Capitol East District Repositioning and Redevelopment

Madison’s creative, urban live-work centerCAP EAST LOGO

The Capitol East District is looking very different today than even five years ago; in its new role as Madison’s creative, urban live-work center, it has attracted over $200 million in new investment. By 2030 the District is projected to add an additional 3,900 residents and 4,400 employees, along with $500 million additional investment. The long-term vision and plans for the Capitol East District aim to leverage the area’s unique vibe while creating create a dynamic mix of uses that encourage new employment growth, urban living, and create a transit- and pedestrian-oriented district adjacent to the Downtown central business district of Madison. The Capitol East District will be a place where residents and employees can meet daily needs within walking distance, and where entrepreneurs, technology and creatives can thrive.

The implementation stage is now well underway to transform the District from one of historically industrial uses and one- and two-story buildings to a vibrant and higher-density new mix of business, entrepreneurial and creative activities, and urban residences.

V&A has been working with the City of Madison and the private sector to uncover opportunities, reposition, and redevelop the underutilized 40-block area for nearly two decades. In 2009, Vandewalle & Associates worked with the City and with Hiebing Group to create a vision and market positioning strategies for the District that have helped attract businesses like Amazon/Shopbop and Google have to the District. The $34 Million Constellation  and the $90 Million Galaxie mixed use projects are in place and thriving. The 800 block project will provide a home for the new StartingBlock Madison as a long-range piece of economic and community building infrastructure. Other projects in the Capitol East District include a new Madison Public Market District, and improvements to the transportation network, public spaces, and Yahara Riverfront.

These projects, along with several key public improvements are accelerating the employment and residential live/work growth in the district and re-making Madison’s key Capitol Gateway into a fittingly vibrant corridor for the Capital City.

V&A’s Role in the District. Our work in the Capitol East District and East Washington Corridor with the City is ongoing. V&A has been an active partner in everything from re-imagining the District’s role in the City to putting together the players needed to make it  happen:

  • The East Washington Avenue Capitol Gateway Corridor Plan– Prepared by V&A and the City of Madison along with corridor stakeholders in 2007-8, the Capitol Gateway Corridor Plan was awarded the WAPA’s Best Urban Design award in 2010.
  • The Capitol East District Vision and Market Positioning Framework was created by Vandewalle & Associates and The Hiebing Group, working with the City to develop an implementation vision and action plan to capture and build upon the District’s inherent and unique character.
  • Redevelopment Implementation—V&A worked on behalf of the City with various public and private partners to line up developers, catalytic projects and funding that would catalyze redevelopment and move the plans forward.
  • Public Improvement Implementation Plan—V&A helped break the District into several sub areas with comprehensive identification of short- and long-term public improvements necessary to achieve the vision and plan, and strategies to propel public improvement investment.
  • EPA Brownfield Grant—V&A, along with the City, was the lead author of this successful grant applicationy. The project was awarded $800,000.
  • Public Market Site Planning—V&A is working in partnership with Seattle-based Graham Baba Architects.
  • StartingBlock Madison—V&A is a founding member of StartingBlock Madison, an entrepreneurial hub. V&A also worked on behalf of MGE as an active team member to plan, fund and implement the program.