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Regent Street hotel

A rendering of a proposed hotel slated for Regent Street, near the Kohl Center. Mortenson Development, Inc. is the developer behind the project. 

More lodging could be coming to downtown Madison if a developer's proposal for a six-story hotel on Regent Street is approved.

The proposed site at 760 Regent St. is currently a parking lot located across from the Kohl Center, separated by railroad tracks and Southwest Commuter Path. The hotel would be set back from Regent Street, behind an existing office building at 780 Regent St.

Mortenson Development, Inc. is the firm behind the project.

“Mortenson has strong interest in the vitality and appeal of Madison and the University of Wisconsin community,” said Bob Solfelt, senior vice president at Mortenson, in a statement.

The statement said the proposed hotel “would provide tremendous accessibility to the University and the surrounding area. It has exciting potential and we look forward to sharing more details as soon as we can.”

The 176-room hotel with six floors would include a bar and restaurant, a second-floor balcony, a ballroom for events and a 235-space parking garage.

“This new hotel is intended to increase density on an underdeveloped parcel and provide an activated use at an important gateway to the campus while providing unparalleled accommodations for guests to Madison and the University of Wisconsin,” the project’s design application says.

The application does not identify a hotel chain but describes the coming development as a “nationally recognized, full-service hotel.”

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According to 2018 data from Destination Madison, there are 10,117 hotel rooms in the greater Madison area. Additions in 2018 included the Hilton Garden Inn on Grand Avenue in Sun Prairie, MainStay Suites on Tradewinds Parkway and Tru by Hilton on Watts Road, for a total of almost 300 new rooms.

More are on the way, like a 130-room hotel slated for the 100 block of State Street and the 253-room hotel that’s planned as part of the downtown Judge Doyle Square project.

The Regent Street project appeared for an informational meeting before the city’s Urban Design Commission last Wednesday night. On Thursday, Dick Wagner, chair of the UDC, said there’s probably a good market for the hotel, “considering the number of people who go to the Kohl Center, particularly for out-of-town events.”

During the UDC meeting, the development team said that to replace the existing surface parking, the project will serve both the hotel and the nearby office buildings with a parking podium “nestled” under a portion of the hotel.

Wagner said the UDC provided feedback and suggested simplifying building materials and rearranging the hotel’s public spaces like the lounge and lobby to face East Campus Mall. Current plans have the parking ramp facing the mall.

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