Residents in the State-Langdon Neighborhood heard a proposal Monday for a new student apartment complex, which would require the demolition of three buildings.
Developers Jeff and Chris Houden presented a proposal to deconstruct 145 Iota Court and 619 and 625 Henry St. to make way for a new eight story student apartment building. They also plan to add two stories to the Cliff Dwellers building at 140 Iota Court and construct a pedestrian walkway near the complex.
The Houdens own a number of student properties in the downtown area, including the Palisades at 535 W. Johnson St., and have been working to redevelop this area for some time.
“We’ve been working to try to redevelop for quite a while,” Chris Houden said. “We’ve been in this vicinity our whole life,”
The proposed development would affect University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Chi Psi fraternity house, located at 150 Iota Court, and several area co-ops like Ambrosia, 225 East Lakelawn Place, and Nottingham, 146 Langdon St.
Members of the Chi Psi fraternity and other neighborhood residents expressed concern about maintaining the neighborhood’s “integrity,” because the buildings proposed for demolition are in a national historic district.
“Preserving the history of the neighborhood is probably first and foremost,” Chi Psi President and UW-Madison senior Greg Hitch said.
President of the State and Langdon Neighborhood Association and UW-Madison senior John Magnino said his main concern for the area is improving safety, which is accomplished through the Houdens’ plan to implement more street lighting in the area.
Ald. Bridget Maniaci, District 2, said her goal with this development is to enhance the living environment and street’s appearance for the neighborhood at large.
“The development team has a high bar in front of them that they’ll have to meet to show that what’s being proposed is going to be a benefit to the current conditions,” Maniaci said.