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A group of developers is refining its proposed boutique hotel for State Street as it moves ahead on getting the necessary approvals.

The development team submitted a new land-use application to the city of Madison last week to turn four parcels on the 100 block of State Street into a 130-room hotel after it gathered input from neighborhood residents and city commissions on a revamped design that would give the hotel a larger presence on the pedestrian mall.

The $40 million project is set to occupy the properties at 118, 122, 124 and 126 State St. The building would rise up to four floors on State Street, then step up to eight stories with a ninth-floor bar and lounge further back. It would be eight stories tall where it meets the intersection of North Carroll and West Dayton streets.

After changing some of the construction materials and how the existing facades of State Street buildings are integrated into the hotel, Eric Nordeen, co-founder of lead developer Ascendant Holdings, said he feels confident about the project.

“We really think that our latest design iteration is our best, and it would not have happened without really constructive input from the community,” he said, estimating there have been about 15 designs for the project.

The land-use submission seeks to rezone the four properties from Downtown Core to Planned Development to allow the structure to be 107 feet tall. A restaurant would be opened on the State Street ground floor.

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State Street Hotel

A development team is pursuing a zoning change to construct a nine-story, 130-room hotel on the 100 block of State Street. The top image looks up State Street toward the Capitol from the intersection of West Dayton and North Fairchild streets, while the below image is a rendering of the hotel would fit into the block.

When originally proposed nearly two years ago, the hotel was slated to replace a six-story building at 122 State St. and two-story structure at 118 State St. But the project was put on hold last fall as the team worked to acquire two additional parcels at 124 and 126 State St.

With the two new properties, the development team in May presented a new design that provided a larger footprint and included retaining portions of the 118 and 126 State St. buildings and their facades into the hotel’s design.

But that plan also called for additional floors on top of the retained 118 and 126 buildings that would make the entire State Street frontage four stories tall. The city’s Urban Design and Landmarks commissions were critical of the design and the uniform height.

“It read as a single building of too great mass,” said Stu Levitan, chairman of the Landmarks Commission.

The development team decided to set back the upper floors above the retained 118 and 126 State St. facades by 15 feet to give those buildings better autonomy and a feeling of standing alone, Nordeen said.

“I strongly feel the current design is the best State Street design that we’ve had in terms of maintaining the rhythm, but also not creating something that looks intermingled with the historic context in a way that’s distracting,” he said.

Additionally, the exterior of the upper floors was changed to glass in response to critiques that the largely masonry building created too heavy of a presence for the area, Nordeen said.

The hotel is set to be operated by Portland, Oregon-based Provenance Hotels. Central Properties, of Madison, is also involved in the project. Parking is proposed to be leased in surrounding garages and to be handled by a valet service.

The new designs are expected to come before the Urban Design Commission Aug. 8.

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Logan Wroge has been a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal since 2015.