Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association's Website for Gorman and Company's Proposal on the Messner Site

In 2015 Dane County purchased the 19,000 square foot Messner building at 1326 E. Washington Avenue as the future site of a permanent homeless day resource center. They also purchased 1314 and 1318 E. Washington. Since then the County and City agreed to instead site the resource center at 615 E. Washington Ave. In Feb. 2017 the County approved a resolution to site a residential or mixed-use development on the Messner site that must include housing for low income and very low income families. The resolution indicated that the site may or may not be owned by the County and outlines a process for soliciting for and choosing a developer for the site. That process included a Tenney-Lapham representative on the RFP selection panel. The resolution also included a provision for the site to be swapped for a similar site elsewhere on the E. Washington corridor should that opportunity arise.

Seven developers/entities responded to the RFP with Gorman and Company chosen as the winner. Their proposal teams with Dryhooch, a veterans service organization, and includes 40 2-bedroom and 24 3-bedroom apartments on floors 2 thru 5 with 54 of those reserved for lower income residents. Ten of the apartments will be market rate. The development will target veteran families who will be given priority. The first floor will include a Dryhooch coffee shop and services for veterans, as well as a fitness room, lobby, etc. The proposal includes 77 parking stalls and will be named Valor.

If veteran-led families do not rent any of the units that are income-capped at 30% Dane County Median Income, Gorman and Co. is planning to allow families on the homeless services consortium's priority list to rent those units regardless of veteran status.

The usual TLNA process for evaluating development proposals is underway and a Steering Committee is meeting (details below). All neighbors are welcome to attend or give input via email to Alder Zellers or TLNA Development Chair Patrick Heck, As of July 31, 2018, the number of apartments stands at 59 with 9 being market rate. In September, the TLNA Steering Committee evaluated a proposal revision that keeps all parking aboveground resulting in a 6-story building.

*** The Committee has submitted its report (available below) to TLNA Council. Council voted (6-2-1) to support the proposal at an Oct. 11, 2018, meeting. A letter of support to the city with suggested conditions of approval is also linked below. The proposal's rezoning request and allocation from the City's Affordable Housing Fund has been approved by Common Council. In April 2019, the project obtained approval from WHEDA for Section 42 tax credits; Gorman required these WHEDA tax credits for the project to move forward.

*** The final exterior features of the proposal were evaluated by the TLNA Steering Committee on May 2. The final approval step other than building permits, etc., will be a future Urban Design Commission meeting. That meeting will likely be held on June 12 (details will be listed here and announced on Alder Heck's weekly meeting list.

Last updated 17 May 2019 by Patrick Heck - pwheck at gmail.com