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Madison's Old University Avenue Set For Possible New Look | Business

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Madison's Old University Avenue Set For Possible New Look

A proposal to redevelop Madison's Old University Avenue corridor cleared one hurdle Monday night but still needs approval from the Common Council.

"We're excited to have something more active and modern in that area, but there are still a lot of concerns about the height of the building and the traffic and parking impacts," said Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, District 5 Alder.

The city's plan commission approved a $25 million development plan Monday. The design calls for revamping the entire 2500 block of University Avenue, known as Old University,  except for Lombardino's Restaurant.

The complex includes six commercial spaces and a 130-unit apartment building.

Residents objected to a 14-story design in 2006. The new plan is less than half the size --  reducing the University Avenue side to three stories and the side bordering Campus Drive to six stories.

Supporters believe the project will provide an economic boost to the area, but neighborhood leaders say the new plan still has its critics.

"I would say there are still pretty strong feelings in the neighborhood that the six-story side of the building is still too high and people would have preferred to have seen a four-to five-story building," said Bidar-Sielaff.

The project still needs approval from the Common Council, which is expected to debate the project in January.

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