It’s already one of the most densely populated areas of Downtown Madison.
But the high-rise corridor near West Gorham Street and University Avenue could soon be home to even more students if a Madison-area developer gains approval to build a hotel and apartment complex at the corner of Johnson and Bassett Streets.
Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said the Raymond Group, a Middleton-based developer, is looking to construct the structure on the currently unoccupied lot behind the Aberdeen.
According to group’s proposal to a city committee, the new development will include 112 residential units in one tower and a 163-room limited service hotel in another tower. Verveer said construction could begin as soon as 2011.
Verveer said the developer has owned the lot for several years but recently announced plans to construct the new facility, which would displace two unoccupied homes, two occupied homes, and an abandoned commercial facility which formerly housed the Casa Bianca restaurant.
The proposal likely will not face controversy over its height, Verveer said, because the city has set aside that area for high-rise student developments.
However, the Raymond Group has met with city officials in hopes of establishing a new tax break district to fund the hotel portion of the development, Verveer said.
Called tax increment financing, a new TIF district would increase taxes in a specified district to help refund the city’s loan to the developer to build the hotel. None of the TIF money will be allowed to fund the student housing portion of the development, Verveer said.
“I don’t know that I would personally be able to support TIF for a hotel there,” Verveer said. “We’ll have to see how this all shapes up.”
Verveer said he plans to hold neighborhood meetings about the project as the project moves forward through the city approval process; likely this June and July. He added the approval process will last into fall of this year because of the possible controversy surrounding demolishing properties on the lot and the TIF proposal.