Dynamic Developer: Creating sustainable projects that benefit the community.
Thirty years ago, the Schenk-Atwood Neighborhood was not what anyone would consider hip, upscale or trendy.
But developer Joe Krupp saw its potential. "It had all the fundamentals that a good neighborhood starts with. The connections were there, the values were really good," Krupp says. "I could see that it was a very vibrant neighborhood, and there was no reason it couldn't be brought back."
While lots of people helped make the neighborhood one of Madison's hippest, Krupp played an influential, early role. In 1985, he bought the historic Kennedy Dairy Barn, which had been built around 1904, to convert into offices for his construction company, Krupp General Contractors.
"[The barn] was in horrendous condition," Krupp remembers. "It had an open roof and there were pigeons living it."
He restored the building, and the city soon declared it a historic landmark. Then Krupp began to look around and noticed: "I'm in the midst of a decaying neighborhood."
While the neighborhood still had lots of residents, its commerce had been devastated by suburban shopping malls. Krupp helped develop the building that would become Monty's Blue Plate Diner at 2089 Atwood Ave., now an anchor in a dining and entertainment mecca. Krupp's development company, Prime Urban Properties, also constructed Kennedy Place, a housing and retail development.
Krupp says most of the city's core urban neighborhoods already have all the assets needed to make them hip.
"There are generational shifts going on, with people now... preferring to live in more traditional neighborhoods," he says. "I can't think of another neighborhood quite like Schenk-Atwood or Willy Street. It's not for everyone, but it is for a growing number of people."