The empty lot at Union Corners, as seen from Winnebago Street and facing East Washington Avenue.
The city of Madison, now the landowner of the 11.4 acre site at the corner of East Washington Avenue and Milwaukee Street, and Gorman & Company, the developer chosen by the city's special Union Corners Committee last November, are still working out the financial details of the project. While neither the city nor Gorman would comment on specifics of the deal, Ald. Marsha Rummel, whose district includes the Union Corners site, wrote in her April newsletter (PDF) that city assistance in the form of tax incremental financing "is part of the negotiation."
Gorman's original development proposal (PDF) sought $14.8 million in TIF support.
Still, despite the challenges inherent in reaching a deal on Union Corners, both sides remain optimistic. Joe Schwenker, a project consultant for Gorman, says "Union Corners is a complicated multi-phase transaction so we need to delve into as much detail now as possible. We have been working cooperatively with city staff to craft a workable agreement for both parties."
Similarly, Don Marx, the city's real estate manager, emphasizes that "both parties are negotiating in good faith. The level of confidence varies at times but both sides are committed on reaching an agreement."
UW Health, meanwhile, is eagerly waiting for the project to move forward. According to UW Health spokeswoman Lisa Brunette, the UW Clinic featured in Gorman's proposal for Union Corners would replace its 33-year-old East Towne Clinic.
She says the Union Corners site would support "expected continuing increases in demand" for UW's services. The location is a draw, too, she adds. "The fact that the Union Corners site is closer to downtown is attractive to us as well."