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Saturday, November 29, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 29.0° F  Fog/Mist
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Willy Street Co-op quits Metropolitan Place
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The Williamson Street Grocery Co-operative is terminating its lease in the troubled second phase of the Metropolitan Place project.

Co-op board president Renee Lauber cites costs incurred by the co-op due to development delays as the central reason for opting out, but also acknowledges the disappointment she shares with other co-op stakeholders.

"Although the developer may have struck a deal with the bank to get its project back on track, the costs of the delay have mounted and the landlord remains out of compliance with our lease," says Lauber in a press release issued late Wednesday morning. "Walking away from this deal now is in the best interests of the Co-op and its 14,000 owners. I know that this is disappointing to many of our owners. It certainly is to me."

Co-op general manager Anya Firszt notes in the release that the organization remains committed to opening a second retail location "to better serve our members. The need is clearly there."

The co-op has provided ongoing updates and information about the planning for a store in downtown Madison, and has also published a FAQ about its lease termination with Metropolitan Place. The full text of the press release, meanwhile, is available in the related downloads at right.

The second phase of the 13-story condo project has been tangled in a foreclosure proceeding launched in January, stalling construction while developer Cliff Fisher tries to work out a deal with lenders.

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