Judge Doyle Square construction

The first phase of the $175 million Judge Doyle Square redevelopment project is underway with construction beginning on the public parking garage.

Construction work on a new downtown Madison parking garage is underway, marking the first phase of the $175 million Judge Doyle Square redevelopment project.

The approximately $32 million parking garage, which will be located behind the Madison Municipal Building, represents the public component of the redevelopment of two downtown blocks.

Chicago-based Beitler Real Estate Services is leading the private portion of the project, which includes building a new hotel, apartment units, retail space and a bike center.

The Madison City Council approved Beitler’s project in July after about seven years of discussion and various iterations of what development of the two blocks could look like, including an idea in 2010 to house a public market downtown.

The project has also had its share of disappointment including the originally favored developer, in partnership with Exact Sciences, pulling out in 2015.

“The route to today has not always been positive,” Department of Planning, Community & Economic Development director Natalie Erdman said at a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday. “It’s had twist and turns. It’s had barriers and disappointments.”

The new 562-stall parking garage will replace the 60-year-old Government East ramp on Pinckney Street. However, Government East will remain open until the new parking garage is operational.

Paul Soglin

Mayor Paul Soglin speaks during an Oct. 31 groundbreaking ceremony of a new public parking garage that is part of the Judge Doyle Square redevelopment project.

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“We will have continuous, uninterrupted use of the Government East garage and those 500-plus parking spaces in the heart of downtown,” Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said.

Mayor Paul Soglin said the new parking garage is part of an effort by the city to reduce surface parking.

“The project is going to be part of a major endeavor by the city over the years to eliminate as much surface parking as possible, put as much parking below ground as possible and simultaneously see the greatest possible private development, which is really the core of this project,” Soglin said.

Construction of the new garage is expected to be complete in Dec. 2018.

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