Common Council’s Aug. 6 approval of Chicago-based developing firm Core Campus’ bid to transform the 500 block of State Street into a high-rise apartment complex called The Hub solidified the future of the aisle previously inhabited by Husnu’s, Kabul and Buraka; three long-standing and beloved restaurants that will be torn down, according to Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4.
In addition to Husnu’s, Kabul and Buraka; who have yet to find new spaces, Roast public house will be moving across the street to 558 State St., and Jimmy John’s will resume operating from 527 State St., next to Mondays bar.
Buraka owner Markos Regassa said he would ideally remain on State Street but said he is afraid he will lose his restaurant if he can’t obtain an adequate loan.
“I love Madison, I love the people of Madison and that’s why I have been in this business,” Regassa said. “And it’s very, very unfortunate that I might lose everything.”
Regassa said communication with the developers has decreased since the initial proposal in the spring, but Verveer said Core Campus “promised to continue to try to help the businesses.” Aid includes providing all three restaurants space on the first floor of the new development. However, Regassa said he foresees not being able to afford the inflated rental fees.
The developers still have to work out details with various city agencies, before demolition can begin, according to Verveer, which Core Campus is hoping will commence Jan. 2014 and be completed by fall 2015.
Verveer likened the development to Lucky Apartments on East Campus Mall and said a “fair number of [University of Wisconsin-Madison] students will not be able to afford to live at The Hub.”
Verveer also said the developers remain confident they will find occupants, due in part to Madison’s “record-low” vacancy rate and Epic System stating they will hire thousands of new employees over the next few years.