Wisconsin State Journal

Gorman & Co. founder looks to future by naming new CEO

Written by Larry Avila of the Wisconsin State Journal

Gary_Gorman

OREGON — Gary Gorman recognized that for the development company bearing his name to continue without him someday, he needed a leadership transition plan to ensure its future.

In mid-March Gorman & Co., which he built from a one-man operation from a basement office in summer 1984 to a company with about 250 employees and operations in five states, announced that plan. Gorman will transition the daily management of the company to Brian Swanton, the Arizona market president who will take over as CEO on Jan. 1. Gorman will still be involved with the business as chairman of its board.

Gorman, who has not determined a retirement date, said announcing a leadership succession plan now was the responsible thing to do.

“I’ll still be very involved in the company, but I’ll be less involved in the day-to-day side of things starting Jan. 1,” said Gorman, 61. “I don’t consider this retiring at all, but when you grow a business to a certain level, and when (the owner) gets over 60 years old, people do start to ask, ‘What’s next?’

“I wanted to get ahead of that question. I wanted to have input on (the future of the business) as opposed to someone else making that decision somewhere down the line.”

In the beginning

Gorman & Co. specializes in housing developments from affordable housing to upscale condominiums, and does more than $100 million in business annually. It employs about 250 people and has operations in Milwaukee, Phoenix, Chicago, Miami and Denver.

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Gorman & Co. also has been very active in Madison.

The company’s recent projects include the Union Corners development continuing to rise at East Washington Avenue, Milwaukee and Winnebago streets. The company also was involved in converting space at the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, a former seminary and home to the diocesan headquarters, to apartments now referred to as Holy Name Heights.

Before he got into housing development, Gorman practiced law for about four years.

“The basement office where I started my business was torn down long ago,” he said. “When I look back on it, I never expected the company to grow to the size it is today.”

Tom Capp, the current chief operating officer who will become vice chairman of the board on Jan. 1, joined Gorman about 22 years ago and led the company’s expansion outside Wisconsin, most recently to Illinois.

“We have deep roots in Wisconsin and we’ll always be a Wisconsin-based company,” Gorman said.

He said Swanton, who has grown Gorman & Co.’s business in Arizona for the past eight years, is ready for a larger role.

Gorman said establishing the future leader of the company well before his retirement also ensures to future investors the firm will be around to see projects through and it also helps in the recruitment of new employees as it looks to expand into new markets.

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“Yes, I want to ensure the company continues after I’m gone, but what it’s really about when a company actively is recruiting young people that have options and they see the CEO of our company is a guy in his 60s, they may not consider us,” Gorman said.

Gorman said moving the company forward will take new thinking.

“It took a certain skill set to grow the company from zero to $100 million,” he said. “To get to that next level, it will take someone who may be better at systems and monitoring metrics, and I think Brian has the skills to continue growing the business.”

The future

Implementing a transition plan while an owner still will be involved in the business is a sound strategy, said Sherry Herwig, director of the Family Business Center at UW-Madison.

“It lets employees know that during the transition there will be some consistency and continuity,” she said. “When the new leader takes over, the employees can take comfort knowing the person who had been leading the company all along, will be there and be part of the decision-making process.”

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Gorman said his company’s success has been built through recruiting good people who could develop markets familiar to them.

“What I hope to see is the company experience steady but not rapid growth because companies that are the highest risk are start-ups and those that grow too rapidly,” he said. “In terms of the transition and working with Brian, I plan to work with him so he understands what he’ll have to do to be the CEO versus just being a market president.”

Gorman said once the company’s daily management is transitioned to Swanton, he will focus on special projects including finding ways to approach building projects more cost-effectively.

“I’m feeling good and I’m healthy,” Gorman said. “I’m still really interested in this business and frankly, I don’t want to retire.”

Creative reuse turns half of former Catholic seminary in Madison into higher-end apartments

Written by Doug Erickson, Wisconsin State Journal

holy name seminary

Several years ago, leaders of the Madison Catholic Diocese realized they had a big challenge on their hands with the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, a former seminary and home to the diocesan headquarters.

The majestic but aging building on the city’s Far West Side had become costly to maintain, with only about one-third of it being used on a regular basis.

The diocese hired a developer, and today, about half of the building has been converted to private-market apartments, adding millions of dollars to the city’s tax base. The $21 million project celebrated its grand opening in August, and all 53 apartments are now occupied, ahead of expectations.

“There’s more life to the building now — more people, more activity,” said Monsignor James Bartylla, the diocese’s second-ranking official, adding that the project keeps the “legacy property” in the diocese while preserving much of its spiritual and cultural identity.

The building at 702 S. High Point Road, a few blocks south of the Beltline, opened in 1964 as Holy Name Seminary, a high school for boys interested in possibly becoming priests. The seminary closed in 1995.

The building was rechristened in 1997 as the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, honoring the founding bishop of the diocese. Its new name, Holy Name Heights, brings the site back full circle.

For apartment dwellers, it offers one of the more unusual residential settings in the city.

The diocesan headquarters remain, imbuing the building with a sense of the sacred. Tenants have 24-hour access to the building’s centerpiece, an on-site chapel with soaring stained glass windows and a 360-piece mosaic that rises three stories behind the altar. Mass is celebrated daily during the week.

For a more secular experience, there’s a full-size gym, newly restored to its retro glory. The 72-acre site offers 2.5 miles of walking paths, a running track, a baseball diamond and fields for football and soccer.

Other amenities include two interior courtyards with arched walkways, a theater room with a 100-inch screen, and a lounge with a balcony offering panoramic views of the city and state Capitol.

“It just seems so special here,” said tenant Christina Busse, 33, a stay-at-home mom who lives in a two-bedroom apartment with her husband, Phillip, 35, and their 21-month-old son, Cephas.

Broad appeal

While anyone can live at the site, diocesan officials thought the apartments might attract mostly empty nesters and Catholics. The appeal has been broader.

Busse, who is Lutheran, said she enjoys praying in the chapel and has found her neighbors to be a friendly bunch that ranges in age from young professionals to retirees. Many seem eager to make personal connections, she said.

“People seem to want relationships here,” she said.

The site appealed to the couple for its serenity, its religious aspects, and its amenities, especially the acres of outdoor space their son can explore as he grows. Their apartment is about a 10-minute drive from Epic Systems Corp., where Phillip Busse, 34, works in technical support services. Christina Busse estimated that nearly a dozen other tenants also work at the electronic medical records giant.

Among the couple’s neighbors are Paul and Kate Stauffacher, the kind of tenants diocesan officials knew would be especially drawn to the property. Retirees in their 70s, they are devout Catholics whose two sons graduated from the former seminary.

The connection for Paul Stauffacher goes even deeper. He taught and coached at the seminary early on, then went on to serve as its principal from 1978-87. His apartment is the seminary’s former weight and equipment room where he spent so much time as a coach.

“This just struck us when we saw it,” Stauffacher said. “There is a certain element of nostalgia, but it goes beyond that. We’re daily Mass attendees, so the chapel is very convenient. We love to get out and exercise on the grounds, and our grandchildren love the gym.”

For some, there’s the added appeal of occasionally bumping into Madison Bishop Robert Morlino, who recently moved into one of the new apartments. He had been living for more than a decade in the rectory at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, three blocks off the Capitol Square.

‘Uncommon’ project

The diocese, which continues to own the property, hired Gorman & Co. to redevelop the site. The company, based just south of Madison, has stayed on as the on-site manager for the apartments.

Gorman & Co. specializes in adaptive reuses of landmark buildings and has had a long association with the diocese. It successfully nominated the former seminary as a historic landmark. The building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The designation allowed the company to access $5.8 million in historic tax credits — a critical piece of the financing — and also protects the building’s architectural legacy, said CEO Gary Gorman, a lifelong Catholic who grew up in the Madison area and has served as board president of Catholic Charities Madison. The project was “uncommon” and close to his heart, Gorman said.

“It did something really positive for a diocese that I’ve been a member of for 60 years,” he said. “I’m proud of both the physical and financial results, and in particular the fact that a number of people now get to call this beautiful building their home.”

The city has determined that 46.63 percent of the building is now taxable, with the rest remaining tax-exempt due to its religious use, said Scott West, a city commercial property appraiser. The assessed value of the taxable portion is currently set at $3.43 million by the city, but that number reflects only partial completion of the project, West said. The full assessment, out this April, likely will be around $5.1 million, he said.

The diocese’s 2016 tax bill for the site is $77,532. That figure is based on only the partial assessment.

The project’s total costs of $21 million are so much higher than the city assessed value because the total costs reflect work done on the entire site, not just the part turned into apartments, said Ted Matkom, president of the Wisconsin market for Gorman & Co. The project also addressed major maintenance issues on the aging building such as roofing and plumbing, he said.

One-bedroom apartments rent for $955 to $1,285 per month, while two-bedroom units go for $1,369 to $1,970. That’s probably a little less than top-of-the-line luxury units in Madison, but in the middle to upper range, said Rick Mason, property manager.

Bartylla said the project could help other dioceses think creatively about unused or vacant properties.

“I think we’ve shown that you don’t have to sell church property when it’s underutilized,” he said. “There might be an opportunity to continue ownership while finding something that works for both the diocese and the community.”

“It did something really positive for a diocese that I’ve been a member of for 60 years. I’m proud of both the physical and financial results, and in particular the fact that a number of people now get to call this beautiful building their home.” Gary Gorman, CEO of Gorman & Co., which redeveloped the former Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center

Madison Catholic Diocese significantly alters plan to convert headquarters into housing

June 08, 2014 5:30 am  •  By Doug Erickson | Wisconsin State Journal

Officials with the Madison Catholic Diocese are moving forward with plans to redevelop the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, their historic headquarters, though the plan has changed significantly from the one announced last fall.

The new concept calls for a mixed-use development, not solely rental housing. The diocese will keep all of its offices at the site — not vacate the premises as originally planned — co-existing with 54 apartments.

In another big change, diocesan officials said they now assume the building will remain tax-exempt. Last fall, they said the redeveloped building would pay property taxes.

The site is on Madison’s Far West Side at 702 S. High Point Road.

The apartments and other housing amenities are now expected to take up about two-thirds of the building instead of the whole thing. The housing will be marketed more pointedly to empty-nesters and those 50 and older, including those looking for housing with religious amenities.

The old plan would have stripped the building of its religious uses — the chapel was to have become a lounge, for instance. Now the chapel will remain and continue to host diocesan functions such as the weekday noon Mass.

As with the previous proposal, Gorman & Company Inc., a real estate development company with deep connections to the diocese, will execute the plan under a long-term lease agreement with the diocese, said Monsignor James Bartylla, the diocese’s second in command. The company will secure financing, design the housing, oversee construction and manage the property, he said.

Ted Matkom, who oversees Gorman’s Wisconsin projects, said he anticipates construction starting in November, with a total project cost of about $16 million. Occupancy likely will begin in late 2015, he said.

Matkom said the changes in the proposal came about after his company got more into the details of the process.

Initially, the plan called for about 90 apartments. But some areas of the building did not lend themselves to an easy conversion into living space, upping construction costs. “The inefficiencies would have put the rents at the very top of the Madison market,” he said.

Also, the company kept butting up against a desire — their own and that of others — to retain what makes the building so treasured to so many: its Catholic identity. “We decided, why not capitalize on the iconic history of the building while also helping the diocese by allowing it to stay here?” Matkom said.

There’s a financial benefit to the project by taking that approach, he said. Even though the diocese will remain the owner of the property, it will pay office rent to a new limited-liability company that will be formed to redevelop the building, thus anchoring the project’s economic stability, he said. The diocese will be a partner in the new company.

“To complete the loop, the great part is that the diocese’s rent will be reimbursed from the cash flow generated by the apartments,” Matkom said.

The financial arrangement is complicated, Bartylla said, but another way to look at it is that the diocese will be leasing the property to Gorman while also being a tenant of the project and benefiting from the income it generates.

As for the property remaining tax-exempt, Matkom said his company assumes the project will qualify under existing state statutes covering “affordable benevolent apartments.” The apartments will rent for market rates.

In addition to Bishop Robert Morlino and his staff remaining at the O’Connor Center, all affiliated Catholic organizations currently there also will stay put, including Catholic Charities, the Catholic Herald newspaper and Relevant Radio, a Catholic station.

Those and other diocesan uses take up only about 36 percent of the 232,000-square-foot building. Increasing the diocese’s cash flow by finding a way to use underutilized areas was the initial impetus for the redevelopment project.

As with the previous proposal, outside organizations that use the site as a conference center and meeting space still will need to find another home, Bartylla said.

Diocesan staff members were told Friday morning they will be staying at the O’Connor Center. “There were a lot of happy faces at that meeting,” said Brent King, diocesan spokesman.

The O’Connor Center was first known as Holy Name Seminary, opening to students in 1964. The seminary closed in 1995.

On Friday, Monsignor Mike Burke, pastor of St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Madison and the last rector to serve the seminary, said he was thrilled that religious functions would remain at the center.

“This has always been sacred space — there’s a sense of peace people get when they walk in these doors,” he said of the center. “Preserving the tradition of this building is going to create tremendous positive energy in the diocese.”

Fill in the two big blanks on Madison’s East Side

Wisconsin State Journal Editorial, May 11, 2014

Finally, it appears, two conspicuously barren sites on Madison’s East Side will be transformed into thriving developments.

Let’s get these needed projects — Union Corners and Royster Corners — to the finish line at City Hall. They’ll be great for their neighborhoods, with amenities such as grocery stores and a library. And they’ll help grow the tax base, which pays for city services.

Union Corners is a major mixed-use project at the busy intersection of East Washington Avenue and Milwaukee Street. It’s been frustratingly dormant for about a decade. But revised plans and strong neighborhood support have opened the way to key city approvals this month.

Gorman & Co.’s $83 million proposal for the 11.4-acre site would include a health clinic and buildings of four to six stories with a grocery store and restaurant, housing and a pedestrian path.

Previous attempts to revitalize this prominent site stalled and failed, leaving a glaring blotch of blight in the East Washington streetscape to Downtown.

Ald. Marsha Rummel, who represents the area, said last week Gorman’s latest revision has “all the right pieces” with “overwhelmingly positive” response at a neighborhood meeting. That’s the most encouraging news for the area in years.

The other open urban space that badly needs filling is Royster Corners, the 28-acre site of a former fertilizer plant at the corner of Cottage Grove and Dempsey roads. The site has been flattened and cleaned, with the city hoping to build roads this summer.

Apartments that are part of the project just got tax credits that should allow construction to begin this fall. Other pieces of the larger plan include a new Pinney branch library, single-family homes, commercial space and possibly a Willy Street Co-op grocery.

The city hasn’t signed off on everything yet. But Ald. David Ahrens, who represents the area, is “terrifically” supportive and doesn’t see any difficult obstacles ahead.

“Once it’s done,” Ahrens said Wednesday, “it will be just a huge center. We really don’t have many opportunities like this.”

He’s right. These two projects have been talked about for too long. It’s time to break ground.

Gorman revises plans for Union Corners project

By Dean Mosiman, Wisconsin State Journal, April 30, 2014

In response to concerns, Gorman & Co. has made major changes and won neighborhood support for the long-stalled Union Corners project on the East Side, opening the way to key city approvals next month.

Gorman, chosen to develop the city-owned, 11.4-acre site in late 2012, relocated a proposed two-story UW Health clinic from the gateway corner of East Washington Avenue and Milwaukee Street to East Washington and Sixth Street, with the gateway now anchored by a pair of four- to six-story mixed-use buildings that may include a Fresh Thyme grocery store.

The neighborhood wanted the taller, more substantial buildings at the gateway of the $83 million, multiphase redevelopment.

Also, revised plans add underground parking, cut the height of two apartment buildings near existing single-family homes, and create a pedestrian walkway through the center of the property.

“I’m really encouraged now,” Gary Gorman said. “It’s been a long haul. Frankly, it’s been a little frustrating at times. But it’s a project that’s going to be here for a long time.”

After much effort, “I think it’s got all the right pieces,” said Ald. Marsha Rummel, 2nd District, adding that the new plans got an “overwhelmingly positive” response at a neighborhood meeting last Thursday.

The city has been awaiting a project for a decade. McGrath Associates, the former property owner, proposed a major mixed-use project in 2004 that won broad support from city officials and residents but stalled in June 2007.

The city acquired the site in late 2010and chose Gorman to develop it two years later. In October 2013, the city and Gorman signed a deal under which the city would sell the property for $1 to Gorman, who would repay the city’s $6 million investment in land and public improvements through higher property taxes generated by the project.

In January, Gorman offered poorly received plans for a less-dense development with more parking lots, less public space, the two-story UW Health clinic at the gateway corner and four-story apartment buildings near the single-family homes.

But Gorman continued to work with the mayor’s office, city staff and the neighborhood to produce the latest plans, with the key breakthrough coming when UW Health agreed to relocate the clinic from the gateway corner. Gorman also credited Mayor Paul Soglin for “injecting urgency in the process.”

The project is broken into four phases, the first the two-story, 60,000-square-foot clinic. The second piece features a four- to six-story mixed-use building at the gateway corner with a grocery store and a restaurant down Milwaukee Street and a four- to six-story mixed-use building down East Washington Avenue. A town square behind those buildings could be used for farmers’ markets or other neighborhood events, Gorman said.

Additional phases include a transit hub, two mixed-use buildings with first-floor retail and housing along the pedestrian path, and four apartment buildings. Overall, two-thirds of parking would be underground.Gorman said he’s unsure if city financial support would be needed for underground parking for the grocery.

The plans will be considered by the Urban Design Commission on May 5, the Plan Commission on May 12 and the City Council on May 20.

Gorman & Co. revising Union Corners plans after cool reception from staff, neighborhood

By:  Dean Mosiman, Wisconsin State Journal, February 13, 2014

After a recent proposal got a cool reception, Gorman & Co. is revising  plans for the long-dormant  Union Corners project on the corner of East Washington Avenue and Milwaukee  Street.

Meanwhile, Gebhardt Development has sought brief delays on city approvals to  make final tweaks to a $70 million to $85 million redevelopment in the 800 block  of East Washington Avenue.

Gorman’s latest proposal envisions less surface parking and more underground  spaces, taller commercial buildings, and shorter apartment buildings near  existing single-family homes in the neighborhood.

Gary Gorman declined to reveal full details until sharing them with a  neighborhood steering committee on Saturday.

“I’m confident we’ll please enough people to gain support,” he said. The  neighborhood review will be followed by submission of a formal plan, to go  before the Urban Design Commission in May.

Gorman was chosen in late 2012 to develop the 11.4-acre Union Corners site,  acquired by the city two years earlier. On Oct. 30, 2013, the city and Gorman  signed an agreement under which the city would sell the site to Gorman for $1,  repaying the city’s $6 million investment through higher property taxes  generated by the estimated $83.9 million project.

But informal plans  Gorman offered in January called for a less-dense development, with more parking  lots, less public space, and four-story apartment buildings near existing  single-family homes.

The project changed for several reasons, Gorman said. Initial concepts were  based on $14 million in tax increment financing support, not the current  agreement that provides land but no cash, he said. Also, negotiations with UW  Health, which wants a two-story, 60,000-square-foot clinic at the corner of East  Washington Avenue and Milwaukee Street, resulted in the elimination of a parking  structure, to be replaced with more underground and surface parking, he said.  Talks for landing a perhaps 25,000-square-foot grocery meant even more parking  space.

Gorman said he’s unable to make the health clinic building taller. But he has  removed some surface parking in favor of a 240-space underground garage,  increased the potential height of commercial buildings from four to six stories,  and cut the height of the apartment buildings to two stories.

Ald. Marsha Rummel, 6th District, called the proposed changes “the first step  in a conversation” and said she was optimistic “we can figure this out.”

Gebhardt, despite the latest delay, is closer to approvals.

A first phase includes a 55,000-square-foot Skogen’s Festival Foods grocery  store, 30,000 square feet of retail/office space, 215 apartments and a  four-story parking garage with 500 spaces, Otto Gebhardt said. A second piece  has 60,000 to 100,000 square feet of retail/office space, 26 owner-occupied  units, 20 townhouses and 200 more parking stalls, he said. Gebhardt is seeking a  $7 million TIF loan.

“If you get a great project, the wait and the late start is worth it,” said  Ald. Ledell Zellers, 2nd District.

Gebhardt hopes to begin phase one in April, completing that piece in summer  2015.

Catching up: Union Corners project slowly moving forward

December 23, 2013 7:30 am  •  DEAN  MOSIMAN | Wisconsin State Journal

If anything defines the much-anticipated redevelopment at Union Corners on  Madison’s East Side, it’s patience. And patience may soon be paying off.

Developer Gorman & Co. signed a purchase and sale agreement with the city  for the site this fall and is close to submitting land use plans for the  long-vacant, city-owned 11.4-acre site at the corner of East Washington Avenue  and Milwaukee Street.

If all approvals and financing are secured, construction on the multiphase  project could begin late next summer, owner Gary Gorman said.

“It’s moving forward. It’s never as fast as we would like,” he said.

“They’re doing a lot of work. There’s just not a lot of this you can see  yet,” City Real Estate Manager  Don Marx said.

In mid-July, after six months of talks, the City Council authorized staff to  negotiate a purchase and sale agreement for an estimated $83.9 million  redevelopment there. The city has already invested about $6 million to buy land,  make public improvements and cover other costs.

On Oct. 30, the sides completed that agreement, under which the city would  sell the site to Gorman for $1, and the developer would apply for $6 million in  tax incremental financing (TIF) support. That would be repaid through new  property taxes generated by the project, which would likely be done in four  phases.

The first phase includes a 60,000-square-foot UW Health clinic with parking,  and the remaining phases are a mix of housing, office, retail space and possibly  a public library branch.

Gorman said he’s about 75 percent done working out the clinic design with UW  Health, has submitted a TIF application with the city, is in discussions with  other potential tenants and will soon submit a general development plan  application, which will trigger a land use review process.

“It’s still a go as far as we’re concerned,” Marx said.

Madison Catholic Diocese plans to turn headquarters into rental housing

By Doug Erickson, Wisconsin State Journal, September 26, 2013

The Madison Catholic Diocese has reached a tentative agreement with a  developer to vacate its headquarters at the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral  Center on the city’s Far West Side and turn the former seminary into rental  housing.

Under the plan, the diocese will lease the building for 60 years to developer  Gary Gorman, whose company will renovate the 232,000-square-foot structure and  create 100 to 150 apartments. The diocese will retain ownership of the  property.

Bishop Robert Morlino announced the plan to about 120 priests gathered  Wednesday in Wisconsin Dells for an annual meeting.

The decision is not because of budget problems, said Monsignor James  Bartylla, the diocese’s second in command. Rather, the aging O’Connor Center,  702 S. High  Point Road, is underused and would require more than $15 million in capital  improvements over the next 30 years to keep it as the diocese’s headquarters, he  said.

This is the best way to preserve the legacy of a landmark building while  being good stewards of church finances, Bartylla said.

“It strikes a balance between the economics of the situation and preserving  the history of the diocese,” he said.

Diocesan officials expect to save an estimated $500,000 annually by getting  out from under the costs of operating the center. In addition, the lease  agreement will provide revenue to fund church activities, diocesan spokesman  Brent King said. The lease amount has not been set but likely will vary over the  course of the agreement, he said.

If the plan goes through, it will be a for-profit venture by Gorman &  Company, and the property would return to the tax rolls, King said. “This is  only just and reasonable,” he said.

Only about 36 percent of the building’s square footage is being used right  now, Bartylla said.

The diocese will need to find a new home for its administrative offices,  including the bishop’s office. Catholic Charities also is based at the center.  Together, about 100 people work at the site, King said.

A new site has not yet been found for the offices. It likely will be leased  space, not existing diocesan property, because no parish would have the amount  of square footage needed, Bartylla said.

Additionally, the O’Connor Center is home to four retired priests and five  active priests. New quarters will be found for them, King said.

The chapel, located in the center of the building, will be preserved, but its  use in the future has not been determined, Bartylla said.

At the end of the 60 years, the building would revert to diocesan control. A  firmer development agreement is expected by Nov. 15.

The lease agreement would cover only about 10 acres of the 72-acre Bishop  O’Connor Center site, Bartylla said. No decisions have been made on the future  of the other acres, he said.

Realistically, renovation likely would not begin until next summer or fall,  said Gary Gorman, chief executive officer. The company anticipates spending $30  million to $40 million to renovate the building, he said.

Gorman said the rental housing would be for the general public, not targeted  to Catholics. He envisions it appealing to “working people on the West Side who  don’t want to live in a generic white box — people who want to live somewhere  interesting.”

The company will renovate the building as a “certified historic  rehabilitation,” in accordance with historic preservation guidelines prescribed  by the National Park Service, Gorman said.

Gorman has a long history of working with the diocese as a developer.  Additionally, he has served as a board member and board president of Catholic  Charities. He attends Holy Mother of Consolation Parish in Oregon.

The Bishop O’Connor Center was first known as Holy Name Seminary, opening to  students in 1964. The seminary closed in 1995.

Both parties will jointly approve a name for the redeveloped site.

“The time is right to consider how best to use that place for the ministry of  the church,” said the Rev. Paul Arinze, pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption  Parish in Beloit. “When the bishop was talking to us, he reminded us that we are  like fathers at home — you have a wife and children and must constantly make  decisions based on what’s best for the future of the family.”

Sure, there is sentimental value to the building, said Monsignor Daniel  Ganshert, pastor of two parishes in Watertown and among the first students at  Holy Name Seminary. But priests recognize that change is part of life and part  of the ministry, he said.

“I’m just happy the building is still going to be there,” he said. “It’s  going to stand there like it has for the last 50 years and remind us and  encourage us to look to the future of the diocese and its people.”

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/madison-catholic-diocese-plans-to-turn-headquarters-into-rental-housing/article_c2ca6b79-71fe-5623-9df2-cef9eea92593.html#ixzz2g0Ltmi9v

City, Gorman finally strike deal for Union Corners project

2013-06-14T08:45:00ZCity, Gorman finally strike deal for Union Corners projectDEAN  MOSIMAN | Wisconsin State Journal | dmosiman@madison.com |  608-252-6141madison.com

After six months of talks, the city and Gorman & Co. have a tentative  deal to develop the long-vacant, city-owned Union  Corners property on the East Side.

Gorman has proposed an $83.9 million mixed-use project featuring a UW Health  clinic, housing, neighborhood grocery, restaurant and parking for the 11.4-acre  site at the intersection of East Washington Avenue and Milwaukee Street.

The city and neighborhood have been awaiting a project on the prime site for  nearly a decade. A previous proposal by another developer failed in the bad  economy.

“It’s an extremely important site,” Mayor Paul Soglin said. “It impacts the  immediate neighborhood. It makes a statement about the city.”

The city and Gorman have been negotiating land sale and development  requirements, and the deal has been hung up on how city financial support would  occur if the project is done in phases, as Gorman wants.

A tentative letter of intent has encouraged city officials but still leaves  details that must be resolved.

“I’m really thrilled,” said Ald. Marsha Rummel, 6th  District, who represents the area. “It’s  taken a while. It’s been a roller coaster on whether it will happen or not.”

The redevelopment, Rummel said, would make the site a destination. “It  becomes a neighborhood, with services and housing and a real interesting sense  of place.”

Gary Gorman or a company spokesman could not be reached.

The city already has invested about $6 million to buy the land, make public  improvements and cover other costs.

Under the letter of intent, the city would sell the site to Gorman for $1 and  the developer would apply for $6 million in tax incremental financing (TIF)  support for the entire project.

The city would be repaid for its $6 million investment in the land and other  costs by new property taxes generated by the redevelopment.

Gorman would develop the project in four phases.

The first would include 60,000 square feet of medical clinic space with  parking at the corner of East Washington Avenue and Milwaukee Street. The second  phase would have 50 to 100 residential units and parking. The third would have  retail and office space that may include a public library branch and more  residential units with parking, and the fourth more retail, a restaurant and/or  residential units.

The phasing may present challenges for securing the $6 million in TIF. The  first phase, the most certain, is not expected to demonstrate a financing gap to  justify the entire $6 million, and there are questions about details and timing  of later phases.

It will be a “tall order” for Gorman to deliver a TIF application for the  entire project to merit $6 million because the developer has yet to solidify  final phases, city TIF coordinator Joe Gromacki said.

The letter of intent anticipates exceptions from city TIF policy to allow a  corporate rather than personal guarantee for repayment of the TIF support and to  have the city forgo a percentage of profits if the project is sold to a third  party, Gromacki said. Gorman might need other exceptions depending on final  numbers, he said.

The deal, however, protects the city because after five years the city could  reclaim any undeveloped property for $1, Gromacki said.

“Working with Gary Gorman is a real challenge, and I say that in a  complimentary way,” Soglin said. “He’s demanding of independence as a developer,  but he has a strong history of delivering a quality project.”

Soglin said he doesn’t want to prejudge Gorman’s TIF application and prefers  to take one step at a time.

Rummel said she is comfortable with the deal.

The letter of intent will be referred to city committees and decided by the  City Council  as soon as July 16.

If the council approves the letter, the city and Gorman would negotiate a  formal purchase and sale agreement and Gorman would move to TIF and land use  review processes.

The city has been awaiting a project for a long time.

McGrath Associates, the former property owner, proposed a major mixed-use  project in 2004 and after a lengthy review process won broad support from city  officials and residents for plans. But the condo market softened and the project  stalled in June 2007.

The city bought the site for $3.57 million in December 2010 and invited  development proposals in June 2012. Five entities responded with Gorman and  Livesey Co./Stone House Development emerging as finalists. Livesey/Stone House  offered a $43.5 million mixed-use project.

In November 2012, a special city committee recommended Gorman’s proposal  after Livesey/Stone House stepped back. But the committee said the city should  negotiate with Livesey/Stone House if talks with Gorman  collapse.

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