Developers have broken ground on a project that will bring 169 units of workforce housing to Fitchburg and the Town of Madison. The target market for the project includes employees working for nearby businesses.

The Alexander Company and Bear Development are the developers of the $34.5 million project known as Artisan Village.

The project is part of the Alexander Company’s larger Novation Campus near US-12/18 at Rimrock Road. Fitchburg will eventually absorb the Town of Madison portion of the project.

The 62-acre Novation Campus aims to eventually contain over 1 million square feet of commercial space and is home to retail, apartments and employers like Exact Sciences and UnityPoint Health-Meriter.

Matt Meier, vice president of real estate development at the Alexander Company, called the addition of workforce housing a “logical next step,” as he said it allows the campus’s many employees to have quality housing options within walking distance of their jobs.

“We have approximately 1,300 employees in our business park here now. We think part of the demand will be from those employees,” he said.

That also plays into the developer’s desire to limit sprawl. The Novation Campus site was originally home to obsolete buildings and a construction yard, Meier said.

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This article was originally published by The Cap Times.