“For 150 years Madison has been either the East Side or the West Side, where the West Side has been hospitals and the university and the East Side has been Oscar Mayer and manufacturing. ... If we go with the Metcalfe proposal, we lose this opportunity, which could have a century impact on our city,” he said.
I'm not sure what he meant by this either.
A grocery store -- coop, Metcalfe's, whatever -- would be a big improvement for the whole east-downtown including the Old Market neighborhood, east Tenney-Lapland, and the condo dwellers on and off the square. I don't know if the shoppers have to be "knowledge workers" or not, but in terms of making a neighborhood liveable and reducing time- and gas-wasting trips all over the place, nothing beats a good grocery within half a mile or so.
If the neighborhood is convenient and popular, businesses with jobs will naturally locate where people want to live. Looking at E. Wash and E.Main right now, I would not say we're running out of space.
So if I get what Soglin might have been trying to say here, I have to say I don't agree.