As the 100 block of State Street is in the beginning stages of receiving a new addition, stakeholders in a new project met with citizens and city officials to discuss the future of the new nine-story boutique hotel set to debut next year.
The proposed building will have 110 rooms, a restaurant on the first floor and two terrace areas.
Last year Madison-area hotels had a 78.4 percent occupancy rate and the hope is to improve that number with this new addition, Ald. Ledell Zellers, District 2, said.
Both the historical Young Women’s Christian Association building and the two story adjacent parcel will be torn down and replaced. The zinc, glass and terracotta building is also set to employ 24 to 26 people.
Initially, Ascendant Holdings partnered with Central Properties to restore the YWCA building because of the historical facade, but then realized there was nothing left of the building on the outside and there are “pitfalls” to replication, Eric Nordeen, principal of Ascendant Holdings, said.
“We wanted to build something new to look old, but that is difficult to do and there was nothing to save,” Nordeen said. “Which brought us to our pivot point.”
Instead of looking at it as a “restoration opportunity,” the idea slowly became a “reconstruction opportunity,” Nordeen said.
Kraig Kalashian Architecture and Design, a firm based in New Jersey, and Metrostudio, a firm based in New Orleans, are the architects on the project. Both firms hope to create a building that becomes a landmark on both State, Dayton and Carroll Streets.
Ken Gowland of Metrostudio discussed ways to build upon pedestrian activity.
The building will have three distinctive frontages on each street, each having balconies and terracotta siding with glass and black zinc accents to contrast the nearby Capitol building, Gowland said.
All sides will be designed to respond to the different activities on each street below. For State Street pedestrians, a glass first floor to see into the restaurant and for both Dayton and Carroll Street, the glass first floor acts as an activator to liven up the streets, Gowland said.
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“We want to build a contextually sensitive, but authentic building,” Gowland said.
While the neighborhood meeting held a generally optimistic tone, residents still expressed some of their concerns, those being the loss of a historical building, the need for parking and the overall height of the building.
This will be Provenance Hotels first property owned and operated in Wisconsin. The business hopes to become the “living room” for people to meet, hangout and enjoy good food, Provenance Hotels spokesperson Kate Buska said.
“We look to the community for inspiration,” Buska said about the possibility of local works of art being displayed in the hotel.
Construction is slated to begin summer 2017.