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Sunday, December 28, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 26.0° F  Overcast
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Edgewater challenges remain before construction

Expansion of the Edgewater Hotel was by far Madison's most contentious project last year, winning approval from the Common Council after an all-night meeting in May. But there are still some unresolved issues, including an ongoing lawsuit challenging the council's overturning of a Landmarks Commission ruling.

"It's kind of just wait and see," says Fred Mohs, who filed it. "The judge is I'm sure digesting all the briefs."

While no one has enjoined the Edgewater from beginning construction, project supporters say the lawsuit is having this effect. "Will lenders go forward with a project that has a lawsuit over it?" asks Ald. Bridget Maniaci. "Probably not."

Madison City Attorney Michael May raises the same concern: "You should talk to Hammes Company. They say there is a financing impediment so long as the suit is pending."

Hammes Company president Bob Dunn did not return calls from Isthmus.

On Jan. 10, the Plan Commission will hash out the project's "public access management agreement" - that is, which areas will be open to the public and when and how they will be managed. These include outdoor terraces and lakefront access, hours of operation, and rules for using the facility.

Mohs' goal is to stop the project, but should it go through, he wants neighbors to have some say in how it operates. He thinks fashioning rules to address neighborhood concerns "should be easy."

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