Redevelopment surges on Madison's East Washington corridor

Published: Jan. 7, 2020 at 7:12 PM CST
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In the last decade, Madison has seen a surge of redevelopment along the East Washington corridor, including new hotels, housing and entertainment venues.

City officials said they could see development double in the next few years, including more affordable housing and retail space. These changes are attracting developers who said they want to be part of the excitement.

One developer is Frank Productions, which

back in 2017. President of the company Matt Gerding said they chose the East Washington Corridor for a reason.

"Taking advantage of all of the exciting things happening here would be the perfect location and the right time," Gerding said.

in the fall of 2018, and Gerding said he has seen the area come to life.

"Just a whole lot more activity, there's foot traffic happening, there's tons of events at Breese Stevens Field," he explained.

Frank Productions is not the only developer taking notice. North Central Group (NCG) announced in December

on East Washington Ave., set to open in 2022.

"There's so many great studios, businesses, restaurants, entertainment venues," said Andrew Inman, Vice President of Development at NCG.

NCG hopes these nearby attractions bring customers to the Moxy Madison hotel, and they want to use their space to encourage people to explore the area.

"People can have a cocktail, enjoy themselves and then maybe go out to experience some of the great restaurants on the East Washington corridor," Inman explained.

These changes come after City of Madison leaders created a redevelopment plan for the area in 2008. Since 2013, development has taken off.

"We've seen at least a major project, if not more, each year," said Heather Stouder, Director of Madison's Planning Division.

Stouder said in the last seven years, over 1,400 housing units and 1 million square feet of commercial space have been built or approved.

The city has focused on creating more space for businesses and employers with access to public transit. Officials have also tried to create more walk-able options for nearby residents.

"It's providing a built in way that someone could choose to live, work and play in one six-block area," Stouder said.

Even with all these changes, city officials said there is still more to do.

"There's still a lot of properties that are either vacant or significantly underutilized, so it wouldn't be surprising if over the next 10 years, that we double the development that we see here today," said Matt Mikolajewski, Economic Development Director for the City of Madison.

However, developers still said the community has come together to support the neighborhood.

"Everyone's working together and sharing in the rewards and I think everyone has a bit of a shared vision for what we see for the future of this neighborhood," said Gerding.

The changes on East Washington have also been a financial boost for the city. Mikolajewski said the city invested around $30 million in the area, and they gained $300 million in a new tax base.

Stouder and Mikolajewski said they expect this neighborhood to keep growing.