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Do-over coming tonight on Edgewater

By Paul Snyder
staff writer

The Madison Common Council just can’t quit the twice-denied plans for redeveloping the Edgewater Hotel.

The council’s meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. again contains the project, this time in the form of a request by Alderman Michael Schumacher to reconsider last month’s failed vote to overturn the Landmarks Commission’s denial earlier in December.

Schumacher, as well as Alderwomen Judy Compton and Thuy Pham-Remmele were absent from the Dec. 15 meeting, and he said last month that he would only support a reconsideration if he knew the 14 votes were there to overturn the decision. The Dec. 15 appeal failed by only two votes.

The recommendation is on tonight’s agenda and has Schumacher’s name attached, so it might be safe to assume the project’s chances for revival are good. But it still does not guarantee construction any time soon. It only puts the redevelopment right back to the early stages of city approvals.

Plans still need vetting and OK’s from both the Urban Design Commission and Plan Commission, as well as final approval from the Common Council.

Given the concerns about the building’s size from Mansion Hill residents, as well as the Landmarks Commission, the issues likely will only be further magnified if the 14 votes show themselves tonight.

Hammes Co., the Brookfield-based project developer, must like its chances if its willing to reapply itself to Madison’s approval process.

However, there also might be a good reason Council President Tim Bruer has continually referred to a potentially successful appeal only as “life support.”

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