Alexander Co. is a development company. Buying land for development is what they do. OK, fair enough, right? But I can't help but notice that their name has come up at the center of several contentious land-use and development debates over the past year or so.
They're currently in the midst of an argument over the future of Drumlin farm, a situation that certainly paints them as being somewhat overzealous and thoughtless about the needs and realities of the community. Recently, they tried to get permission to remodel the Acacia House in downtown Madison, as well as build a new apartment building in the small lot behind it (the proposal was shot down by the Madison City Council).
And just today it was announced that Alexander Co. has purchased the Northgate Mall complex on Sherman Ave.
I can't help but have mixed feelings about their plans for the space. While revitalization of the area is needed, the company's track record isn't exactly pristine. It's worth keeping a close eye on any future plans and proposals made by them--and other such companies--to make sure we create an environment that is both good for businesses looking to invest in city improvements and that fosters thoughtful, ecologically sound planning.
Hopefully, I'm reading too much into all of this and it won't become more of an issue. But I have a feeling that the people currently dealing with Alexander Co. over Drumlin farm would tell me otherwise.
UPDATE: This is a good step on the part of AC, so long as they don't end up asking a prohibitively expensive amount for the land.