Archipelago Village

An artist's rendering of a portion of the planned Archipelago Village development in the 900 block of East Washington Avenue. The view is of the corner at East Main and South Brearly streets.

Developer Curt Brink is hoping to preserve some of the old and add in plenty of new in his latest plan for Archipelago Village on the 900 block of East Washington Avenue.

The current iteration of the mixed-use development will go before the city’s Urban Design Commission on Wednesday.

The project would take up nearly a full city block across from Breese Stevens Field on the former Mautz Paint property.

It’s just down the street from the 220-unit Constellation apartments on the 700 block of East Washington and the proposed 14-story Galaxie complex on the 800 block that would include apartments, offices and a grocery store.

“We like the way the street is evolving,” said Brink, who originally proposed a grandiose $250 million Archipelago Village with a 27-story tower. The tallest buildings under his latest proposal are around 12 to 14 stories. “We believe that on this corridor we should maintain as much density as possible. We’re pleased with what we’re presenting now, as far as how it’s evolved.”

The plan calls for phased-in development consisting of retail, commercial and residential space, according to the proposal written by project manager Kirk Keller.

Part of the first phase of the project would be a winery and restaurant on the first floor of the former Wisconsin Telephone Co. building at the corner of East Main and South Brearly streets, across from the Old Sugar Distillery.

Brink said the inspiration for the winery came from Dave Korb, whose family has owned the site since buying it from Mautz Paint Co. in 2002 for $2.8 million. The upper levels of the building will be developed as apartments.

“Dave Korb has been making wine for a long time,” Brink said. “It’s been a passion of his, and by tying in the apartment building with the winery and the food, it should be really exciting. It ties it into what’s happening on East Washington and East Main and makes it the place to be.”

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The development also will preserve the five-story Kleuter Building, which has already gained approval for expansion that will double its size.

StartingBlock Madison, a proposed center for tech startups and young entrepreneurs, had been linked with that location for some time. But that group has moved on and is in negotiation at a different site, according to Ald. Scott Res-

nick, District 8, who is also vice president of Hardin Design & Development.

The first phase also would include multifamily apartment units, retail space and structured parking buildings that would include three levels above ground and one below.

Future phases would include more retail and commercial buildings.

Brink said he’s had preliminary discussions with the city and is optimistic this plan will be approved. While he didn’t have a price tag for the project he said it could reach the $100 million to $150 million range if he’s able to maximize all of the heights.

“We’ll have to prove our whole case for this,” Brink said. “I think the neighborhood will like the apartments. It will help out Central Park and liven up Main Street.

“We’ve got a good initial design, but we’ll look for input from Urban Design and the neighborhood. Nothing is ever a slam dunk, but you just keep trying and, hopefully, some good things happen.”

Brink, who developed the High Noon Saloon, Brass Ring and Brink Lounge complex in the 700 block of East Washington, said the best-case timeline for this project would be to begin construction next summer and complete the first phase in about a year.

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