Four developers, each of whose proposed projects include a grocery store, are interested in building on the vacant, city-owned lot on South Park Street.
After months of unsuccessfully attempting to finalize plans with Welton Enterprises that could provide a grocery store for the area, city officials released a new request for proposals to develop the former Truman Olson United States Army Reserve Center at 1402 S. Park St.
Proposals were due Aug. 9 at 2 p.m.
The request asked for three minimum requirements:
- Construct a grocery store.
- Extend Cedar Street.
- Meet the recommendations of related neighborhood and city plans.
The city is hosting a public meeting Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. at the Madison Labor Temple, 1602 S. Park St. to review the responses. Prior to the meeting, city staff will draft a report regarding the responses and post it online to the city’s project page.
The proposals include:
Maurer’s Market, Mehmert Store Services and Gorman & Company — The joint proposal, with an expected completion date of 2023, calls for a five-story mixed-use building facing Park Street with the first floor designated for a 24,000 square foot grocery store.
“We believe this would be an excellent site for multi-family affordable housing; residents would be ideally located on a bus line and bike path, with easy access to nearby amenities, schools, healthcare, and of course – groceries,” the developers said in the proposal.
The proposal also includes a total of 93 multi-family affordable housing and market-rate units. The developers propose using WHEDA tax credits and making the units available to individuals and families who make between 30% and 60% of the county’s median income.
Additionally, the proposal calls for walk-up townhomes along South Park Street, covered parking for apartment residents and surface parking for grocery store customers and employees. The developers would also extend Cedar Street on the north side.
The grocery store would be financed separately from the housing component, which is estimated to cost $22.9 million.
The housing component would be financed primarily with low-income housing taxes credits and gap financing from sources like the city’s Affordable Housing Fund and Dane County’s Affordable Housing Development Fund. They also plan to use tax increment financing to fund the project.
Rule Enterprises — The Milwaukee-based company proposes a $41 million project that includes constructing two buildings in separate phases.
The first phase calls for a six-story building that would include a 30,000 square foot grocery store, 150 mixed-income housing units and 125 underground parking stalls. The second would be a five-story building that would include an 80-unit workforce housing development aimed at people who currently provide services to nearby businesses and 220 parking stalls
“We believe that the only way to create a sustainable community is by listening to all parties within it,” the developers said in the application.
The developers would request $750,000 from the Affordable Housing Fund and $1.25 million from the city. Rule Enterprises hope to be complete by the end of 2021.
Welton Enterprises — After applying in the first round of request for proposals, Welton submitted an application with two options for the site.
“We took into consideration the feedback provided by the selection committee, city staff and the neighborhood to put forth two options each consisting of two phases that we believe could meet city goals and the needs of the area residents,” Vice President Paul Molinaro said in the application.
Option 1 calls for constructing two buildings in two phases. The first phase would include a four-story building facing South Park Street, a 20,088 square foot grocery store with an outdoor patio and 92 units of market rate apartments.
It would also include 89 surface parking stalls for the grocery store, 92 units of underground parking, a fitness center and community room and rooftop patio.
Phase two would include a four-story building with 94 units of mixed-rate apartment units, underground and surface parking, courtyard patio and a fitness center. Some amenities may be shared between phases.
The second option also calls for two buildings. Phase one has similar parameters as the first option, including unit count and grocery size. No additional surface parking would be available to serve some of the apartments and space for an outdoor patio for the grocery store would be limited.
The second phase would bring 105 units, 86 underground parking stalls and 64 surface parking spots.
The major difference between the options is the location of the extension of the public street. Welton prefers the first option because it “achieves a more urban and pedestrian friendly development.”
Welton would fund the project with a mix of capital including tax increment financing, low income housing tax credits, the city’s Housing Trust Fund and Dane County’s Affordable Housing Fund. The total project cost is estimated at $24.6 million.
The preferred timeline would be for groundbreaking to occur in 2021 with the project finished in 2022.
Valeo, Baehr Inc., Habitat for Humanity of Dane Co., and McShane Construction — The joint proposal integrates a mix of uses, including student and multifamily rental apartments, affordable for-sale town homes, a grocery market and additional retail and food services.
“These uses combine to create a diversity of urban resident interaction and form,” the developers said in the application. “The project is inspired to serve the needs of the area’s workforce, families, students and businesses along with creating jobs within an exciting urban place.”
The front of the site would feature the grocery store and additional retail space at the ground level. Rental housing would encompass five levels above the retail space.
Cedar Street would be the primary entrance for the site with access to the parking structure. The for-sale affordable housing would be located along the parking structure with front patios fronting Cedar Street.
The rental housing program would include a shuttle service that could bring students downtown.
The total project cost is estimated at $87.8 million. The project plan currently does not anticipate using tax increment financing, New Market Tax Credits or other city financing assistance programs other than a 50% cost reimbursement for Cedar Street’s extension.
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