Roundy's bags plans to move into University Square's retail space downtown - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Roundy's bags plans to move into University Square's retail space downtown


Madison (WKOW) -- UW Sophomore Dario Rodriguez just went grocery shopping, but getting to the store wasn't easy.

"Usually I have to go after class then it's a 15 minute walk and I take the bus back it takes about 20 minutes," Rodriguez says.

It's a familiar story for students who live here at the Lucky Apartments downtown.

But it looked like their luck was about to change.

In February, Roundy's Grocery Store was close to moving into retail space at The University Square.

"There was a letter of intent that they were close to signing and I was suprised- when they said they were going to take a pass on the location," says EMI CEO Greg Rice.

"I was very disappointed because my friends and I were counting on this grocery store. It's a great location and everyone in this area needed it," says UW student Lauren Myer.

Students weren't the only ones disappointed.

Michael Mazor is owner of Pitaya clothing store.

He's opening for the first time Friday but is nervous about about the situation here at the U Square.

When he signed his lease over the summer, Mazor was told the development was around 85 percent full.

But months later, several retail spaces are still vacant.

"I don't know what or what's not going on here anymore and I am a little frustrated," Mazor says.

Roundy's wasn't the only business to back out.

A bar/restaurant also passed on the location.

"I would say both the grocery store and the bar restaurant, the tough economic times contributed to both of those," Rice says.

Right now only about half of the retail space is spoken for, but Rice says they are staying optimistic they can fill the other half by next year.

Rice says they are speaking with several retailers to fill the open space at the U-Square, including grocery store chains.

Roundy's Spokesperson Vivian King issued this statement to 27 News:

"We were very interested in opening a store at University Square. However, after lengthy negotiations, we were not able to agree on final terms with the developer and never signed a lease."

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