Promise and Frustration on East Washington Avenue

Tuesday, 29 April 2014 | buzz

Union Corners, at the corner of East Washington Avenue and Milwaukee Street, got its name from the former Union Army campsite located there during the Civil War. Madisonians were leery of a bunch of roughneck recruits hanging around downtown while they waited to march to the South, so they pushed them out to what was then the outskirts of town. Since then, the site has been home to the original home of the Rayovac Corporation and a Kohl’s grocery store. A previous attempt, by developer Todd McGrath, to redevelop the 11-acre site fell victim to the 2008 real estate bust. Now the site, currently owned by the City of Madison, sits vacant. Developers Gorman and Company picked up the reins last year, and in January submitted a new proposal to the city. Neighborhood groups widely panned the new design, sending Gorman back to the drawing board. Last Thursday, Gorman unveiled their latest version at a joint neighborhood meeting. Meanwhile, a bit further up the street, the former McDonald’s restaurant sits derelict, an attractive nuisance for kids in the Darbo-Worthington neighborhood.

Marsha Rummel represents Madison’s 6th district where both Union Corners and the Darbo-Worthington neighborhood are located, and joined the Buzz on April 28th.

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