Summer means construction season, and in downtown Madison, that means new housing and retail space that could lead to a different feel near campus.
Among the most significant additions to the State Street area is the development of the Hub, a new apartment and retail complex that Scott Stager, senior vice president of Property Management at Core Campus, said he hopes it will be the center of student life and community activity.
“State Street is really the center of activity for shopping, dining and nightlife near campus. I can’t think of a better location for a building to be located, right in the epicenter of it all,” Stager said. “With the 960 students we will have as residents, we are sure State Street businesses will really see a positive impact.”
Stager said the building will include 313 housing units with more than 960 bed spaces. The building will also feature an amenity package that Stager said has “never been seen before in Madison.” This will include things like a rooftop sun deck with a resort style pool, a 20-foot LED outdoor television, a fitness center and study rooms. Stager said he hopes these amenities will help “promote both academic achievement and a healthy social life” for students living there.
Mary Carbine, Madison’s executive director of the Business Improvement District, said she thinks the Hub will add a lot to the area, bringing people to the businesses in the Hub and to the existing local shops on State Street.
Stager said the Hub is going to be student friendly and will lease to anyone that meets their rental requirements. The primary targets for tenants, Stager said, are UW-Madison students and young, just-graduated professionals.
Stager said the building began construction in 2013 and will open in August of 2015.
“It is still somewhat bittersweet, perhaps sobering, that despite all the excitement over this new project, there will still be displacement of existing businesses.” Verveer said.
The previous tenants worked with Core Campus to smooth out the relocation process, Verveer said.
Another concern has been the affordability of the housing units considering the features and amenities being offered, which Core Campus said they addressed with different lower rent and leasing options for residents.
Carbine said a few other housing developments are under construction downtown, including Ovation 309, the Domain and the renovation of 100 State. Ovation 309 will be a mix of apartment, office and retail space, and will also include new administration office for the Madison Fire Department. The building will complete a noticeable transformation of that area, she said.
Most of the downtown construction projects are housing and retail based, which Carbine credits to a changing housing market over the last 15 years.
“Many folks, particularly folks in their 20s and 30s, are not as interested in purchasing as they are in renting,” Carbine said. “It might offer a little more career flexibility and other things, but we’re seeing a lot stronger of a rental market now.”
On the west end of State Street, major reconstruction is in progress in the Library Mall. Chris Petykowski, project manager of State Street Developments, said the area is going to look “very different.”
Petykowski said all of the underground utilities, including water and sewage, are being completely revamped. External upgrades include new sidewalks and pavement, as well as other items such as streetlights, benches and planters. Petykowski said a big art installation will be part of the new Library Mall, as well.
“It’s a sculpture made of stainless steel and it is going to be in one of the planters and extend out over State Street,” Petykowski said. “It’s pretty large, about 30-feet tall.”
While much of the major construction should be completed by Labor Day, Petykowski said the city will still be working well through September and expects everything to be completed by late October.