Sun Prairie moves forward to redevelop after explosion

Sun Prairie moves forward to redevelop after explosion
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More than one year after the Sun Prairie explosion, the city is looking at ways to redevelop the land that now sits empty.

The city is working with a consulting team, the Lakota Group to find a plan that would fit what property owners and the community wants those lots to transform into.

The concept plan to build Sun Prairie Stronger is still in a primary phase. The vision is to build multiuse residential and entertainment spaces.

Mayor Paul Esser said he would like the space to match the aesthetic of downtown.

“Kind of a classic look to them, a style and you would want to see the same thing with the buildings there. You’d want that classic look and would expect that they would be predominately residential with some retail on the first floor but again light retail and restaurant oriented,” Esser said.

Possible concepts include a boutique hotel, park space and a festival street.

“Meaning you would do special overhead lighting and maybe special pavers on the street and lighting that gives it the sense that it’s not just an ordinary pedestrian car street, but it’s one that is intended to move people,” Esser said.

Esser said the possible redevelopment will narrow the gap that separates Madison from Sun Prairie.

“That’s just going to be a natural progression as this county builds out. Less and less are people going to be aware of boundaries between the cities as much as they are going to be drawn to destinations and Sun Prairie could definitely be one of them,” Esser said.

The community would like to see more foot traffic downtown.

“I think Sun Prairie has an awful lot to offer,” Sharon Jacksack said, suggesting the redevelopment will bring more people to the city.

Esser said there is a possibility that the city could buy the property or provide funding to ensure the space meets what they would like to see. He doesn’t know what that could cost at this time.

The planning commission will meet in January 2020 to review these concepts.

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