Decades of redevelopment, design, and economic restructuring work with the City have helped make Middleton a nationally recognized success story

CLIENT: City of Middleton, WI

DATES: 1986-present

NEED: The firm assisted the City with the design, development, and implementation of a series of  projects that advanced the goals of rebuilding and restructuring the economics of the downtown, while maintaining a balance of urban growth along the edge. 

V&A ROLE: Vandewalle & Associates has served as the City of Middleton’s redevelopment planning, design, and economic restructuring consultant for most of the last several decades.


  • Downtown Revitalization Plan: Vandewalle & Associates was asked to prepare a market analysis and revitalization plan for a 60-acre site in Middleton’s historic downtown business district. That plan identified redevelopment opportunities for mixed-use projects involving commercial, housing, and government facilities, as well as needs for pedestrian and business linkages to integrate the redevelopment area with more active parts of the downtown. 
  • Tax Incremental Financing District Project Plan: Vandewalle & Associates created a tax incremental financing district project plan that encompassed land suitable for industrial development and redevelopment in the downtown and along the Highway 12 corridor. The plan included recommendations for environmental, recreational, and stormwater concerns. Implementation occurred over three years and involved public acquisitions and relocation of businesses to create a major redevelopment site. The TIF district has become one of the most successful in the state, with an assessed value of over $500 million.
  • Industrial and Research Business Park Plan: In the mid-1980s, Vandewalle & Associates created the concept and development plan for over 600 acres of an industrial and research business park in Middleton. The park includes areas targeted for both distributive and manufacturing industries and high-technology laboratories, services, and offices. Many of the new high-technology businesses have strong university connections. 
  • Southwest and Northwest Quadrant Studies: This neighborhood land use plan provides land use and traffic circulation recommendations for the City’s future growth. It also serves as supporting documentation for all community development decisions, including annexations, rezoning, urban service area amendments, subdivisions, utility extensions, and site plan reviews. Since the preparation of the southwest quadrant study, the neighborhood has emerged as one of the Madison metropolitan area’s major employment centers.
  • Greenway Center Project: Greenway Center is a 285-acre planned unit development that incorporates a commercial expansion of the City’s downtown historic business district. Greenway Center exemplifies how the best possible use can be made of valuable, critically positioned real estate on the edge of a growing urban area—showing how carefully planned landscapes can be transformed into a new mixed-use commercial district that features easy auto and pedestrian access, high density employment, recreational and environmental amenities, and a host of opportunities for business, retail, and residential development over the long- and short-term.
  • Transit Center: As part of current TID #3 implementation, Vandewalle & Associates is leading the planning and design of a multi-modal transit center west of downtown. The center is envisioned as Middleton’s transit connection to the central city, improving workforce mobility, reducing carbon, and spurring economic development. 

RESULTS: Nationally Recognized Success Story. The multi-faceted redevelopment, design, and economic restructuring work Vandewalle & Associates has completed during the firm’s multi-decade relationship with Middleton has helped Middleton become a truly exceptional community. Middleton’s high quality of life and economic success were recognized nationally when the community was named “America’s Best Place to Live” by Money Magazine. The ranking system examined thousands of communities, and the results are based on a range of indicators, including economic vitality, job availability, safety, resident health, cultural amenities, green space, and other measures. The article specifically mentions Middleton’s active downtown, excellent schools, network of parks and trails, well-designed neighborhoods, and its strong pool of jobs in growing technology and medical industries.