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.