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East Washington..... anything coming?

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

Re: East Washington..... anything coming?

Postby Ducatista » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:02 pm

fennel wrote:My guess is he's referring to the chance for more "knowledge worker" jobs on the east side.


Yup. And he's right, but "lose this opportunity" is a bit drama-queeny, since choosing, say, Metcalfe's for the 800 block wouldn't rule out high-tech development on nearby parcels.
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Re: East Washington..... anything coming?

Postby snoqueen » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:42 pm

“For 150 years Madison has been either the East Side or the West Side, where the West Side has been hospitals and the university and the East Side has been Oscar Mayer and manufacturing. ... If we go with the Metcalfe proposal, we lose this opportunity, which could have a century impact on our city,” he said.


I'm not sure what he meant by this either.

A grocery store -- coop, Metcalfe's, whatever -- would be a big improvement for the whole east-downtown including the Old Market neighborhood, east Tenney-Lapland, and the condo dwellers on and off the square. I don't know if the shoppers have to be "knowledge workers" or not, but in terms of making a neighborhood liveable and reducing time- and gas-wasting trips all over the place, nothing beats a good grocery within half a mile or so.

If the neighborhood is convenient and popular, businesses with jobs will naturally locate where people want to live. Looking at E. Wash and E.Main right now, I would not say we're running out of space.

So if I get what Soglin might have been trying to say here, I have to say I don't agree.
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Re: East Washington..... anything coming?

Postby Ducatista » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:55 pm

Pretty sure Soglin was alluding to the historical (and planned) west/east divide, with a white-collar/academic west side, and a blue-collar/manufacturing east side. And ULI development, with its emphasis on high-tech tenants, would bring a little of that white-collar lovin' over to the east side.

Yeah, fine, bring on the tech. But I'd prefer a good grocery, and don't believe the two are mutually exclusive.
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Re: East Washington..... anything coming?

Postby narcoleptish » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:06 pm

Yeah, I think Duca and Fennel are right about Soglin's meaning, but I think the E Wash/Willy st corridor is already home to, and attracting more, non-blue collar jobs. That's only going to continue no matter what goes in the 800 block. ULI is also proposing a fairly short building (3 or 4 stories?) considering what is being allowed there. The 700 block project is 12 stories. I think it's lower density than it should be.
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Re: East Washington..... anything coming?

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue May 08, 2012 12:01 pm

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Re: East Washington..... anything coming?

Postby Stebben84 » Tue May 08, 2012 1:09 pm



Sounds like a horrible plan. I appreciate bringing jobs to that area, but you're gonna put up a glorified office building as part of the gateway into the city. I thought the Metcalf's idea was much more interesting, could happen quicker, and could spur other plans. This one is ho-hum.
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Re: East Washington..... anything coming?

Postby Stu Levitan » Thu May 10, 2012 12:14 pm

Can you imagine what E Wash would be like today if the old MATC board hadn't pulled a bait-and-switch and killed the downtown campus expansion in 1975?
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Re: East Washington..... anything coming?

Postby Bwis53 » Thu May 10, 2012 2:13 pm

Yeah, that's painful to think of. There still is a substantial presence of MATC now, (downtown) isn't there?
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Re: East Washington..... anything coming?

Postby doppel » Thu May 10, 2012 2:17 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:Can you imagine what E Wash would be like today if the old MATC board hadn't pulled a bait-and-switch and killed the downtown campus expansion in 1975?


Why no, no I can't. Why don't you enlighten us with your opinion on "what might have been", Mr. Soothsayer? Your question makes it sound like it might be very scary. Would we have needed to hide the children and womanfolk too?
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Re: East Washington..... anything coming?

Postby Stu Levitan » Wed May 16, 2012 10:04 am

Huh?
It would have been the greatest, most important, most beneficial thing ever built east of the Capitol. Would have saved the bus system, spurred tremendous downtown economic development, slowed sprawl. VTAE Board's decision was the worst, most destructive local land-use decision in our history.
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Re: East Washington..... anything coming?

Postby gargantua » Wed May 16, 2012 11:19 am

Stu Levitan wrote: VTAE Board's decision was the worst, most destructive local land-use decision in our history.


After my initial reaction of, wow, that's some hyperbole there, I have to admit I was hard-pressed to come up with something worse, at least in my lifetime. I remember how vehemently Soglin opposed that decision.

Nominees for other horrible land use disasters: Failing to keep Epic in the city, and the construction of East and West Towne Malls, which killed retail on the Square.
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Re: East Washington..... anything coming?

Postby narcoleptish » Wed May 16, 2012 3:19 pm

gargantua wrote: the construction of East and West Towne Malls, which killed retail on the Square.


I'm inclined to agree with you but I have to wonder if we would have anything like the downtown that we do now if the malls hadn't been built. The cycle of the downtown being abandoned by retail, sitting somewhat vacant for a time and then having rents drop to the point where these spaces were available to young adventurous local businesspeople, is really what gave us the eclectic mix of locally owned businesses that we have today.

Even if the malls had never been built, the population would have still grown and the evolution of retail into big-box type stores would have still happened and our square could have ended up all chain stores and parking ramps.

Which I think would suck.
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Re: East Washington..... anything coming?

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:54 pm

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Re: East Washington..... anything coming?

Postby Bwis53 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:46 pm

I hope Metcalfe's can make an attractive proposal.
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Re: East Washington..... anything coming?

Postby Ducatista » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:54 pm

I second that, Bwis!

Unfortunately: "Soglin said the city should prepare a new request for proposals for the site — and another one across the street — but not move ahead until the city selects a developer for the vacant, city-owned 11.4-acre Union Corners site at the corner of East Washington Avenue and Milwaukee Street."
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