Core Spaces, the development team behind a controversial Langdon Street apartment development, is “disappointed” following the Madison Plan Commission’s denial of its application for demolition and conditional use earlier this week.
The commission voted 7-1 to deny the application from Core for The Hub 2 at 126 Langdon St., saying the proposal failed to make substantial changes during the application process to address concerns voiced by nearby residents, the Urban Design Commission and Plan Commission. Those concerns included the size of the building compared to the neighborhood — home to many UW-Madison fraternities and sororities — traffic and deliveries issues.
“Mostly, I believe that the developers did not sufficiently address the most important concern expressed by neighbors and by me throughout the process: the out-of-scale massing along Langdon Street,” said Ald. Patrick Heck, a member of the Plan Commission. “Core Spaces made mostly aesthetic changes to the front facade, leaving it too wide and too tall, particularly with regard to its context along historic Langdon Street.”
Heck said the commission was looking for structural changes from Core Spaces.
“If they would have considered deeper stepbacks along the front and narrowed the building, perhaps on the west front side, they would have reduced the visual incongruence and could have freed up that area for short-term parking,” he said. “Their latest design had only one or two parking spaces for delivery or ride-share vehicles which would create parking and traffic problems on adjacent properties and streets.”
Core Spaces could appeal the decision of the Plan Commission to the City Council, where the proposal would have to receive 14 out of 20 votes to prevail.
Rodney King, senior vice president of development at Core, said the firm has not yet decided how to respond to the project’s setback.
“We are disappointed in the findings of the Plan Commission,” King said. “ Throughout this process we collaborated with the community, university students, city staff, UDC and Plan Commission to create an exceptional development. We followed the direction of the Plan Commission and all standards were met for approval. After a lengthy discussion, this was rejected without clear reasoning. We are evaluating all of our options to move the project forward, and we still hope to bring this project to fruition since we are confident we met all applicable standards.”
The Hub 2 was proposed to be a 7-story building with room for 373 beds, primarily targeting students as residents. The proposal included 20 underground parking stalls and a green roof.
But downtown residents living near Langdon Street repeatedly objected to the size of the building and the traffic problems it would create in the area. Debate over the project led to the creation of the Campus Neighborhood Association earlier this year in order to give students a stronger voice in developments that target large student areas.
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