Local residents and students voiced concerns about the affordability and sustainability of the proposed luxury apartment complex Hub II at a Campus Area and Neighborhood Association meeting Tuesday.
The Hub II team had several updates to share since the last association meeting June 23.
The Hub II is a seven-story apartment complex on 126 Langdon Street proposed by Core Spaces, developer of The Hub in 2015 and The James in 2017. It will feature amenities such as a rooftop hot tub, a spa and underground parking spaces.
The Hub II is currently in city agency review, where plans are circulated to the necessary agencies, like the fire department and traffic engineering, for sign off on the proposal. City agency review is the last phase in the development process before public hearing and Plan Commission recommendation on how the project goes forward.
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City of Madison Planning Division Planner Sydney Prusak and Ald. Patrick Heck, District 2, hosted the meeting over Zoom on Jan. 13. Vandewalle & Associates Urban Designer Brian Munson, Senior Vice President of Development of Core Spaces Rodney King and Antunovich Associates Design Architect Jeffrey Zelisko represented the Hub II development team.
Zelisko said the Hub II development team is addressing previous community concerns over the size and accessibility of the Hub II through architectural updates made to the development since the June meeting.
The proposed building is now smaller than before and off-street delivery and pick-up zones on the site have been doubled with two additional stalls, accessible through a widened access drive along one side of the building perpendicular to Langdon St.
Still, many meeting attendees said Core Spaces had not proposed changes to fix many other important aspects of the development, including affordability and sustainability.
Multiple neighborhood members said they felt the developers did not reach out to a diverse crowd and catered to “predominantly affluent and white” Greek organizations.
Ald. Heck said he sent over 2,000 student postcards for the first meeting and advertised this second meeting on social media. But, several neighborhood members said they thought the committee should have done more outreach, including University of Wisconsin graduate student and local resident Anna Barry.
“We will not do your outreach for you,” Barry said. “It takes one Google search to see which student organizations are most diverse … I’ve not been contacted by Core Spaces in any way, shape or form. I really, really want to push … for you as developers to go back to the drawing board and do better [and] make decisions that will actually benefit students, that will not gentrify this area.”
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As the Hub II is proposed for a heavily student-populated area, Campus Neighborhood Association President Amol Goyal asked whether the developers would collaborate with UW’s Office of Financial Aid or the City Planning Division to maximize affordability. Munson said the development team is looking into it.
The association also questioned the sustainability of the Hub II during the meeting. When asked about the lack of reusable energy sources in development plans — especially the absence of solar panels on the roof — Zelisko said the building satisfies energy code requirements and the green roof for the draining plan would provide additional cooling.
Goyal said the community should meet again with the development team to specifically discuss the environmental impact report of the Hub II.
“I think it’s definitely not a bad idea for us to dedicate an entire meeting to talk about what code it is that is being violated or satisfied, [and] how we can ask the Core Spaces developers and management team to go above and beyond those things,” Goyal said.
The Hub II development team is scheduled at Plan Commission on Feb. 22 to produce a steering committee report and discuss the future course of development.
This article was updated January 23 at 4:00 p.m. to reflect the new date of the Plan Commission meeting.