In a special meeting of the Madison City Council on Thursday night, the developer of the $93 million Edgewater project said although the project's details are changing daily, he wants to preserve the design and historical character of the hotel.

The question-and-answer session with developer Robert Dunn and city staff addressed the project's timeline, public financing and ideas Dunn is discussing with the Urban Design Commission.

Dunn wants to restore the original hotel; reduce the size of the 1970s addition and create a public terrace atop it overlooking Lake Mendota; build a staircase to the water; and erect an eight-story hotel tower.

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One aspect Dunn said he is discussing with the UDC is how to make a stronger connection between the plaza, the building and the waterfront. He said he and the Hammes Co. would like to create an ice rink within the plaza.

"The idea is to create a space where you know you're in Wisconsin ... all four seasons of the year," Dunn said.

The council could consider all issues related to the Edgewater project as soon as Feb. 23.

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