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Marcus theater project heading to Sun Prairie

By Paul Snyder

Marcus Corp. spokesman Carlo Petrick confirmed Wednesday the company abandoned its plans to build a 16-screen theater complex in Madison, and instead will build in Sun Prairie.

“Sun Prairie has a more advantageous site to develop in,” Petrick said. “The Madison project would have been part of a larger development that included other commercial buildings.”

Marcus originally planned to develop a 26-acre site in Madison that would have the theater serve as an anchor for a variety of other retail and restaurant spaces. Although the company received preliminary approval from the city’s Urban Design Commission, Plan Commission and Common Council, it never developed a detailed site plan for the project.

In August, the company acquired an option to buy 16 acres of land in Sun Prairie’s Prairie Lakes retail area. Neil Stechschulte, the city’s economic development director, said with a new Target already built in the area, Marcus is not under as much pressure to serve as an anchor tenant and attract new development.

The Sun Prairie City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the company’s plans for the project.

Stechschulte said all the company has to do now is request a building permit.

“They could start as early as spring,” he said.

The news serves as another loss to Madison’s private sector growth after the Common Council Wednesday did not overturn an appeal to grant the Edgewater Hotel redevelopment a certificate of appropriateness.

Without a revote or an effort by Brookfield-based Hammes to redesign the plans further, the $93 million Edgewater project is dead.

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