|Dear Beloved Community,
A few days ago, Voit Farm was officially put under contract for purchase by Stone House Development and Threshold Development Group. This means that their offer was accepted, but the sale has not been finalized. They have one year to complete a lot of complex pre-development research and planning.
Today’s news comes on the two-year anniversary of Save the Farm’s official kickoff and one year since the Voit Farm was listed for sale. Although Save the Farm did not purchase the property, this is a milestone for our group and efforts, which will continue.
We are sure that our clear and persistent advocacy led to a contract by developers who share many of our goals. Although we are not official partners on the purchase, we can still play a key role in helping shape what is created on the land now and in perpetuity.
Both development groups have expressed interest in including many of our ideas. This includes the three land uses we envisioned, and they also recognize the importance of community input (see their public statement below). Save the Farm has gathered 465 survey responses from neighbors—over three times as many as the City collected before passing the Milwaukee Street Special Area Plan. We also earned endorsements from prominent organizations including the Willy Street Coop, the Sierra Club, and RENEW Wisconsin, and strong letters of support from the Eastmorland Community Association, the SASY Neighborhood Association, and others. We’ve been awarded grants for $25,000 from UW Credit Union and $500,000 from Dane County and have $33,000 in donations on GoFundMe. Individuals have shown interest in the idea of a community-owned investment cooperative of more than one million dollars. All of this and two years of volunteer work show how inspired Madison is by a vision of community ownership and decision-making power.
As we enter this next phase, it is important that Save the Farm continue to advocate on behalf of our constituents because our efforts deserve a seat at the decision-making table. We hope to work with the developers and the City to coordinate listening sessions and contribute to development plans. Given the opportunity, we will work collaboratively and tirelessly with all the stakeholders, to make beautiful things happen on this land.
We welcome all members of the public to join the next “Voit Core” meeting, Tuesday, January 25th at 6 PM on Zoom. Take the survey to receive a meeting invite if you don’t already receive these.
Save the Farm
Developer’s Statement (reproduced with permission)
We’re excited to announce that Stone House Development and Threshold Development Group are partnering to develop the Voit family site. We’re long-term committed east side residents who bring a range of complimentary skills and experience required to develop a site of this size and complexity. We share values of commitment to sustainability, affordability, high quality design, and community benefit. Our preliminary conversations with community stakeholders and the City show there’s strong overlap of these values and visions that can form the basis of an exemplary development. The site invites wetland preservation and open space for community agriculture, affordable housing and innovative sustainability features integrated into a comprehensive master plan. We appreciate all the thought and effort that has been put into imagining possibilities for the site and will consider feasible proposals from parties interested in contributing resources and ideas to the site. We understand the significance this site has for the community and anticipate a process that invites further neighborhood input and participation. We look forward to working together to explore the impactful and creative possibilities this site offers.