
Clear noted that six public information meetings on the project were held before May 31 and that he personally sent out 2,000 mailings notifying neighborhood residents about the meetings. Clear said the Glen Oak Hills Neighborhood Association did not get involved in the process until much later.
"I think the process worked very well," Clear told the council. "It was timely. There were many opportunities for public input that resulted in changes for the project."
But resident Amy Kinast said in an interview with Isthmus that Clear actively lobbied for the developer without regard for the residents who would be affected by University Crossing.
Over the summer, Kinst sought designation from the Landmarks Commission for the building that once housed the offices of renowned architect Marshall Erdman.
The commission recommended that the council not designate the buildings as historic and the council voted against the designation Tuesday night.
The Urban Design Commission is scheduled Wednesday afternoon to consider final approval of the general development plan for the project and the specific design plans for the UW digestive health clinic.
Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that the project was not "briefly stalled" by the landmark status application for the Erdman building. It was handled within the planned timeline for approving the University Crossing project.