McGrath nixes plan to buy Essen Haus

Calling it a long, messy story, developer Lance McGrath has dropped plans to buy the Essen Haus and other buildings in the 500 block of East Wilson Street, nixing plans for a mixed-use project, according to a report in the Wisconsin State Journal.

As part of the proposed development, McGrath was to raze the Essen Haus, 514 E. Wilson St., and an adjacent commercial building to make room for a five-story structure that would have 153 apartments and 11,000 square feet of commercial space.

McGrath told Madison alder Marsha Rummel that he had to terminate the purchase offer or lose an earnest money deposit.