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Mayor unveils major retail development

Connect 2011
Madison Mayor Paul Finley addresses the crowd during the Madison Chamber of Commerce's annual Connect 2011 event at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration.

Madison Mayor Paul Finley announced plans for a major retail development and the expansion of the Insanity Sportsplex during his annual State of the City address during the Chamber of Commerce’s Connect 2011 event at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration.

The new development will be anchored by a major retailer, which is believed to be a Super Target, although details have not been finalized.

“I can’t say the name of the retailer, but the TARGET date for opening is summer of 2012,” Finley said to an eruption of laughter and applause.

The 266,000-square foot “Shoppes of Madison” is expected to be built near the site of the new Madison Hospital off Balch Road.

In addition to the major retailer, the Shoppes are also expected to include various sit-down restaurants, a major home décor store and other retailers.

Finley said the new development would bring more jobs to Madison and create more jobs in the area.

“The economic downturn took a lot of people down with it,” Finley said. “We’re going to invest money to make money.”

In addition to The Shoppes, Finley also announced that the Insanity Sportsplex will soon be expanding to occupy the vacant buildings on the property.

The renovated sportsplex is expected to include a two-story laser tag room, go-karts, a rock-climbing wall, a roller rink and meeting facilities.

“We need it and it’s going to enhance our community,” Finley said.

Among other topics Finley covered during the event, he touted the new high school being built off County Line Road, the new Madison Hospital, the city’s growth plan and the Hogan Family YMCA.

“The Hogan YMCA has been a major, major difference maker in Madison,” Finley said. “That is a gamechanger.”

Since it’s opening, Finley said the Hogan YMCA has increased from 2,200 members to more than 6,000.

The YMCA is also the new home to the Madison Chamber of Commerce, the host of Connect 2011.

Lou Galipeau, the chamber’s manager of investor relations, said Friday’s Connect 2011 attendance was more than 500, up 100 from last year.

Madison Chamber President Michelle Nesin also spoke during the event, announcing that the chamber gained 149 new members during the past year, pushing the overall membership from 315 to 649 in just two years.

“The future is so bright I’ve got to wear shades,” Nesin said.

Laura Vaughn contributed to this report.

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