McGrath Associates Inc., an urban development company presented preliminary designs for the Bassett Street Apartments building to Bassett neighborhood members at a meeting on Thursday night.
The company's president Lance McGrath met with neighborhood residents and property owners to unveil the design for the four-level apartment complex that would hold 40 living units and two levels of parking.
According to McGrath's presentation, the complex is designed to attract young professionals and empty nesters"". The presentation detailed what the exterior of the building would look like and how construction would be completed.
""One of our main goals is to make this as energy efficient as possible,"" said McGrath. All units will be equipped with quality windows, Energy Star appliances, efficient lighting and low flow faucets and toilets.
McGrath Associates will have to finish and formally submit their design and to at least two planning committees and the city council before approval, according to City Council President Mike Verveer.
According to Verveer, The Madison Landmarks commission may also become involved in the planning process because the property would be adjacent to the Dowling building, a historic landmark.
Community members voiced concerns over the size of the building which could potentially block residents' views of nearby Lake Monona and could create parking problems for residents.
""I'd rather it not be built,"" said Jack Hagen of 306 S. Bassett who said he would be losing 50 percent of his lake view to the project.
McGrath said the complex should not create a problem with parking for residents. The current parking ratio, which is just over one-to-one, was adequate for the area, according to McGrath, but revised designs will try to incorporate solutions to the concerns over parking expressed by meeting attendees.
""For that small block, the density would be quite high,"" said Krishna Pradhan of 302 S. Bassett. ""Parking would be a real problem.""
Some meeting attendees supported the construction of new apartment complexes in the Bassett neighborhood.
""If you had five more buildings like this, they would be full,"" said Robert Keller, owner of the nearby Wilson Bay building and several other apartment buildings in the area.
Keller said that although the project would create competition for him, there is a need for apartment complexes like the proposed Bassett Street Apartments in the downtown area.
The proposed lot for the Bassett Street Apartments is currently occupied by two properties, 315 S. Bassett and 451 W. Wilson which would need to be demolished to make way for the apartment complex.