MONONA, Wis. - Where an old restaurant tagged with graffiti now stands, the city of Monona hopes to build a multimillion dollar waterfront development. The city has completed acquisition of five properties bordered by Broadway Avenue, Bridge Road and the Yahara River.
"I hope every weekend in the summer there are activities and there is a vibrancy and life here that's unique here in Dane County," Monona Mayor Bob Miller said.
The city completed negotiations with the five landowners for the purchase or option to purchase the parcels. The 7.4 acres of land cost the city approximately $2 million to acquire.
In addition to the 7.4 acres that will be redeveloped, the Bank of Monona and a yacht club will remain on the property increasing the size of the total project to 10 acres.
"The land we're standing on, these 10 acres are currently assessed at about $7 million. I fully expect a minimum of a 10-fold increase, if not greater, but cautiously. So this will be a $75 million property and the impact, what this will do to the taxpayers of Monona is immeasurable," Miller said.
The city of Monona has worked closely with Wisconsin's DNR to formulate initial plans. The DNR is supportive of the concept because of the possibility to improve drainage and water quality in the Yahara River.
"It is almost completely paved, a lot of impervious surfaces, so if this project is done correctly we see this as an opportunity for improvements in the way storm water is managed," said Mark Aquino, regional director for the DNR. "It is an opportunity to essentially start over with a clean slate."
The DNR is also supportive of the city's plans to increase public access to the Yahara River through this project. Aquino said the DNR will continue to work with the city and reevaluate the project once plans are finalized.
The city has plans to redevelop the property as mixed use, including residential and commercial spaces.
The city is soliciting plans from developers and will complete planning and design of the project in the next two years. The goal is to break ground two years from now.
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