After the construction of two affordable housing projects and a medical clinic, it’s time for the neighborhood to weigh in on the fourth phase of the Union Corners project: a four-story mixed-use building.
There will be a neighborhood meeting on the project on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 6:30 p.m. at Bashford United Methodist Church, 329 North St.
This is the fourth phase of the Union Corners project on Madison’s east side. Gorman & Company is the developer. The Nexus apartment building will soon be making its way through the city approval process for a Specific Implementation Plan (SIP) approval.
The 90-unit Nexus at the corner of East Washington Avenue and Milwaukee Street will contain four floors of market-rate apartments. There will also be about 17,000 square feet of retail space and 91 surface parking stalls.
The original Specific Implementation Plan for the site, as approved by the city in 2015, called for a five-story building 100 apartments, 10,000 square feet of commercial space and a 28,000 square-foot grocery store. It also had 241 stalls of parking, most of which were to be underground.
Tim Parks, a planner with the city of Madison, said Gorman must come back for approvals because the 2015 approval expired and “plans for then versus now are sufficiently different enough to warrant a new approval.”
In 2017, the Wisconsin State Journal reported that Gorman was having trouble finding a grocer to take the space after Fresh Thyme backed out. That story pointed out that there are several grocery stores near the site, including the Festival Foods and Hy-Vee stores on East Washington Avenue.
Asked about the possibility of a grocery store Tuesday, Ted Matkom, Wisconsin market president for Gorman, said the firm “would love to find a grocery store that fits within this space.”
According to Ald. Marsha Rummel’s blog, the new SIP would need approval from the city’s Urban Design Commission, Plan Commission and City Council. Matkom said Gorman could possibly submit its plans to the city in March “if the neighborhood is receptive.”
The first phase of the Union Corners was the UW Health clinic on the corner of East Washington Avenue and Sixth Street. Next was Carbon at Union Corners, 2504 Winnebago St., a 90-unit housing development with 76 affordable units.
The third phase was the GrandFamily building, 2507 Winnebago St., intended for families where grandparents or extended family members — rather than parents — are raising children. The city has committed $950,000 to the $12 million project that will build 60 units, 56 of which will be affordable. Construction is scheduled to be completed later this year.