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County Executive Kathleen Falk Announces Recipients of BUILD Grants for Community Revitalization

For more information contact:

Sharyn Wisniewski (608) 267-8823
Steve Steinhoff (608) 266-4270

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 6/5/2002

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
South Park Street Area Renewal Plan Funded

South Park Street, in the area of Wingra Creek and the Madison Labor Temple, could be transformed into a business district with a traditional “main street” character in the future, as the result of a $25,000 planning grant announced today by Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk.

Falk made the announcement outside the Madison Labor Temple, situated in the heart of the targeted redevelopment area.

The South Madison “Wingra Creek District” planning grant was one of four Dane County Better Urban Infield Land Development (BUILD) community revitalization grants announced today by Falk. The others are in Fitchburg, the village of Oregon and the Town of Windsor.

“I created this grant program with the hope that it would help our wonderful cities, villages and towns create the vibrant downtown atmospheres that make their communities so special,” said Falk.

“This BUILD grant will allow the South Madison Community to take their vision for a mixed-income, mixed density residential and retail/office neighborhood to the next level,” said Falk. “I’m very excited to be a part of expanding opportunity for new public and private investment, jobs and housing options.”

Recent South Madison planning efforts, lead by the South Metropolitan Planning Council, a coalition of neighborhood and business associations, identified the South Park Street Wingra Creek Area as a target for infill and redevelopment.

The general planning area encompasses an area of primarily commercial and light industrial uses, along South Park Street, between Fish Hatchery Road to the west and across Park Street to Franklin Field on the east.

The focused planning area is on 14 acres on the northwest corner of South Park Street and West Wingra Drive. The site is comprised of four parcels: Madison Labor Temple, US Postal Office, Army Reserve Building, and a parking lot.

The South Metropolitan Business Association is actively behind transforming Park Street into a “main street” that attracts and retains business, meets the needs of local residents and is a destination for people to come to do business in a friendly, culturally diverse environment. There are also opportunities to add green space and improve the natural resource character of Wingra Creek.

Other BUILD grants announced today include:

City of Fitchburg, $24,000: Infill Development and Commercial Revitalization of Fitchburg Ridge Shopping Center, $24,000. The Fitchburg Ridge Shopping Center is a strip mall on Fish Hatchery Road suffering from high vacancy rates, and aging buildings and parking. The city plans to hire consulting services to engage property and business owners, nearby residents, city officials and others to develop a plan to reposition the commercial enterprise to better integrate with nearby, mostly low-income residents, by making it more pedestrian friendly, using good urban design, while also capturing customers driving on Fish Hatchery.

Town of Windsor, $24,000: The hamlet of Windsor includes a mix of residential, commercial and institutional uses. The revitalization plan focuses on the rail corridor and blighted conditions adjacent to Depot Street. The Town requested the funds to hire a planning consultant to conduct urban design workshops, stakeholder interviews, visioning sessions, and preparation of general development plans.

Village of Oregon, $7,500: – The village will use the grant for a study on establishing a downtown TIF district for implementing its BUILD-funded downtown master plan. As a follow-up request, the Village will match 50% of cost.

The BUILD program was initiated by County Executive Falk in 1999 to help communities make better use of their existing infrastructure. It has provided financial assistance to 29 planning projects in 19 communities.

The plans are designed to encourage walking, biking and transit, to locate homes, jobs and shops in close proximity, and to enhance neighborhoods and business districts. Funding for BUILD comes from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and County general revenue.

Objectives of the BUILD program include:
-- Make better use of existing infrastructure.
-- Locate community services, jobs and shopping in close proximity.
-- Stabilize and enhance existing neighborhoods, downtowns and business districts.
-- Produce housing and jobs for low to moderate-income people.
-- Avoid converting productive farmland on urban fringes and in rural areas.
-- Provide viable options to auto trips by supporting walking, biking, and transit.
-- Have the potential to clean up environmentally contaminated sites.

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