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Revised State Street hotel proposal

A preliminary concept of a boutique State Street hotel shows how it would incorporate the facades and portions of two of the four buildings that front the popular pedestrian mall. The building would be four stories on State Street but rise to eight stories at the corner of North Carroll and West Dayton streets.

The developers of a proposed boutique hotel on Madison’s State Street are revising their plans after acquiring two additional buildings on the pedestrian mall.

With the acquisition of a two-story building at 124 State St. and a four-story building at 126 State St., the developers now own four buildings along the popular pedestrian destination, said Eric Nordeen, co-founder of the project’s lead developer, Ascendant Holdings Real Estate, of Madison and Milwaukee.

The larger footprint also allows for a slight increase in the number of hotel rooms from around 115 to about 130, Nordeen said.

The initial plan, proposed in late 2016, was to demolish a six-story building at 122 State St. and an adjacent two-story structure at 118 State St. for the hotel.

But revised plans for the $40 million project submitted to the city on Monday would instead have the properties at 122 and 124 State St. demolished, while the facades and portions of the buildings on each end of the hotel would be retained.

“If you’re in the lobby, you’ll know that there’s a remnant of this old building, not just the facade, but the actual walls coming back into the space,” Nordeen said. “A few of the hotel rooms will actually be in the old buildings, both in 118 and 126, hopefully with some exposed brick and some other texture.”

The height of the project remains the same as initially proposed.

Along State Street, the hotel would be four floors tall, with a restaurant on the ground level, and a fifth-floor terrace overlooking the street. Further back at the corner of West Dayton and North Carroll streets, it would rise up to eight stories with a set back ninth-floor bar and lounge.

Nordeen acknowledged that the project’s height has been a contentious issue. He said that the largest part of the hotel would be next to similar-size buildings like the Madison Concourse Hotel and the Madison Area Technical College’s Downtown campus, which is also set to be renovated into a hotel.

“It happens to be State Street, which makes people rightly concerned to get it right, and we badly want to get State Street right as well,” Nordeen said.

Provenance Hotels, a Portland, Oregon-based hotel operator, would run the hotel, and Central Properties, of Madison, is also partnering on the project.

The project has been put on hold for about the past six months, Nordeen said, as the two new buildings were purchased. The ground-floor retail space of those new buildings, which formerly held the Tiki Shack, is vacant.

Construction is aimed to start in early 2019 and finish by the third quarter of 2020.

Just as originally proposed, the revised plans don’t include on-site parking. Nordeen said the hotel hopes to contract with private parking ramp owners for around 100 spaces, and parking would be handled by a valet service on the hotel’s North Carroll Street side.

He said the development group has backed off of its plan to lease space in the city-owned State Street Capitol Garage.

A pedestrian sky bridge over West Dayton Street would also be demolished.

“It happens to be State Street, which makes people rightly concerned to get it right, and we badly want to get State Street right as well.” Eric Nordeen, Ascendant
Holdings Real Estate
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Logan Wroge has been a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal since 2015.