Following a recommendation from the city’s Plan Commission, Madison’s City Council on Tuesday approved a zoning change and plans for a new boutique hotel on the 100 block of State Street.
Plans for the nine-story, 130-room hotel have found favor among Madison’s downtown community members and representatives, who hope that the project will deter criminal activity on the block between the top of State Street and the Capitol.
“The bottom line for me is that we can’t wait for something to happen at the top of State Street,” Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said. We need to act today. We need to act immediately to do everything we can to improve the top of State Street.”
However, the height of the $43 million hotel — 19 feet height than what is allowed in the city’s downtown height map — has been a sticking point for others.
“I just simply do not agree that the conditions that we need to judge this on have been met,” Ald. Ledell Zellers, District 2, said. “I basically agree with the staff report that the proposal doesn’t meet the rezoning standards.”
Zellers and Ald. Marsha Rummel, District 6, voted against the project. Ald. Rebecca Kemble, District 18, left the meeting early and did not vote on the project.
Ascendant Holdings Real Estate, the developer, working in partnership with Central Properties of Madison, plans to include a first-floor restaurant, art collection and rooftop terrace and bar in the hotel. The property stretches from 118 to 126 State St., and the design utilizes the older architecture of the two buildings book-ending the State Street frontage.
The zoning change approved by the City Council, from Downtown Core District to Planned Development District, will allow the developer to construct a taller building. City staff advised the Plan Commission against approving the project but asked the City Council to explain the reasoning if the plans should be approved.
Ascendant’s proposal is the third project for which the Plan Commission has approved rezoning and allowed for extra height. The city previously approved extra height for the AC Hotel at 1 N. Webster St. and the Pressman apartments at 117 S. Hamilton St.
“I do not want the action tonight which I am asking you to take, to be in any way, shape or form be seen as attacking the integrity of the Downtown Plan the council adopted in 2012,” Verveer said.
The proposed hotel site is bounded by State, North Carroll and West Dayton streets with frontages along the three streets.
Plans call for demolishing most of the two-story commercial building at 118 State St., all of 122 State St. (formerly the Fountain bar) and 124 State St. (formerly the Tiki Shack), and most of a three-story mixed-use building at 126 State St., which is also 117 W. Dayton St.
As part of the demolition, the pedestrian bridge across West Dayton Street to the city’s State Street Capitol Garage will also be removed.
Project plans do not include on-site parking, and the developer plans to lease approximately 80 parking spaces nearby. The spaces, which have yet to be secured, will be offered to guests through a valet service. Bicycle valet service will also be available.