Edgewater project at standstill - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Edgewater project at standstill


MADISON (WKOW) – It has been in the works for years, but Mayor Paul Soglin says there is not much hope left for the Edgewater Hotel redevelopment project.

The mayor says it is too little, too late. The developer will not get public funding for the Edgewater project this year.

Mayor Soglin says the developer is not cooperating, but the developer says the mayor is trying to change the rules in the middle of the game.

"It is too late, and they know that," Soglin said. "They have known that for months."

"This project is not dead," said Ald. Bridget Maniaci. "It is still moving forward."

The Edgewater picture looks drastically different, depending on the person.

"When there is a will there is a way," Maniaci said.

"My own personal opinion, it was a project that would not work financially from day one," Soglin said.

Four years since developer Robert Dunn started the more than $90-million Edgewater hotel project, Soglin says it is no longer worth the city's time.

"The year is up, and I don't intend to spend a lot of time on this project next year," he said.

Supporters say redevelopment would create hundreds of jobs and bring in millions of dollars in tax revenue.

The city council deadlocked in a November vote to give Dunn access to $16 million in public funding. Soglin chose not to break the tie.

"It is impossible for any project of this sort to go forward without those critical two elements."

One is a complete financial statement. The other is a construction contract.

But the developer says he has already met all of the more than 70 conditions the city outlined in their agreement.

"[Soglin] is unilaterally deciding to put additional terms on the developer at this point that were never a part of [the common council's] approvals," Maniaci said.

She said it boils down to a battle between the legislative and executive branches.

"Since the mayor is the executive, and he is the one that signs the documents he is the one who steers the ship in the direction he would like to see it go, which at this point looks like he is trying to drive it off the edge," Maniaci said.

The developer says the city is undermining their contract in a blatant effort to kill the project.

He says he will do anything within his control to complete the project.

Something that could complicate matters: The project would get only $3.3 million in next year's budget, compared to $16 million this year.


MADISON (WKOW) -- The City of Madison says the Edgewater Hotel Redevelopment Project is at a standstill until it hears how the project developer will fund the $41 million funding gap.

The entire project costs $90.5 million. Madison Mayor Paul Soglin says the city had committed $16 million towards the project.

Soglin says now the city is waiting on the Landmark X, LLC to clarify how it will pay for its share of the project. The city is also waiting for a construction contract. Mayor Soglin says that explanation likely won't come in time for the project to get underway in 2012.

"I don't know anything about how they plan to make this work," Mayor Soglin said. "The fact that there's $41 million of financing missing is beyond me."

The Madison City Council voted not to extend its 2011 appropriation of $16 million in TIF financing into 2012.

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