The State-Langdon Neighborhood Association gathered in a meeting Monday night to provide input on a controversial apartment proposal.
The proposal would reconstruct three buildings and construct one new building on Henry Street and Iota Court.
Ald. Bridget Maniaci, District 2, said the proposal has been passed around several city meetings in the past couple of months, receiving suggestions and ultimately changes in the path to a final product.
“I hope you’ll stay engaged because we really need to hear what you like, the strengths of the project, and what you don’t like, the weaknesses,” Maniaci said.
Carol Schaeffer from Schaeffer Consulting acknowledged this area as a part of the National Historic District and said she spoke with the State Historical Society and was assured the buildings will not jeopardize this standing.
“We believe with this project, you’re going to be getting improved housing and improved safety,” she said.
Randy Bruce with Knothe & Bruce Architects said there are three existing buildings there, which will be reconstructed. An additional building will match the setbacks along Henry Street and Iota Court, he said.
Bruce said the development was done with a lot of things in mind, including improving access into the block, especially on the side street called Langdon Lane.
“We are widening the lane to 20 feet in width, creating an emergency access lane for the Madison Fire Department as well as pedestrian access,” he said.
The new building will be seven stories plus a penthouse. There will be 66 parking stalls and 30 moped parking stalls beneath the new building. An additional 240 bicycle stalls will be installed.
Apartment size ranges from one bedroom to six bedrooms. There are currently 144 bedrooms, and after reconstruction to the existing buildings and the construction of a new building, there will be 334.
The proposal of a community car in which tenants will be able to make reservations online to use is also in the plan, Bruce said.
Bruce said they received feedback in favor of a more traditional aesthetic, for which they have made changes.
The elimination and minimization of most balconies to a “French balcony” that is narrow and would allow only one person on it at a time is another major change. He said this will keep the neighborhood to a minimal noise level.
The newer units will be around $650 per bed but could go up to $725. The refurbished buildings will be cheaper, going up around $75-100.
Bruce said the exterior of the site will receive security lighting and security cameras, as well as cameras in the interior common area. A key fob system will be used to enforce safety and management of good behavior, he said.
During the meeting, members of the association and residents of the area shared the same concern for capacity. Many issues were raised about increasing capacity by 100 percent but only increasing parking by less than 50 percent.
Sorority members were concerned the increased capacity in the new complex would affect the members’ interest in living in the sorority house.
Bruce said during construction, Henry Street will remain open, while the parking lane will be closed to provide access for construction vehicles. Langdon Street will also remain open.
This $30 million project will go in front of the Urban Design Commission for initial approval Wednesday. The final proposal will go before the Plan Commission Dec. 17.