‘It’s too messy’: Alder says developer backed out of E. Wilson St. redevelopment on Essen Haus block

A developer has backed out of a deal to redevelop the block of East Wilson Street where Essen Haus is located, according to a city official.

Madison Alder Marsha Rummel confirmed to News 3 Now that she recently learned the deal had ended.

She said the fact that the 500 block of East Wilson Street is part of a national registry for historic places could have been a factor in the decision to end the deal.

“It adds complexity, because there are rules in the ordinances about rock combinations,” Rummel said. “‘It’s too messy,’ are the words they had used with me.”

Rummel said she does not know what is next for the redevelopment of that block, but that she has hopes any future developer will understand the details of building on this site.

“These East Wilson properties are really part of Madison’s history,” Rummel said. “I think the neighborhood has hopes that a grassroots developer could figure out all of the complexities for this site.”

The 500 block of East Wilson Street includes Essen Haus, Come Back In, Hotel Rubie Marie and Up North Bar.

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