A proposal to build a four-story, 53-unit multi-family apartment building with 48 underground parking stalls at 6225 University Ave. was met with some west side neighborhood concern during a presentation at Urban Design Commission Wednesday night.
The proposal, which was seeking final approval, called for the demolition of an existing two-story commercial building and the construction of the new multi-family building. The developer, Joe Krupp, made an informational presentation to Urban Design in October and the proposal is scheduled to be reviewed at Plan Commission on Jan. 13.
But several residents who live near the proposed project registered to testify Wednesday about the building’s height and the potential that people living on the top floors of the new building would be able to see into their backyards and homes.
Desta Cogan, who recently moved to the area with hopes of having a quiet place to live, spoke about making an investment in her new home only to see plans for a large apartment building located nearby arrive.
“I am new to Wisconsin, new to Madison,” Cogan said. “This house is the biggest investment we’ve ever made. I’m not opposed, I’m just concerned. My concern is I walk past that building every day on the way to the bus stop and I can’t imagine 50 units. I’m worried about pedestrian traffic.”
Kevin Burow, a member of the development team, noted that there is not a neighborhood association representing that section of University Avenue and that his team has had meetings with various neighbors and Ald. Keith Furman, who represents the area on the Madison City Council.
UDC voted 6-2 to grant an initial approval to the project, which means the development team will have to appear before the panel again following its Jan. 13 presentation before the Plan Commission.
UDC also voted to approve the Madison College Child and Family Center that will be at 1835 Wright St. That project proposes to redevelop a site previously owned by Penske Truck Rental and would open next year.
A team from Core Spaces made a second informational presentation before UDC as well to discuss new renderings of the proposed Hub II building on Langdon Street. Core Spaces, which also built The James and Hub apartments on West Gorham and State Street, respectively, received feedback critical of a proposed fifth floor pool and hot tub patio.
Hub II would be a seven-story, 124-unit building that would include a rooftop pool patio on a setback fifth floor. The top two floors of the building would also be set back approximately 25 feet from the street, which makes the building appear shorter to pedestrians.
One resident, James McFadden, spoke in opposition to the project, saying he is concerned with the architectural design but also that it’s not a good fit for the neighborhood.
“There’s a rich history of purely residential buildings in this neighborhood,” McFadden said. “This doesn’t look like an apartment building, it doesn’t look residential. It will not fit with the neighborhood.”
Core Spaces presented new renderings that incorporate feedback from an earlier presentation to UDC. The new renderings showed material changes on the outside of the building that will now feature a brown-red color mixed with soft white brick on the exterior.
UDC also heard a second informational presentation about the new Dane County Jail. The proposed jail will be a consolidation of the current Public Safety building, the old jail in the City County building and the Ferris Huber Center. It will be an addition built on the south end of the current Public Safety building and feature.
No initial or final approvals have been sought or received about the new jail.