Two heavyweight development teams are offering dramatically different proposals to team with the city on a massive redevelopment with a hotel to serve Monona Terrace.
JDS Development, composed of Hammes Co. and Majestic Realty Co., is proposing a $159.1 million mixed-use redevelopment that would use the landmark Madison Municipal Building as a centerpiece destination hotel in the project, which the city is calling Judge Doyle Square.
But another group — made up of Journeyman Group, Marcus Hotels & Resorts and LZ Ventures — is forwarding a
$178.8 million mixed-use plan that retains the Municipal Building as city offices and delivers a hotel behind the iconic structure.
JDS forwarded an alternative, $189.9 million plan that keeps the Municipal Building as city offices but believes that approach is inferior.
The development teams, which have done billions in projects across the country, also offered differing ideas on other parts of the redevelopment, parking, and hefty requests for public money for the future of two prime blocks involved, which now hold the Municipal Building and Government East parking garage.
“The vision has got to be about strengthening Madison as a destination,” Hammes president Robert Dunn said. “The way is not to just put more hotel rooms Downtown but to create a landmark project.”
Local development consultant Carole Schaeffer, who is working for the Journeyman team, said, “They truly understand the market and have the experience to put this together. I think the project will be something special that sets us apart.”
“We’re pleased both development teams spent the time, money and energy,” city project director George Austin said. “This bodes well for the city.”
The city’s special Judge Doyle Square Committee will interview the development teams the week of Oct. 14 with the intent of making a recommendation to the City Council in late November. The council could make a decision by the end of January.
Earlier this year, four teams responded to a city request to identify potential partners in the project. The special committee deemed one proposal incomplete, and another suitor dropped out. In mid-July, the City Council invited JDS and the Journeyman alliance to make detailed proposals.
In recent months, the Gialamas Co. dropped from the Journeyman team.
A key is handling the Municipal Building, built between 1927 and 1929 in the Neoclassical Revival style. The building, initially used as a federal courthouse and post office, was converted to city use in 1979. It has maintenance challenges and was not designed for its current purpose.
Journeyman is proposing a 352-room Marriott hotel with 18,200 square feet of event space, a street-level restaurant and bar, and underground parking with the Municipal Building remaining as city offices. It envisions 11,680 square feet of retail, a 3,000-square-foot bicycle center potentially for retail and other amenities, 52,190 square feet of office space and 134 residential units with 598 underground parking spaces and 402 above-ground spaces on the Government East block.
The Journeyman team would replace Government East parking for $27.9 million, pay $3.3 million for land acquisition and request $46.7 million in city tax incremental financing (TIF). It is also offering an option to handle the renovation of the Municipal Building for the city.
JDS envisions remodeling the Municipal Building into part of a 308-room hotel with a new tower behind it, up to 15,000 square feet of event space and 20,000 square feet of dining space, including a food emporium with a variety of dining options. The Municipal Building block would also host wellness and fitness facilities and 315 above-ground and underground parking spaces.
The Government East block would host an 80,000-square-foot building that could be city offices, a 3,000-square-foot bike center, street-level retail and dining space, a mixed-use residential or office tower, and 596 mostly above-ground parking spaces.
JDS, which would replace Government East parking for $27 million and acquire land for $1, would seek $16.8 million in TIF for its preferred plan. The team also has an alternate vision keeping the Municipal Building as city offices.