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Hats Off To Madison Plan Commission For Large State Street Project

July 23, 2013


In 2000 James and I had our first date at Husnu’s on State Street, and as such it has always been a favorite place for special dinners.  So it might come as some surprise that I am a supporter of the large development project that will transform a block of that street, and remove (hopefully temporarily)  Husnu’s along with Buraka, and Kabul, two other places we love to eat.  It is not that I have lost my nostalgic side that I support the project, but rather can see the need to deal with an area that has a blighted look.  No one can look at the vacant lot behind a wire fence and not consider the possibilities that could bring in more revenue, and add a cleaner look to the area.

I was very pleased that the Madison Plan Commission unanimously recommended a demolition permit and  rezoning to make way for a 12-story mixed-use building on the site.  The project would occupy part of the triangular block bound by State, Frances and Gilman streets.   I am most confident the City Council will approve the final package.   And for good reason, because it makes sense.

The space at present is just not being utilized very well.  Anyone with any ability to make sound judgments can look at the area and see it is needing a severe makeover.  When this project is completed  329 apartments, 22,000 square feet of commercial space, and 7,000 square feet  of flex space to be developed as townhomes or retail will be up and running as ways to entice more people to visit State Street, while providing more tax revenue to the city.  That is a win-win.

I am hoping the three restaurants will return.  There is no reason that they can not, nor should not.  They are very popular and have a fan base among those who love food with flavor.  Perhaps before the final deal is completed there can be some arrangement made so that they can again operate with modified rent for a limited number of years so to make their return to State Street easier.

One Comment
  1. Solly permalink
    July 27, 2013 12:19 PM

    It doesn’t look like they’re asking for any TIF money, so that’s a positive. (Unless that’s hidden outside their planning commission agenda item). You can kiss those unique local restaurants goodbye when they close. The rest of State St. has become too expensive to relocate and most businesses can’t stand a years in limbo. Say hello to a couple of chain restaurants in the new development. By the way, the Public Roast House building has really neat external features, visit it this summer and sit outside at the tables and look at the building while it’s there. I’m surprised Deke, who is willing to lay down in front of bulldozers for old rat trap houses falling down in his hood is so cavalier about old buildings on State St.

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