After four years of effort, developer Robert Dunn is poised to proceed with the $98 million rebirth of the historic Edgewater hotel.

Dunn, who announced in late July that he would forge ahead with no public financing and new investment by a group of philanthropists, has now given the city proof of financing and a construction contract, the final requirements for a building permit.

The developer expects to secure the permit in the coming weeks, have a groundbreaking around the time of the last home UW football game on the weekend of Nov. 17, and close the existing hotel for reconstruction on Nov. 19.

"We've always stayed focused on moving forward," Dunn said, adding that he is especially pleased with final design details and furnishing choices. "It's going to be everything and more that I always hoped it would be."

Steve Cover, city director of Planning and Community and Economic Development, who has final say on the building permit, could not be reached Monday.

The redevelopment plans, approved in 2010, restore the Art Moderne style of the original hotel, built in 1948, cut the size of a 1970s addition, set a public terrace atop it overlooking Lake Mendota, create a staircase to the lake and erect a nine-story tower.

The new Edgewater will have 189 rooms, up to 10 luxury condos, banquet, meeting and retail space, restaurants, a pier and docks, a winter ice skating rink and underground parking.

Dunn's financing includes $15.9 million already spent for property acquisition and project development, a $36 million construction loan, and $46.1 million in equity investments and further contributions by the developer, according to an Oct. 25 letter to the city from one of the lenders, BankMutual of Brookfield.

The $98 million cost includes $56.3 million for construction, $8.85 million for furnishings, fixtures and equipment, and $16.95 million for financing and "soft costs" and a contingency, the letter states. The loan is approved and set to close no later than Nov. 26, it states.

A construction services agreement with J.H. Findorff & Son shows all work will be done for $56.3 million and the project finished by July 15, 2014.

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(5) comments

Always Choose Wisely

Great news for Madison and visitors to Madison.
Looked like only the lawyers were going to make out on this one for awhile but finally the good guys prevail.

Phil Ball

From the beginning, Dunn could have proceeded with his project quickly and orderly. All he needed was a plan that conformed to existing law and sufficient private funds.
He had neither.
As a result, project supporter Mayor Dave lost the mayor's office.
Present Mayor Soglin, originally a supporter of Dunn's Edgewater TIF scam, saw the
light and campaigned against the project, winning the Mayoral race because of it.
The Wisconsin State Journal, having propagandized for Dunn and Edgewater, was left holding the bag.
Humiliated by the transparent cheating and lying that underlay the whole Edgewater project
from the get go, the WSJ covered up by doubling down. They transformed their 'coverage' of the controversy into nothing short of pure propaganda, replete with full front page color reproductions of Dunn's fantasy, skating rink and all.
And now, Dunn and the WSJ are back in lockstep, telling us that the same project that couldn't be built without the $16,000,000 TIF suddenly has become doable because of
Dunn's newly legal plan and heretofore unavailable private funds.
If true, so be it.
Build it.
It's that simple.
All you need do is show us YOUR money, run your new plans back thru the approval process and prove that what you propose conforms to existing policies and law.


Go Bob Go. Fred? Move along.


The investment by these philanthropists should be considered a donation.


Sitting on the dock of bay, watching the tide rollaway.

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