Judge Doyle Square project stalled

A design dispute at a city committee meeting stalled progress on the Judge Doyle Square project over minor, but important, modifications.

During the Urban Design Commission meeting on June 28, the commission failed to grant final approval on the $170 million project by a four to two vote. The stalled proposal would be located south of the Capitol, where the Government East parking garage and the Madison Municipal Building currently stand, and will feature a parking structure as well as retail and hotel space.

According to Alder Amanda Hall, representing District three and the only alder on the Urban Design Commission, conversation got heated with the Chicago-based developer: Beitler Real Estate Services LLC. According to Hall and the meeting minutes, the developers parsed words with the commission over omitted design elements.

“There are four main issues of contention,” Hall says. The hangups include pedestrian accessibility, elevator placement, tree species and the inclusion of a green roof, according to Hall.

“I believe they are issues that are important to upholding Madison's standards, especially with a building project of this size and this magnitude,” Hall says. “We want to make sure we get it right for Madison.”

Hall isn't the only person concerned at the lack of decorum at the meeting. The project's negotiator George Austin also felt the combativeness.

“It really didn't create a climate conducive to getting the final plans approved,” Austin says.

Though he didn't attend the meeting, Mayor Paul Soglin agrees that “we aren't going to resolve it focusing on people, style and behavior. Our focus is a great development for the city.”

Wanting to push through the stalemate, Hall says she personally reached out to Beitler Real Estate Services to get both parties back to the negotiating table and says she is confident that both parties can work together to produce a quality building for the city.

Madison is committed to a really ambitious and doable standards for reducing carbon emissions in the next five, 10, 20 and 50 years, Hall says. “One of the ways we do that is making sure buildings are built smart and they are built right.”

One of the features omitted from the proposal was the green roof. The top of the building would be lined with short vegetation designed to help insulate buildings by trapping heat. It's an option, Hall says, perfect for Madison's cold climate since buildings need to hold heat throughout the winter.

“This is not rocket science,” Hall says. “This is happening in retirement communities, businesses and libraries. This is doable, I am confident that they can do it and I'm calling them back to get this done."

The Design Commission will take up the final proposal one more time at its July 12th meeting.

For more go to WKOW: http://www.wkow.com/story/35837196/2017/07/07/judge-doyle-square-project-stalled

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content