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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


With funding secured, Edgewater moves closer to realization

Financing concerns for the controversial Edgewater remodeling are set to go in front of the City Council Tuesday night, which could be the final step the project needs to take before breaking ground if approved.[/media-credit]

The persistent Edgewater Hotel project cleared another hurdle in its race to completion last week when a private financing plan was approved and finalized, but the project still has to undergo a city vote during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Project Developer Robert Dunn said the project received all the private financing necessary to proceed with the hotel to be built on the shore of Lake Mendota, but a contentious debate is expected on the public financing end as the City Council takes on the 2012 capital budget tonight.

While he would not dive into exact details on the finance plan’s size, he said it has been consistent with the Tax Increment Financing plan the city laid out.


Dunn said he was excited the “outstanding requirement” had been met and was confident the plan would go forward based on recent comments from Madison Mayor Paul Soglin.

He said he hopes to start construction by next year and added there is a big economic value for Madison in his project.

“We’re in a time of true desperation,” Dunn said. “We need to focus on bringing people back to work.”

The banks were confident they could finance the Edgewater Hotel after a state appeals court approved the project in late October, Ald. Bridget Maniaci, District 2, said.

Now one of the only questions left concerning the project’s feasibility is contingent upon a vote tonight in City Council.

The council must decide whether to restore $16 million in TIF loans to the budget, which is the portion of the bill the city would need to pay for the hotel to be built.

The Edgewater Hotel has been contentious as its funding process has been convoluted, and it faces both strong support and opposition on City Council.

“People who want to kill the project are going to come out,” Maniaci said.

In May 2010, the city approved a $16 million TIF loan for the Edgewater, but because it was never acted on and expires after 12 months, it has to be voted on again, said vocal Edgewater opponent Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4.

Verveer said he has been against the project since it first went in front of council in 2010, arguing it is detrimental to the historic Mansion Hill area.

No tax dollars, he said, should go toward a “luxury hotel.”

Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, is one of 10 alders who co-sponsored a budget amendment which would put the $16 million TIF loan back into the budget.

The amendment moves to add $12.7 million to the current $3.3 million Soglin proposed to cut the Edgewater funding to earlier this year.

“The Edgewater is in serious trouble if it doesn’t get passed [Tuesday] night,” Resnick said.

However, even if the council does vote to reauthorize the loan tonight, Resnick said the mayor may choose to veto the budget, hence returning it to council.

Dunn said he was going to attempt to be at the meeting.

Ald. Mark Clear, District 19, said the finalization of the project’s private funding both simplifies and complicates the vote tonight. 

“There’s really nothing holding it back,” Clear said.

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