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Edgewater redevelopment gets a ‘restart’

By Paul Snyder

The Madison Common Council will revisit the Edgewater Hotel debate on Feb. 23.

The Common Council on Tuesday night unanimously referred the matter to a meeting next month to allow the developer time to get feedback from the city’s Urban Design Commission and Plan Commission before coming to the Common Council for a vote.

At that meeting, the council is expected to vote on land use approvals, whether to allow approximately $16 million in tax incremental financing for the project and whether to overturn the Landmarks Commission’s denial last month of the estimated $93 million redevelopment.

A similar motion was offered by Alderwoman Lauren Cnare at the Dec. 15 meeting, but it failed on a 9-8 vote. The council then failed, by two votes, to get the 14 needed to overturn the denial by the Landmarks Commission.

Bob Dunn, president of the Brookfield-based Hammes Co., said during Tuesday’s meeting that his discussions with various city leaders during the past two weeks have been the “most interesting and most productive” of the project’s process thus far.

“Let us go to (the Urban Design Commission) and the Plan Commission,” he said. “I’m very confident we will fare well. Give us the opportunity to assemble the pieces of the puzzle.”

Alderman Mike Verveer said criticisms of the project’s size and impact on the surrounding neighborhood could still get further discussion on the commissions, but he said the project deserved a more comprehensive review by the city.

“This needs a restart,” he said.

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