After years of planning, Madison is poised to ask developers for qualifications and initial concepts for a massive — perhaps $200 million — redevelopment with hotels, housing, offices, stores and underground parking near Capitol Square.

Mayor Paul Soglin and several City Council members on Tuesday will introduce to the council a request for qualifications (RFQ) from developers who would work with the city to redevelop two blocks that now host the Madison Municipal Building and Government East parking garage.

The council will later decide whether to move forward with the RFQ for what a city report last year described as "possibly as complex a project as the city has ever undertaken."

The project could require a public investment of $25 million to $50 million, much of that for underground parking, the city staff report says.

Development proposals, according to the proposed RFQ, must include:

• A hotel component that would guarantee a minimum 250-room block for Monona Terrace. (A study by a Chicago firm this month says the city must build a new hotel with 400 to 500 rooms with substantial meeting space to deliver the guaranteed room block the convention center needs. But the room block could be secured with a smaller hotel and guarantees.)

• First-story retail and restaurant storefronts along Wilson, Doty and Pinckney streets.

• A bicycle center.

• A parking plan for both blocks to support the entire development.

Other land uses — office and commercial space, community and public open spaces and residential housing — are encouraged but not mandatory, the RFQ says.

The city wants to keep the Municipal Building itself for offices but would not disqualify an exceptional proposal, it says.

Responses to the RFQ would be due April 30.

Soglin and Ald. Mike Verveer, 4th District, on Tuesday are also introducing a related proposal to spend $198,500 on a contract with Isthmus Architecture for a study on the expansion and remodeling of the Municipal Building for city office use.

A preliminary project schedule for Judge Doyle Square shows parking garage construction beginning in 2014 and other construction on the Municipal Building block in 2015, with construction on the Government East side beginning in 2016 and the full project completed in 2018-19.

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(30) comments

metal
metal

Wishfulthinking kind of has a good point. even if we get an icreased tax base, do/will our property taxes ever go down?? Govt always has some other, new reason to need more money....

Steve_R
Steve_R

There just aren't enough details at this point.
If a developer wants to buy the land and put up a hotel that's fine. Let them pay for their business venture and reap its rewards. And pay taxes as required. No subsidies, no TIFs. If it's a good business venture then the developer should pay for it.
If the parking garage is to be a city garage, then the city and its taxpayers need to pay for it. And that's fine. What happens to the parking garage currently at the location? Gonna tear it down? And if we are, how many new parking spaces would be gained underground?
If it's parking for the new hotel, then some deal is going to have to be worked out between the hotel and city regarding who gets to park there and when. And for how much.
As far as some bicycling application to the area: No. Sorry. Parking spaces for bikes, of course. But that's enough if taxpayers are going to have to fund it.
If this is just another attempt to get a year-'round public market: No thanks. We do not need it, nor is it practical for the city and it's climate. Our wonderful Farmer's Market is just great.
We don't have money, as a city, to throw around right now.

Lewis
Lewis

I'm neither agreeing or disagreeing with you, but bicyclers are taxpayers, too, so any infrastructure for bicycles should be paid for by taxpayers, just as it is for car drivers. It's all part of the public system that moves us around, roads, bike trails, railroads, airports, sidewalks, etc. These are jointly owned, jointly used, so, of course, jointly paid for. As far as needing a public market, it's cold in Milwaukee, too, but the public market there has done a great deal towards bringing money into downtown Milwaukee and the third ward, winter and summer. As far as TIF money is concerned, again in Milwaukee the city is putting up 48 mil to help northwestern mutual build their new 35 story building downtown. Must be good business in it, or they wouldn't do it, as times are tough in milwaukee, , too.

midwestguy
midwestguy

The only thing Madison needs to lose are the losers who are willing to create ideas benefitting a few developers with other Madison taxpayers' money. Let the private sector dictate demand instead of relying on the people who carry other economic burdens.

Norwood44
Norwood44

This sounds smart. Any city with a convention facility understands the need for hotel capacity and proximity. This plan combined with the renewed Edgewater will allow Madison to become competitive for mid-sized conventions. As for the nay sayers, they should think a little bit about how much money one convention can drop on our city. Room nights, food, drink, shopping. Now amortize those conventions over twenty years and you can see that the 25 to 50 tag isn't that fat at all. Parking subsidizes itself. More of this vision is needed for Madison, not less. Go Paul.

wishfullthinking
wishfullthinking

The city wants 25 to 50 million tax dollars to tear down a parking ramp and build an underground parking ramp. We already have a parking ramp. Why don't they just build there hotel on the other block. Then the city makes demands on builders like a bike spot. Why? To scare anybody from wanted to build here because of the extra cost. The Mayors and building commission are the reasons why we don't have business growth. They are to controlling and want to add to many other building costs to owners. That's why Epic and others left Madison. I understand TIFF money is needed or is it. Edgewater was able to build without it. Maybe if somebody can build what they need and not all of the city's add-ons maybe the builder won't need TIFF money.

Our taxes go up to help with building for a bigger tax base. The problem is when the new building starts paying higher taxes and the loan is paid off our taxes Do NOT go down.

Lewis
Lewis

I agree with "metal". Go ahead with this project and build the tax base. Madison has a quarter of a million people, time for the locals to think urban and let Madison grow up economically. Only in"progressive" Madison would the re-make of a nine story hotel ( the edge water) proved to be overwhelming and too dense to handle. No wonder Madison is loosing out culturally and economically to nearby Milwaukee and chicago. Think big, Build on a grander scale, improve transit, or remain an over-rated college town.

Cornelius Gotchberg
Cornelius Gotchberg

@River;

"No really, why is a bicycle center a mandatory part of the project?"

Oh Ye of little faith! The Spector of Mayor Bikeshorts looms large; He of the Mandate to blanket Dane county with all manner of BIKIE infrastructure.

The most critical part of any Madison building consideration is how it will accomodate the Cyclistocracy. We have lanes, paths, trails, boulevards. Heck; thanks to whizzing away ~ $2.7 million in ARRA funds, we now even have a BIKIE *BRIDGE*!" That said, it would be alright with me, (and I don't think I'm alone here) you could forget the rest of the project and just make it a FULL BLOWN BIKIE UTOPIA!

Can you honestly say that a BIKIE Center was not on the horizon? As the owner of a legally registered BIKIE, I'm in a minority that struggles to stay above 9 %. I understand that times are tough and budgeting for the financially suffocating $10 quadrennial fee involves some sacrifice. It's just that ~ 91 % of Madison BIKIEs can't be bothered, as they have notoriously deep pockets and short fingers.

Trying to find room in an increasingly shrinking money pool requires some cost-benefit analysis.
*Anyone that can fog a mirror realizes that BIKIEs can't be expected to cut back on garishly festooned Spandex.
*No one in their right mind will think they ought cut back on the thickness of the tin-foil that lines their BIKIE helmets
*It would be abject lunacy to believe they'd not annually ungrade their wheel/sprocket assemblies; BIKIEs should always have the latest & greatest BIKIE accoutremont.
*Don't think for a moment that they don't need at least four (one for each BIKIE season) ~$250.00 Oakleys (critically important because they filter out reality while allowing the full force of smug sanctimony to enter in!)

If anything, we need to expand on this idea AND eliminate any 'debt ceiling' restriction that might take the shine off this essential project.
*eliminate any 'inclines' making everything 'downhill.' A fatigued BIKIE's attitude doesn't appear as coddled as it could/should be.
*A 'One Hour' Spandex Cleaner/Exchange
*Taxpayer supported legal council for the 10's of 1000's of traffic violations that BIKIEs flaunt with diplomatic immunity; to be used IF any of them is actually issued a citation
*Make looking at BIKIEs sideways or chuckling at their goofy attire a 'hate crime!'
*Make BIKIE theft a Capital Offense
*Taxpayer-funded Mental Health & Wellness services because even the most visually self-assured BIKIEs suffer from low self-esteem & self-doubt.

VIVA LA SPANDEX; takin' it to the streets!

The Gotch

legalizeit
legalizeit

LOL - Beautifully put !!!

And oh so sadly true

River
River

No really, why is a bicycle center a mandatory part of the project?

krf3000
krf3000

Maybe for the same reason that an "automobile center" is the main focal point of this project?

jimatmadison
jimatmadison

Waaaa! There's never enough parking downtown!

Waaaa! Madison taxpayers shouldn't have to fund downtown parking!

Waaaa! I don't live in Madison but just like to be a jack hole and mouth off about things!

legalizeit
legalizeit

LMFAO
LMFAO
LMFAO

Sounds like you know some people from around here lol

legalizeit
legalizeit

Given the current Mayors record of amazingly stupid decisions and arrogant style - I am guessing this won't get very far very fast.

WI_Expat
WI_Expat

LMAO, another study for something that will never get a consensus to move forward!

metal
metal

this is cool. I wish they would build a couple twenty story buildings, with the needed hotel, restaurants and retail, and an office tower to draw in a corporate headquarters, more jobs. im sick of paying expensive property taxes too, but people, we need a more pro business pro growth attitude to increase the tax base around here! Let there be some tall buildings!!

Billie
Billie

Increase the tax base or stop spending money foolishly. Which comes first?

Norwood44
Norwood44

metal gets it.

midwestguy
midwestguy

Congratulations, City of Madison officials. You have come up with an idea that has bipartisan opposition by Madison taxpayers. If it didn't work with Edgewater, it won't work this time. Try to find private financing, or leave it alone. That dog won't hunt.

happydays
happydays

no thank you from me also - we just paid $7000 in taxes for a very very small home on a small lot. A friend of ours has a huge homen- 3 times he size of ours- on a 2 acre lot and only paid $11,000 in taxes in the town of Middleton - this is crazy. we can't afford to live in this city anymore. There is still a huge pile of snow lining one of our streets - they never bothered to clean it off the street - we get very little for the taxes we pay in this city - worse schools, more crime - as soon as we can sell - we are out of her. I am sure there will be more leaving than arriving

Lynne4300
Lynne4300

This, is what Madison thinks it NEEDS?

By the way, have they decided on building the homeless shelter yet, or will they be able to live in the underground garage?

calme
calme

Did you read the study, Lynne? If not, you wouldn't understand the long term economic benefit it will provide the city, which improves the city's jobs picture, average income, tax base, and standard of living. Take some time and read. It would do you good to know the facts before you comment next time.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/119976817/Madison-Hotel-Feasibility-Study-CH-Johnson-Consulting-123112

Lynne4300
Lynne4300

Where is that homeless shelter being built?

Madison does not NEED this project. The city has the lowest unemployment in the state, mostly because of the UW system.

Standard of living??? How dare you bring that up when the homeless in Madison have been relegated to the outskirts of the city, living at Token Creek in tents.

How about looking at the present, and dealing with the problems in the city, instead of simply going down the spending path?

eclectic
eclectic

Why should the City subsidize this project at all?

legalizeit
legalizeit

They don't really - but this part of the country is heavy on people who have zero understanding of business and how money works so the word 'subsidize' to inflame and agitate ... might help sell papers too... lol
Think of the city as an investment partner who puts up a chunk of money for construction costs. And because the finished redevelopment with have a much greater value, it will generate additional tax revenue sufficient to pay back what the city invested.
Without this financial partnering, most redevelopment projects are not financially viable.
IMO your question is a good one.

itsrandallonregent
itsrandallonregent

Diana Shinall should start working on her proposal right now.

River
River

But we need a bicycle center!!!! Whatever that is.

legalizeit
legalizeit

LMAO !!! My thought as well. I think it is one of those self service rental things that popped up all over downtown a couple of summers ago.
Im not sure why they didn't put those things by the bike path that goes around the lake instead of where all the buses and one way streets that confused people are driving down the wrong way...

Steve_R
Steve_R

So the idea is to stick the taxpyers with a $25M-$50M tab for this project? Sorry. No, thank you. If some developer thinks he/she can build this and make money on it, great. Otherwise, absolutely not.

calme
calme

I see the fact that the money will be used to construct a public underground parking structure, likely the largest in the city, sailed over your head. You won't find a single developer willing to drop $25-$50 million on a public parking structure.

Public parking paid for by the public makes complete sense.

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