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County Executive Falk, County Board Supervisor Rollins,Mayor Volker and Others Celebrate Kick-off to Verona’s New Downtown Redevelopment

July 14, 2003
Sharyn Wisniewski (608) 267-8823
County Executive

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, County Board Supervisor Penny Rollins, of Verona, Verona Mayor John Volker, The Alexander Company developers, Chamber of Commerce officials and others today stood together today at the site of downtown Verona’s redevelopment. Next year, they said, the site will include a civic plaza, expanded retail space, and condominiums. Verona is one of a number of Dane County communities that have used county BUILD planning grants to re-invigorate their downtowns. “Downtowns are the hearts of our communities. We need to preserve our downtowns as places for shopping, living and civic gatherings. Verona is taking a wonderful step to retain the distinctive nature of their community, and to keep it a place where people want to live, shop and visit,” said Falk. BUILD was started as an initiative by County Executive Falk in 1998, as a way for communities to plan for revitalizing their aging downtowns. The BUILD program provides grants to communities for developing infill development and downtown and main street revitalization programs. The grants pay for 80 percent of the cost of consultants who guide a broad range of community residents, officials, investors and others through a planning process. A BUILD grant of $17,500 paid for Verona to develop an overall downtown redevelopment plan that would tie together a new residential/commercial project, the Senior Center, and other properties downtown. The plan calls for a new civic plaza to provide a public gathering place and create an identity for downtown. Besides the planning grant, Dane County also provided a $115,000 grant from the county’s CDBG program, towards development of the Senior Center, opened in May of 2002. To help make the downtown plan become a reality, Dane County is now in the process of making available to the Alexander Company a $180,000 Community Revitalization Loan for development of the retail portion of the project. Alexander Company established the Railroad District, LLC for the redevelopment of the former Brunsell site at 301 S. Main Street. The site hugs the Military Ridge Bicycle Trail. Railroad District, LLC will redevelop the site as a mixed-use development containing 8,000 square feet of retail space, and 26 one and two-broom condominium homes for sale. Four buildings of neo-traditional, urban architecture will house the mix of uses. Two retail buildings will be constructed at Main Street with angled parking for 25 vehicles at the “front-door.” Construction on the development, including the civic plaza area, is scheduled to begin this fall with occupancy expected by mid 2004. # # #
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