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Landmarks Unanimously OK's State Street Project

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Landmarks Unanimously OK's State Street Project

Postby Stu Levitan » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:39 pm

In case you missed it, the Landmarks Commission voted unanimously to give all approvals necessary for the revised Overture Foundation project on State Street.

As it is said, "All's well that ends well."
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Re: Landmarks Unanimously OK's State Street Project

Postby Huckleby » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:54 pm

I thought the Landmarks commission was dissolved. My bad, I guess.

ps. The Edgewater opponents said a new development project would arise out of the ashes of the old one. What's the status report there?

pss. Yes, I'm bitter.

psss. Not really, I laugh to keep from crying.
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Re: Landmarks Unanimously OK's State Street Project

Postby Mad Howler » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:36 am

Huckleby wrote:I thought the Landmarks commission was dissolved. My bad, I guess.

ps. The Edgewater opponents said a new development project would arise out of the ashes of the old one. What's the status report there?

pss. Yes, I'm bitter.

psss. Not really, I laugh to keep from crying.


With all due respect, I have a hard time understanding why the edgewater situation should capture the general attention of this region. Given it's tucked away location I can't seem to understand the urban development goals that, I believe, are tied to such expenditures with regard to TIF. I do believe it is as sweet as spot as ever to tie you're boat off and have a drink, just realize that the pilot your boat should be mindful of "operation dry water".
http://www.channel3000.com/news/Drunken ... index.html
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Re: Landmarks Unanimously OK's State Street Project

Postby Huckleby » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:37 am

Mad Howler wrote: With all due respect

thanks for the props :lol:

I kinda get where you are coming from, I don't see the Edgewater as an eyesore, even though I may have peevishly refered to it as such in past arguments. But it is crumbling and expensive to maintain, they need to do something to be profitable. I was OK with the aesthetics of the proposal.

Speaking of boats, they could use an improved and expanded peer.

I've come to grudgingly accept that maybe the TIF offered was too generous, but that is over my pay grade.
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Re: Landmarks Unanimously OK's State Street Project

Postby Meade » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:58 am

Stu Levitan wrote:In case you missed it, the Landmarks Commission voted unanimously to give all approvals necessary for the revised Overture Foundation project on State Street.

Really? Is it... confirmed?
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Re: Landmarks Unanimously OK's State Street Project

Postby snoqueen » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:20 am

I am happy to hear a plan has been proposed that eliminated some of the very bad ideas in the first iteration. To have something more attractive than service entrances across from Overture would be a nice visual improvement. I will be very glad if the Fairchild building is refurbished -- it's worthy and far better than a stinky, noisy cafe at the side of the curb.

Thanks to everyone,who helped -- and Austin is at the top of the list, I think.

Lesson for future prospective developers: follow existing guidelines (including landmark designations) and written, accepted neighborhood development plans and your proposal will likely walk through the process with minimal re-doing.
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Re: Landmarks Unanimously OK's State Street Project

Postby Huckleby » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:24 am

Where is the proposal to redevelop Edgewater?

If everything is fine, why the dead end there?
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Re: Landmarks Unanimously OK's State Street Project

Postby Detritus » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:34 am

Huckleby wrote:Where is the proposal to redevelop Edgewater?

If everything is fine, why the dead end there?

Dunno. You might ask the owner. I understand that they're usually the ones responsible for that sort of thing--kind of like the Block 100 folks did.

I doubt the owner frequents TDPF.
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Re: Landmarks Unanimously OK's State Street Project

Postby Huckleby » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:34 pm

It's always much easier to block change than to implement something new. Reactionary forces can exagerate risks, sentimentalize how things look or behave. And if the reactionary side gets their way, the real sweet part is a near total lack of accountability. Ten years from now, people aren't going to much notice that the decaying edgewater is under-used, and a shadow of its potential. Ten years from now, people won't be highly critical of the lack of high speed rail connecting Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison. They're used to the way things are.

Every historical landmark started out as somebody's vision for something new and better.
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Re: Landmarks Unanimously OK's State Street Project

Postby Stu Levitan » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:48 pm

You do understand, Huck, that Mayor Soglin killed the Edgewater plan because of the TIF, not historic preservation concerns, and that Landmarks Commission isn't responsible for the situation. In fact, Landmarks APPROVED an 850,000 cubic square foot addition, but Hammes Co. would not accept anything less than 1.3 million csf. If developer had taken a partial yes for an answer (the way Frautschi's have now done), new Edgewater would be built and open.

I mean, you do understand all that, right? And yet you keep making irrelevant and inaccurate commentary. Odd, that.
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Re: Landmarks Unanimously OK's State Street Project

Postby Huckleby » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:10 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:You do understand, Huck, that Mayor Soglin killed the Edgewater plan because of the TIF, not historic preservation concerns .... I mean, you do understand all that, right? And yet you keep making irrelevant and inaccurate commentary. Odd, that.


ya, I get that. My commentary is neither inaccurate or irrelevant just because the TIF was ultimately decisive.

The landmark issue really didn't play that much of a role politically (it got limited traction with public, IMO.) But it was one more obstructionist, procedural hurdle thrown up. The council was barely able to muster a super majority, the outsized power of the Landmark Commission was on full display.

The passion, the shitstorm, the wall of opposition was driven 50% by fear of change and fear of penetration by a large, hard object. Why, Snoqueen refered to the Big Build as a giant fang plunged into the serene lake. Images of the Mendota shoreline turning into a Miami Beach were presented.
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Re: Landmarks Unanimously OK's State Street Project

Postby snoqueen » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:39 pm

Edgewater did not comply with the height restrictions, scale requirements, and much more of the relevant neighborhood plans (which are formal documents, not figments of someone's imagination). In my opinion, its design was also inappropriate and unrelated to anything else in the area and I said so on this forum. I know you disagreed, and that's fine. But in the end the design wasn't the decisive factor and to act like it was is uninformed.

Honestly, sometimes you're like my dog when he thinks his bone is under the refrigerator. He just won't quit, and neither do you. This thing is DONE.

The big Edgewater stumbling block turned out to be poor use of TIF funds, as you know. The city did an analysis (which is its job, since its credit rating is on the line) and in the end that analysis ruled. It's very hard to regulate design, which is highly subjective. Sometimes, however, a good fight will result in changes that make everyone happier. We seem to be on that path with Overture II, and that's great.

With Edgewater, the numbers didn't work. The developer apparently has not been able to find private funding for the plan, which says something about its perceived success possibilities as an enterprise as seen by whatever bankers and financiers Dunn tried to work with. Maybe we've heard the end of it, maybe not.

I'd say the city dodged a disaster with Edgewater and is on a path to success with Overture II's thoughtful redesign. The procedure worked in both instances, and worked very well.
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Re: Landmarks Unanimously OK's State Street Project

Postby Ducatista » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:04 pm

Edgewater was a useful campaign issue for Soglin, much as rail was for Walker. Two politicians I don't like killed two developments that would've improved my neighborhood. Super.
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Re: Landmarks Unanimously OK's State Street Project

Postby Huckleby » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:35 pm

Spending fights are never just about numbers.

The train haters claim they were against the project because it would be an economic drain. True enough, or at least there was a risk to be assumed, but they also don't like spending on public transportation.

Walker says he trimmed Badger Care because we have a budget crisis. I think most WI voters agree with that assessment. But behind the action was an ideological fervor to lessen government dependence.

Sure, the TIF was the tipping point. Maybe some genuinely only cared about that issue. The big fight was over values, and setting priorities. If the right people wanted that renovation badly enough, the TIF money would have been found.

Maybe the right choice was made in the end, I don't know. I ain't buying it was purely or even mostly a financial decision.
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Re: Landmarks Unanimously OK's State Street Project

Postby Huckleby » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:46 pm

snoqueen wrote: With Edgewater, the numbers didn't work. The developer apparently has not been able to find private funding for the plan, which says something about its perceived success possibilities as an enterprise as seen by whatever bankers and financiers Dunn tried to work with. Maybe we've heard the end of it, maybe not.

If we've heard the end of it, that represents a boondogle, a lasting failure.

It's understood that private funding is inadequate. The lack of any new private/public proposals to arise suggests that the original TIF proposal was in the ballpark of what is needed from public financing to make something work.

I know you thought a more modest project might emerge. I kinda doubt it, I guess they need to add a lot of rooms to make it work, but we'll see.
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