Madison is close to breaking ground on the $176 million Judge Doyle Square project Downtown.
Well done, city officials, and congratulations to the developer, Beitler Real Estate Services of Chicago. They slowly but surely found a path to approval for this massive and transformative development after a previous proposal for the site fell through.
If all goes well, construction of a 560-stall public parking garage beneath the two-block site will begin this fall. Then three curved glass towers will start to take shape in 2019. They will house a 252-room hotel, about 350 apartments, retail space and a bicycle center.
Also included is an eye-catching art installation. Statues of bicyclists in a shallow pond with running water would give the illusion of movement.
“It’s an exciting project for Downtown. It’s totally different than anything else we’ve had,” Ald. Sheri Carter said this week, as she and other members of the Plan Commission unanimously approved zoning changes, survey maps, a demolition permit and building-height waivers. “I look forward to its completion.”
So do we.
And so should the rest of the city and region. The project will attract more visitors and residents Downtown while producing significant property and hotel taxes. A vibrant Downtown is key to Madison’s success.
We urge city officials to employ the same kind of careful yet determined approach used to advanced Judge Doyle Square to help another big project succeed.
Madison Area Technical College is close to picking a $131 million redevelopment plan to turn its Downtown campus into a hotel and office building at 211 N. Carroll St. MATC President Jack Daniels is recommending the project to his board, having reviewed five proposals from different developers.
It appears Hovde Properties of Madison and Drury Southwest of Missouri will be chosen to remake the site. MATC would earn money by leasing its land to the developers. It would move Downtown classes to an expanded campus on the South Side.
As with many building proposals Downtown, a big question will be how much public assistance the developer might seek and be granted.
But for now, the basic outline of the Hovde project looks good, with Madison Mayor Paul Soglin offering his general support.
Advancing another big development Downtown will keep the momentum going for further growth and prosperity.