Ice Cream May Close Jackson Street

Chocolate Shoppe debut bolsters effort to close street for public space initiative

The makings of a public space, spurred on by the opening of Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream's new Atwood Avenue location. Courtesy: Marsha Rummel

The makings of a public space, spurred on by the opening of Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream’s new Atwood Avenue location. Photo by: Marsha Rummel

By all accounts the opening weekend for Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream’s Atwood Avenue location was a great success. Lines of people were observed in front of the shop no doubt encouraged by a very clever social media post Friday (May 3): “We’re opening our walk up window and serving single cones and dishes at 2302 Atwood Avenue at 12pm today!! And just a hint, if you stop by before 9pm you may not need a wallet…”

By Sunday warm temperatures and sunshine brought out the bicycles and soon every piece of open grass around the store was occupied by ice cream fans. “It was fabulous,” said Josh Connelly, retail and marketing manager for Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream. “The neighborhood welcomed us with open arms to say the least.”

Connelly says that work will begin this week on construction and landscaping of the rear area of the property to transform it into an outdoor dining room with tables, chairs, lighting, and bike racks. For Sixth District Alder Marsha Rummel, the apparent initial success of this business on this corner will bolster her plans to temporarily shut down a section of Jackson Street, between Atwood and Saint Paul Avenue, as part of a national movement called “placemaking.”

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Two Union Corners Proposals Now on ‘Short List’

Gorman and Livesey plans lead the way

Plans from Livesey Co./Stone House Development along with Gorman & Associates are under final consideration for the Union Corners development.

The City of Madison Union Corners Committee held a public hearing Wednesday evening (Sept 12) on the four remaining proposals for development of the Union Corners site. The committee voted to “short list” two of the proposal from Livesey-Stone House Development and Gorman Associates.

The next step is for city staff to conduct a basic preliminary financial review of each proposal. Following that review the UCC will decide what the next steps will be.

Related: C.D. Smith / EUA Withdraws Union Corners Proposal

Related: Where the Sidewalk Ends


C.D. Smith / EUA Withdraw Union Corners Proposal

The C.D. Smith Construction/Eppstein Uhen Architects proposal includes a plan for a grocery store. EUA also designed the Goodman Community Center.

In an email to City of Madison officials C.D. Smith Vice-President Mike Krolczyk said the firm was withdrawing their proposal for Union Corners due to “specific market conditions” and other opportunities they were pursuing.

C.D. Smith partnered with Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA) on their proposal which included a grocery store as part of the retail component of the site, however the plan did not depart much from a 2004 plan that failed before ground was ever broken. EUA has history in the neighborhood as just over the hill to the east of Union Corners is the recently redesigned Goodman Community Center, which was an EUA project.

Union Corners had been dying a slow death for decades as businesses struggled to exist on that corner and Ray-O-Vac’s manufacturing plant faded away. In 2010 the city purchased the site for $3.57 million and issued an RFP in June. The remaining proposals vary in cost, topping out at $108 million with public assistance requests as much as $15 million, which the Mayor said may be difficult to provide.

With C.D. Smith / EUA dropping out only the team of Livesey / Stonehouse remains to present to the Union Corners Committee which will take place August 29. A public hearing on the four active proposals is on September 12, 2012 at 5 p.m at the Madison Senior Center.

Related: Where the Sidewalk Ends