Editorial: Westgate project shows value of big ideas

MADISON, Wis. — The proposed demolition of Westgate Mall and the $100 Million housing and retail project that would replace it is wonderful addition to the neighborhood at the intersection of Madison’s West and Southwest sides.

It is also an indication of the importance of big ideas.

It doesn’t hurt that the potential buyer is Madison development corporation JT Klein. This is a local company with deep roots and a track record of investing in its community. But given years of decline at the Mall it’s also worth acknowledging the role Exact Sciences new campus on nearby Schroeder Road, the thriving Hy-Vee grocery next store and even Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway’s proposed bus rapid transit system added incentive to Klein’s bid for the property.

The potential impact of the project could well be felt for miles in all directions from Whitney Way and Odana Road. A lot of separate pieces added up, but they’re all big ideas.