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The Constellation

The Constellation, a new high-rise development at 754 E. Washington Ave., is beginning to line up companies to move into its three floors of commercial space. Initial tenants include the Madison offices of Google, Star Bar, Cargo Coffee and a dentist's office.

The Constellation, the new upscale high-rise apartment complex on the Near East Side, opened its doors to residents at the beginning of the month and is dividing its commercial space to accommodate several companies, including Google.

Google, which will be moving its Madison office from its current Blount Street location, has signed a 7-year lease for a 9,000-square-foot space occupying most of the second floor of the development, at 754 E. Washington Ave., according to Otto Gebhardt, owner of Gebhardt Development.

The company, which plans to expand in Madison, expects to be moved into the 12-story building by the end of this year, Google spokeswoman Katelin Jabbari said. Jabbari did not have an exact number of employees the company could have working in the new office but said Google wanted to stay in close proximity to the wide talent pool from UW-Madison. The company currently has more than 30 employees in Madison.

Google signed the lease at the end of July, according to Gebhardt.

“I think it’s a great fit,” Gebhardt said. “They are a great, innovative company with a lot of sharp people working for them.”

The $39 million building includes 32,500 square feet of commercial space and 220 apartments. Other commercial tenants include Star Bar, a high-end cocktail and craft beer bar, and Cargo Coffee, a coffee and sandwich shop. The two local companies will be occupying part of the retail space on the first floor.

“These are not the typical chain stores you can see in any complex,” Gebhardt said. “We wanted more local establishments.”

Lindsey Lee, owner of Cargo Coffee on South Park Street and Ground Zero on Williamson Street, said he did not plan on opening another coffee shop but the right situation presented itself to work in a development with other local, independent businesses.

“We are keeping the mix with the big local flavor,” Lee said. “I think it’s important to Madison and makes Madison economically viable.”

Peter Gentry, owner of One Barrel Brewing Company, and Hawk Sullivan, owner of the Jade Monkey, are collaborating on Star Bar and look forward to signing a lease in coming days.

“These are all local East Side folks working to move things forward in that area ... it’s time for new businesses to come in,” Gentry said.

As for having Google for an upstairs neighbor, Lee said it is nothing new since Google’s current office is down the block from Ground Zero. But it’s “also a treat,” he said. “I want to sell cups of coffee, and I suspect they’re coffee drinkers.”

In addition to Google, Star Bar and Cargo Coffee, Andersen Dental will occupy part of the third floor, and an undetermined restaurant will fill the space on the corner of East Washington Avenue and North Livingston Street on the first floor. Gebhardt said he is in talks with other companies to fill the remaining open space.

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