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County Board to Consider Gorman & Company as Messner Property Developer

January 31, 2018
County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan, 608.333.2285
County Board

Moving forward on its commitment to affordable housing, the Dane County Board on Thursday will consider approving Gorman & Company as the developer of the former Messner properties on East Washington Avenue.


Gorman, which was selected from among seven applicants for the county-owned site, has proposed a $15.1 million, five-story mixed-use development “Valor on Washington” that would provide first floor space and a coffee shop for Dryhootch, a national veteran’s service organization. The upper floors would include 64 apartment units of 2- and 3-bedrooms aimed at families of veterans and the public.


The County Board will vote on the resolution as part of its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in Room 201 of the City-County Building.


“Providing affordable housing for families is one of the county’s primary objectives for this development,” said County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan. “Gorman has come up with a creative proposal we think will meet that need while providing key services for our veterans.”

The Madison units can’t be reserved for veterans only under fair housing laws. But Gorman, which recently opened 50 apartments for veterans and their families at a site in Arizona, can give preferential treatment by maintaining separate waiting lists for veterans and others.


Gorman still needs to seek financial support for the project from the city’s affordable housing fund, Federal Home Loan Bank and Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority Section 42 low-income housing tax credits. If financing is secured, construction could begin by mid-2019.


The county purchased the Messner properties at 1326 E. Washington Ave. in 2015 with the idea of developing a homeless day center but later decided to pursue a location closer to the downtown. The Beacon homeless center opened last year in the former Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce Building.


Also Thursday, the Board will consider a resolution authorizing the County Office of Corporation Counsel to hire outside counsel to initiate legal action against any pharmaceutical company, wholesale distributor, manufacturer or other entities that may have engaged in practices that contribute to the ongoing opioid epidemic.


Dane County would join dozens of states, counties and cities suing drug companies for contributing to the opioid epidemic impacting much of the country.


About the County Board of Supervisors

The 37-member, nonpartisan Dane County Board of Supervisors represents the needs and welfare of all residents of Dane County, Wisconsin, and sets policy for County operations in the areas of human needs, infrastructure, criminal justice, the environment and County finance.  The County Board meets twice monthly at 7 p.m. in Room 201 of the City-County Building.