The Madison Community Development Authority and the Milwaukee-based developer of a pivotal but floundering south-side Madison housing project have reached a deal wherein the CDA will take over.
Percy Brown, city staff to the CDA, notified Lake Point Condo owners Friday morning that "we were informed [May 15] by the Rodmans that they are walking away from the project and handing the keys over to the Community Development Authority immediately. They are done. The CDA will be assuming management obligations. We will be getting back to you shortly with more details."
As Isthmus reported ("Condo Residents to CDA: Help!") on May 1, more than a dozen condo residents -- a majority -- signed a letter asking that the CDA take the reins of the project back from the developer, Jeff Rodman of Milwaukee. They alleged that Rodman had bungled every aspect of the project, from maintenance to marketing. (After two years, only 17 of 50 units have been sold and some remain unfinished.)
Brown, contacted Friday morning, says he was heading into an "emergency meeting" with staff to determine the next steps for the project. "They definitely have walked away," he confirms. "Unfortunately, I can't say anything more."
And yet, Brown did. "It was your story that triggered it," he volunteered.
Really? "That's what we heard people say."
Rodman and his company, Lake Point Madison LLC, purportedly put about $400,000 into the project. Ald. Tim Bruer, who shared the residents' concerns, had suggested to Isthmus that this investment would be lost. Rodman did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
The CDA provided a $2 million loan for the project; this will presumably go into default, with the CDA acquiring full title to the property.