The Idle Sites Redevelopment Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will support the demolition of the remaining portions of the Westgate Mall to prepare the site for a mixed-use development.
The redevelopment construction will take place on roughly 10 acres of the north portion of the site. The grant will be used to remove all hazardous materials and demolish the more than 200,000 square foot mall so that site work and construction can begin.
“WEDC is committed to helping communities invest in revitalizing different sites to encourage economic growth,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “This project will not only bring new residential and commercial space to Madison, but it will also optimize the use of an idle property that had previously served the city for decades.”
“The city is grateful to WEDC for helping to facilitate this redevelopment,” said Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. “The project will bring much-needed housing to what we hope will become a complete, transit-oriented neighborhood.”
JT Klein Company, Inc. is the developer for the project. JT Klein has a purchase agreement with the site owner, Hy-Vee Inc., to purchase the northern portion of the parcel which contains the vacant Westgate Mall. JT Klein intends to demolish the mall, rebuild infrastructure, and redevelop the site into a large mixed-use development.
“The Westgate redevelopment brings a broad spectrum of housing offerings to a premier west side location,” said Madison Ald. Zachary Henak,10th District. “The proximity to amenities combined with a major transportation corridor and high walkability make this location a recipe for success. Diversifying the housing options provided in this neighborhood will prove to be an asset to residents as well as the surrounding community.”
The site development plan includes a variety of residential and commercial uses that will complement the existing Hy-Vee grocery store that was constructed in 2013 at a vacant part of the mall. The plan includes 232 units of market rate housing, 71 units of affordable workforce housing, and 161 units of affordable senior housing. This will create more than 400 new homes for Dane County residents. There is also a proposed corner development for a large commercial or medical building.
“Madison’s affordable housing crisis means we need to prioritize the preservation and development of housing, and especially affordable housing,” state Sen. Kelda Roys said. “This site is a prime location for increased density and affordable housing, because of its proximity to transit, shopping, employment opportunities, parks, and other amenities.”
“It is great to see WEDC invest in the Madison community,” said state Rep. Shelia Stubbs. “This redevelopment will improve the infrastructure of our community, and open the door for affordable housing in our neighborhood. This is an investment in our community’s growth, and I am proud to see it move forward.”
The Westgate parcel is currently a 17-acre site on the west side of Madison. Westgate Mall closed its doors in March 2020, after experiencing years of declining foot traffic and vacancy problems. The original Westgate Mall was built in the early 1960s and served as Madison’s first shopping center, housing hundreds of businesses over the years.
WEDC’s Idle Sites Redevelopment Grant Program stimulates investment and job creation at idle, abandoned and underutilized manufacturing sites that are unlikely to be redeveloped solely by the private sector due to their scale and complexity.
The grants may be used for demolition, environmental remediation or site-specific improvements defined in the community’s redevelopment plan. The goal of the program is to advance the site to shovel-ready status or to enhance the site’s market attractiveness to encourage business growth.