CLIENT: Steve Brown Apartments, City of Verona

DATES: 2020-2023

NEED: The City of Verona – nicknamed “Hometown USA” – like many communities in Dane County, is among the fastest growing in the state. In less than two decades it has endeavored to create a unified and walkable downtown and identity to anchor rapid growth. With land available adjacent to downtown that included the historic site of Sugar Creek Elementary, Verona’s first graded school site, the community wished to secure both its authentic identity and provide needed workforce housing options while expanding its walkable, downtown presence.  

ROLE: Working as part of the winning proposal team that included Steve Brown Apartments, Alexander Co., and others, Vandewalle & Associates provided analysis, visioning graphics, master plan and historic preservation planning, experience design, and property entitlement. Working closely with the other architects, engineers, and developers, the V&A team helped envision and design a neighborhood with an inspiring, multi-generational, community gathering hub for the Sugar Creek neighborhood that was knit into the heart of Verona. A cohesive blend of park and cultural activities plus a vibrant mix of street-facing shops would draw people in with a “city vibe.” This core would be flanked by a blend of thoughtfully designed multi-family housing clustered into a walkable neighborhood that would feel well-curated, authentic, and respectful to the historic nature of the site.


  • Civic plaza and community gathering space to anchor the neighborhood and accommodate a variety of community events and programming
  • Rehabilitation of the historic schoolhouse, returning it to the community it was built to serve through a public-private partnership and adaptive reuse
  • “Sugar Creek Commons” commercial, 10,000 sq. ft. of mixed-use shop, office, and restaurant space
  • “Mill District” housing, 132 market-rate, multi-family units
  • “Schoolhouse Yards” housing, 104 attractive and affordable, multi-family workforce units in a thoughtful neighborhood setting
  • Carefully structured project financing with multiple funding sources to minimize the City of Verona’s contribution and tax impact


  • Highly visible, integrated hub for Verona with new places to shop, live, and dine
  • Dynamic new neighborhood housing and commercial spaces, now leasing
  • A successful catalyst for additional downtown development and density