Developer: Edgewater redevelopment to bring 700 construction jobs, 250 permanent jobs

2012-08-02T08:00:00Z 2012-10-29T19:34:22Z Developer: Edgewater redevelopment to bring 700 construction jobs, 250 permanent jobsDEAN MOSIMAN | Wisconsin State Journal | dmosiman@madison.com | 608-252-6141 madison.com

Developer Robert Dunn is moving to get a building permit for his $98 million redevelopment of The Edgewater hotel and estimates the project will produce 700 construction jobs starting around October.

Dunn expects the hotel will create 250 permanent jobs in addition to 100 to 150 indirect jobs in the area when it reopens in 2014.

The developer said he expects to follow a previous deal with the Building Trades Council of south-central Wisconsin to ensure the long-stalled redevelopment is a union project.

The union agreement, announced in September 2010, promised outreach, especially to targeted populations; training; safety initiatives; and internships and apprenticeships after the hotel opens.

Dunn said he must still meet with union leaders but added, "At this point, I'm not anticipating we're going to approach this project any differently."

"It's great news," trades council president Steve Breitlow, who has been a strong advocate of the redevelopment, said of The Edgewater moving forward. "The project needs to be done. It will be a much-needed shot in the arm and a catalyst for other projects."

The developer's team is meeting with city officials this week to review final steps needed for a building permit, Dunn said.

The city attorney's office confirmed Dunn must only submit proof of financing and contracts with construction firms for the project to go forward.

Dunn said he and a small group of investors have financing and are in the final stages of negotiating construction contracts.

"I expect within days or weeks, we'll have everything with the city done," he said.

Steve Cover, the city's director of Planning, Community and Economic Development, said land use approvals given in May 2010 are good through early 2013. Outside the last two requirements, "It appears it is basically ready to go," he said.

Dunn intends to break ground on UW-Madison's homecoming weekend Oct. 26 and finish the project in the late spring of 2014.

Dunn, president of Hammes Co., recently joined with a group of investors including philanthropists W. Jerome Frautschi and his wife, Pleasant Rowland, to overcome a $16 million financing gap — a sum Dunn hoped would be covered with public assistance — that stalled the project.

The investment group will follow plans approved by the city two years ago, which restore the original hotel, cut the size of a 1970s addition and set a public terrace atop it overlooking Lake Mendota, create a staircase to the lake and erect a nine-story tower.

As part of the land use approvals, public access will remain to some elements such as the main terrace, stairways to the lake, terraces along the shoreline, and public restrooms, Cover and Dunn agreed.

Under a management agreement, the public will have access from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., 365 days a year. Dunn is responsible for maintenance and security of public elements, and can close all or part of the upper terrace up to 15 times a year. The public space is also to be used for the benefit of nonprofits or community groups at least eight times a year.

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(23) Comments

  1. Pops
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    Pops - September 21, 2012 10:26 am
    I work at The Edgewater..have for over 14 years. as of 11/19/2012 the hotel will close..because of new ownership..there will not be a COBRA option for insurance..And Severance is just a nice word!.. Moral at the hotel is at a depth I've never seen before. We have people that have given over 25 years of their life to the hotel..and a lot have between 10-20 years service.Speaking for myself..I have serious medical needs..I'm on a transplant list at UW..If I don't have insurance..I'm off the list..not a thing I like to think about. Unemployment is not going to be anywhere near enough to sustain life!.. The hotel will be very grand..a great addition to Madison.. If not for all the delays in getting the project going..We could have remained open.Thanx Mr. M***..early retirement ..I can get in Feb..when I'm 62. I can reapply for SSI after the hotel closes. I made $175 too much a month to qualify!..So I'm done ranting I guess..Not all is well with the system. I can hope I don't get sick before I can collect disability... let me see..what's it gonna be this month..Rent?..Meds?..Food?.. Utilities?... Dead Man Walking!
  2. Lewis
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    Lewis - August 02, 2012 7:21 pm
    In any other city of a quarter million people, a hotel reconstruction project would be no big deal. I'm afraid some of you are sounding a little provincial here, you better head back to the farm if you can't take urban realities. Really! Its just a hotel, one that badly needs updating. Grow up and shut up. Mansion Hill hasn't been private family mansions in years, it's a student ghetto.
  3. DarkStar
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    DarkStar - August 02, 2012 5:17 pm
    And you know this how? Evidence? Headchef sounds more like disgruntled line cook..
  4. For the Record
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    For the Record - August 02, 2012 4:39 pm
    For the record, I did not post this comment.
    Glen Timmcke
    Executive Chef
  5. DarkStar
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    DarkStar - August 02, 2012 4:19 pm
    Look, having been in the hotel business in Madison during the 80's and 90', I started as a bellman and worked my way up to Front Office Manager, I can tell you clearly that that most hotel line jobs do not pay all that well. However, they do offer younger employees a great stepping stone to advancement. The hotel I worked at offered a great tuition reimbursement plan, and I used it to the fullest. Work hard, get educated and move up on your own, no one is going to hand it to you, nor should they. If you don't have ambition, do NOT expect the rest of us to pay your way.
  6. pony
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    pony - August 02, 2012 2:29 pm
    agree
  7. headchef
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    headchef - August 02, 2012 1:30 pm
    Somehow this article failed to mention the 150ppl currently employed that are all loosing their jobs because Hammes wants to bring in their own people!!
  8. TheMatador
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    TheMatador - August 02, 2012 12:44 pm
    Well the stupids have arrived.
  9. TheMatador
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    TheMatador - August 02, 2012 12:44 pm
    You're right. It's best we never update anything.
  10. nan3
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    nan3 - August 02, 2012 11:49 am
    Actually, Mayor Dave lost. The election. Because of the Edgewater. And Dunn lost the handout he was after. As long as no taxpayer $ goes to corporate welfare, we're cool. You mostly seem the whiner.
  11. snootyelites
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    snootyelites - August 02, 2012 11:37 am
    50% of the property tax base in the city is eroded by lefty owned non-profit housing. The other 50% are being ripped of by Soglin and the dope heads. Then they go on attacking private sector that creates jobs and pays taxes. Let me quote my great aunt Maggie again:

    THE TROUBLE WITH SOCIALISM IS THAT YOU EVENTUALLY WILL RUN OUT OF OTHER PEOPLES MONEY!

  12. mequondoctorrob
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    mequondoctorrob - August 02, 2012 10:48 am
    We better alert the airport to prepare for all the 747's that will be carrying all the covention goers to Madison. This hotel will certainly put us right up there with Vegas, New York, and Chicago.
  13. glenrusswood
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    glenrusswood - August 02, 2012 9:33 am
    Bring the illegals on!
    I would take the 30Gs
    and so would they
  14. Stan
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    Stan - August 02, 2012 9:30 am
    I think you've got the right attitude. You may not like the project, but you acknowledge the developer has the right to build it. And it's going to make a positive tax and jobs contribution to a city that is in serious financial straits.

    Too many of the commenters here feel they have the obligation to pee in everyone else's Cheerios, because they failed in their efforts to stop this project. Well guess what? You lost. Get over it. Now they want to complain about the jobs this will create. It's a wonder anyone is still willing to put up with all this nonsense and even build in Madison with the irrational screaming coming from the perpetually offended. Shut up and move on.
  15. Stan
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    Stan - August 02, 2012 9:26 am
    Keep crying. You tried to shut down the proposal and you lost. Get over it. The more you complain about it, the more it makes you people look like a classless group of whiners. See you when the project's finished.
  16. Stan
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    Stan - August 02, 2012 9:24 am
    I guess you'd prefer no jobs at all, instead? And please - the class warfare baloney about high rollers popping champagne? You've been using that line ever since the Edgewater proposal started. It's not getting any traction because no one's buying it.

    You lost. Get over it. Go find something else to whine about now.
  17. midwestguy
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    midwestguy - August 02, 2012 8:19 am
    "Dunn is responsible for maintenance and security of public elements, and can close all or part of the upper terrace up to 15 times a year. "

    That would be at least one weekend night between, say June and August. Maybe if I get there early enough on one of those "closed" days, I can get a good view of the "party". While the jet set is popping the champagne, I'm sure the low wage/high turnover jobs being created will make for high morale right off the bat.
  18. Mr LaMarr
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    Mr LaMarr - August 02, 2012 8:15 am
    30k a yr is nothing to get excited about anymore. Ur not going to buy a house and support a family on that.
  19. Lancer
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    Lancer - August 02, 2012 8:14 am
    I wouldn't believe what Bob Dunn says about the number of jobs or anything else.

    Remember, Dunn said he absolutely, positively couldn't build it without a $16 million TIF gift from Madison taxpayers. But now, he is building it without ANY public subsidy including the $3.3 million TIF approved last year.

    Dunn was pulling our leg and Cieslewicz and his cronies bought the sham.

    Cieslewicz even pressured city staff to support his $16 million giveaway to Dunn even though staff knew it was a bad deal. Cieslewicz looks like a fool.
  20. pkrfan
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    pkrfan - August 02, 2012 8:11 am
    I think it takes more than "McJobs" to run a hotel. Granted, some will be part-time or minimum wage, but there will also be professional, career jobs. Let's not look a gift horse in the mouth. This will be a great addition to the city.
  21. Meli
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    Meli - August 02, 2012 6:59 am
    McJobs are for high school kids.

    Dairy Equipment never let us buy a customer lunch at the Edgewater in the 70's+ owing to their prices so it's gotta' be evident the Edgewater is a private enterprise that couldn't care less about the city, only their $$
  22. AngryDeuce
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    AngryDeuce - August 02, 2012 6:28 am
    I'm not going to get too excited about this until the details on the permanent jobs come out (if they ever do). My guess is we're going to get 220 new minimum wage, part-time (so no benefits provided, of course), high-turnover, no opportunity for advancement jobs like housekeeping and concierge positions, and about 30 or so real career positions that will quickly be filled by the brothers, sisters, and children of the people that supported this developer politically and his friends.

    The indirect jobs, what are they? The people handling the Edgewater's linen service? Temporary caterers? More brilliant careers that will move this economy forward.

    Someone let me know when an employer comes in that promises jobs starting at 30k a year and up. Then we can get excited about jobs being created. McJobs don't help anyone at all, except for the owner.
  23. jimatmadison
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    jimatmadison - August 02, 2012 5:16 am
    All in all, this is great news. I don't love the actual project, but that's the nature of doing something big in an important downtown neighborhood - nobody gets everything they want.

    While I don't love it, the developers and the city have come up with something that I believe will be net asset to the neighborhood and the city.

    Congratulations to everybody who worked to make this happen.
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