As Madison business and city officials make plans to revitalize the downtown area, a new stakeholder may hold the key to attracting more visitors to the Dairy Land’s capital.
Tuesday morning, Provenance Hotels, a Portland-based hotel developer, announced their proposal to demolish the six-story building and two-story bar currently occupying space at 122 State St., and in its place, erect a $30 million hotel.
The developers have also negotiated an agreement for the adjacent two-story building, which houses the restaurant Winedown.
The 120-room, four-story boutique hotel is a proposed project created between Provenance Hotels, Ascendant Holdings and Central Properties of Madison.
Provenance Hotels, which operates independent hotels, chose Madison because of its strong connection to the community, Kate Buska, spokesperson for Provenance Hotel, said.
“We look for communities that have a strong connection with the arts, a strong sense of community and are forward thinking,” Buska said. “We really found that in Madison.”
When a person stays at Provenance Hotels, Buska said the visitor should have an experience that fully expresses the city they are staying in, rather than simply staying at a branded hotel.
Since 122 State St. is a worn-out, outdated building, Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said the hotel is an excellent land use at the location.
During the first meeting between the developers and the landlord, Harold Langhammer, the intent was to reuse the building, Verveer said.
As a historic preservationist, Verveer said he was disappointed to find out last month in a recent meeting with the developers that it would not be feasible to save the building.
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“[The building] was a great resource for nonprofit organizations and political campaigns,” Verveer said. “[Langhammer] made great use of providing affordable office space.”
The project will require no financial assistance from the city, and the developers will use their private resources and equity to fund the project, Verveer said.
While the proposal is still in its infancy, Verveer anticipates getting support from fellow City Council members.
Provenance Hotels, Buska said, also hopes to get support and foster partnerships with members of the community. Though they are still early in the planning process, the developers plan on going out in the Madison community to meet residents, she added.
While Burska has met with the Overture Center for the Arts and Madison Modern Museum of Contemporary Arts, she said it is too early to tell how they might partner with them. But, they are still looking to be great neighbors with them, she said.
“Really who our partners can be, can be anyone,” Buska said.
The anticipated final vote from the council is expected sometime in early 2017. If approved, construction should begin somewhere between spring and summer of 2017.