Willy Street Gas Station Renovation Stirs Controversy

MADISON, WI  In the renovation to top all renovations, the Sprint Gas Station at 1130 Williamson Street unveiled it’s plans to acquire adjacent properties and to raze all the structures on its own lot to make way for an ultra-modern multi-use complex whose architecture seems to rival the designs of Santiago Calatrava himself. 

Aldo Reemer was chosen to head the panel commissioned to research, design and oversee the construction of Sprint Gas Station Plaza to its conclusion on behalf of the owners. 

“We are preparing for all of the progress, new developments and new large ventures that are slated for mid-2018”, Reemer told Spoofing Willy in a telephone interview last week. When asked to which progress, developments and ventures he was referring, Reemer said that the New York Central System rail project, the Fantasy Worldwide launch of the Monona Princess and that even his own event, sponsored by the Willy Street Area Commerce Board and Association of Local Businesses (WSACBALB) , a Running of the Bulls event down Willy Street, has been the catalyst for him to approach the people at Sprint about the renovation project.

“Even a reputable outfit like Zombie Wok is making moves in the area!”, Reemer exclaimed.

What’s not visible in the plans presented today is the part of the project that calls for a 37-story mixed-use high rise that seems to have garnered interest with the city counsel as well as the mayor’s office despite zoning ordinances that forbid new construction taller than the Capitol. 

“What baffles us”, said a representative of one of the area neighborhood associations who asked to remain anonymous, “If it is almost impossible to get a permit to build a much needed pedestrian bridge over East Washington Avenue because it would interrupt the ‘view shed’ to the Capitol, how is this project getting any serious consideration at City Hall?”

We at Spoofing Willy thought that was a fair question to ask, so we asked. While we are waiting for the Mayor’s office to get back to us, we reached out to our inside person at the city who also requested anonymity. Suffice to say she (ehem…) this person is a highly placed administrative assistant to the mail room manager. We were told simply to follow the prospective occupant list of the offices in the new high rise, a copy of which we found slipped under our Milwaukee Street office door.

The following is a partial list of companies/organizations/government offices whose home offices would be moved to the high-rise, should it be built: 

  • A well known restaurant group
  • A well known grocery chain
  • Half the alders on the city counsel
  • Much of the staff at the County Supervisor’s office
  • State Assembly and State Senate personnel (both Democratic and Republican)
  • Director-level offices of roughly 34 not-for-profit organizations
  • 7 law firms
  • Several dean-level UW professors 
  • 12 PR firms/ad agencies
  • A few media companies 
  • New York Central Systems
  • Fantasy Worldwide
  • Zombie Wok will open a franchise on the main floor

All of these will have a West-facing office if the project is completed. It seems the only interested party in the area who is not on this list is the anonymous representative from the unnamed neighborhood association – Harriett Butterman.

NOTICE: Our address here at Spoofing Willy Street will be changed after the summer of 2018. Our new address, 1130 Williamson Street.



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