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Dane County, Gorman & Company and Dryhootch Announce Plans to Build Largest Veterans Family Housing and Services Development of its Kind in the Nation

January 04, 2018
County Executive

Today Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that the county owned Messner property will be developed into housing and a service development for veterans and their families. Dane County sought proposals for development this summer and awarded the proposal to Gorman and Company and Dryhootch for a development called Valor on Washington. This facility will be the largest of its kind in the country.


“Veterans and their families have given so much to our country, we it owe to them to help them when they come home,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “This facility will be the largest of its kind in the country and provide veterans and their families with much needed affordable housing and support.”


The project will include a mix of 64 units of affordable and market rate rents with 2 and 3 bedrooms targeting families. There will be a preference on veterans for all units. The project is unique in its partnership with Dryhootch, a Madison based non-profit that works to help veterans reconnect to their community.  There will be services available onsite for veterans from Dryhootch and other agencies. There are 360,000 veterans in Wisconsin, 113,000 are in households with children.


“Our project with Dane County and Gorman & Company will bring much needed housing for veterans and their families to Madison,” said Bob Curry Founder/President of DryHooch. “Our peer services will be greatly enhanced to include them and a growing veteran need in the county.”


Dryhootch is currently in an 1800sq foot space on University Avenue; this new space in the first floor of Valor on Washington will increase their programing space 5 fold. The new programming space will include a coffee shop open to the public, workout facilities, group areas for writing, art and support groups, a mechanic shop, training spaces and video game areas (that has shown to be effective at helping younger veterans).


Dryhootch is a place where Veterans can gather informally in a coffee house; a safe, comfortable, drug-and-alcohol-free environment. In order to offer the social healing space that is so important to recovery, Dryhootch has a supportive environment in the form of a coffee shop. A Veteran (and members of their family) can come enjoy a cup of coffee, some music, art, and the camaraderie of others. They learn of the programs available to them – which can aid in their transition home – while enjoying the support of those who have already navigated the same path home. It eases them into the programs or services they need, without the stigma of a “disorder.”


“Gorman & Company is excited to partner with Dane County and Dryhootch to create a community which provides quality affordable housing and peer focused services to veteran families in this community,” said Ted Matkom, Wisconsin Market President.


Gorman & Company, Inc. specializes in revitalizing communities through innovative housing partnerships. As a trusted partner and respected industry leader since 1984, Gorman creates meaningful workforce housing projects that match community needs.  Gorman also offers expertise in downtown revitalization, the preservation of affordable housing, and the adaptive reuse of significant historic buildings. Gorman is consistently ranked as one of the top affordable housing developers in the county by peer organizations. Gorman & Company has offices in Denver, CO; Milwaukee, WI; Chicago, IL; Phoenix, AZ; and Miami, FL. Learn more at    


In the coming months, Gorman will have neighborhood input meetings and the development will need to be approved by the Madison Common Council, Plan Commission and Urban Design Commission. A member of the neighborhood association was a part of the RFP panel that helped to choose this development.