An apartment building on the south side of Madison will be redeveloped after the City Council granted a permit to the developers at its meeting Tuesday night.
The Nob Hill apartment building’s redevelopment will include a community center, better safety features and an overall update for the 30-year-old building. Zilber Ltd. and government grants will fund the project. The renovated building is set to comprise 354 units and 26 three-bedroom units.
Vice President of Zilber Ltd. Mike Mervis said the development company incorporated many suggestions it received from residents in order to improve the apartment proposal. He also noted he worked collaboratively with Mayor Paul Soglin and city groups, which set the bar high for the Nob Hill project.
“Zilber is committed to neighborhood revitalization, education and public health,” Mervis said. “This program that received approval is worthy of support.”
Still, some residents of the Nob Hill area expressed their concern with the development proposal at the meeting.
Sheri Carter, the Arbor Hills Neighborhood Association president, said she opposed the redevelopment because the developers left out the neighborhood while creating the project. She said the project would isolate the apartment’s residents from the rest of the community and Madison’s services. She also noted the increased density would lead to increased crime in the area.
“Madison has exceptional services already established,” she said. “The property should tap into those already established services because it’s very hard to start from scratch when it comes to social services. When you go to the greater community instead of isolation, you gain motivation.”
Ald. Steven King, District 7, supported the redevelopment because it would break away from previously poor management of a run-down building with little services.
He said he did not understand the neighbor’s preoccupation with not being involved in the project.
“Why are [the developers] in charge of incorporating this group into the neighborhood”? King said. “I don’t understand why this project is being torn up because the need is there.”
Ald. Tim Bruer, District 14, represents the part of Madison where the Nob Hill apartment building is located, and said he was against the redevelopment because the developers would not be held accountable for the promises they had made.
“The only ones who have benefited from these projects historically is the developers,” Bruer said. “You have to look 20 or 30 years into the future. We have no guarantees that we are going to see any more services in that building.”
More than a dozen residents of the apartment building stood up during the meeting to show their support for the redevelopment.
Nob Hill apartment resident Dawn Vice said she has been living there for 10 years and would welcome plans to further the project.
“If these people don’t do it, who is going to help us”? she said. “The problem is that people move in and out of the area – if you don’t maintain an area where people will stay, you can’t solve the problem.”
Soglin said the redevelopment needed to happen because there was no alternative.
He added the current building will pose problems for current residents if it stays in its current condition.
“The deterioration will continue, and we will eventually have a very serious problem,” Soglin said. “This is people’s home. If it continues to deteriorate, those folks will leave, and we will start to encounter very serious problems.”