The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) awarded a $250,000 Community Development Investment grant to the city of Monona for development of the Yahara Commons project.

It is the largest grant to date received by the city for the development project.

“Community success is linked to quality services and infrastructure. One of WEDC’s top priorities is to help communities invest in revitalizing their downtowns to encourage economic growth,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development corporation. “Each of these grants will play an important role in helping to improve the community’s business district which will in turn create family-supporting jobs.”

The three-phase, $36 million redevelopment project is bordered by Broadway, Bridge Road and the Yahara River.

Once completed, the mixed-use project will include 233 apartments, 30,000 square feet of commercial space and a 92-room hotel, along with a public waterfront park, reconstruction of Metropolitan Lane from Bridge Road to a new access point on Broadway and a new east-west street from Metropolitan Lane to Bridge Road.

This WEDC grant will be used toward the first phase of development, which includes improvements on the public plaza, as well as rerouting roads and underlying utilities.

City officials believe this project will be a regional economic driver as a southern destination on the Lake Loop bicycle route.

Previously, the city was awarded three other grants for the Yahara Commons project, and another application is pending, said Sonja Kruesel, city planner and economic development director.

The city received a $25,000 Dane County Better Urban Infill Development (BUILD) grant.

“This was planning money for the design of the new public space, which funded services by Vandewalle & Associates,” Kruesel said.

A Wisconsin DNR Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) grant of $50,000 funded a limited phase two environmental assessment regarding any contamination on properties surrounding the former dry cleaner at 6418 Bridge Road, Kruesel added.

Monona also received another WEDC grant, this one a Site Assessment Grant (SAG) for $35,000.

“This funded some post-demolition site investigation, lead paint and asbestos assessment and abatement, building demolition and site grading,” Kruesel said.

She noted the city is awaiting word on its application for DNR Knowles Nelson Stewardship grant for $348,300.

Recipients of these grants are expected to be announced yet this summer.

Thus far, the city has received $360,000 in grants for the Yahara Commons project; if the stewardship grant comes through, the total will be $708,300.

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