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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, April 18, 2024

Proposed State Street hotel receives negative reaction from city staff

A proposed hotel development on State Street failed to secure a recommendation from city staff ahead of a crucial vote of Madison’s Plan Commission Monday.

The hotel would stand on the corner of State Street and Dayton Street, about a block from the Capitol. It would include a first-floor restaurant and rooftop lounge, along with 133 hotel rooms.

The developers, Ascendant Holdings, filed permits to have the existing structures at the location demolished, as well as have the property rezoned so that the development would meet downtown height requirements.

In their analysis of the permit applications, city staff found that the proposed nine-story hotel would exceed the six-story maximum allowed in downtown Madison under the city’s 2012 Downtown Plan.

Under the 6-year-old plan, buildings zoned as Downtown Core, where the development would reside, are not allowed to exceed 88 feet. The hotel is currently proposed to stand at 107 feet. In order to allow for the height, the developers applied to have zoning on the property changed from Downtown Core to Planned Development.

City staff noted the proposal did not meet requirements for a zoning change and recommended that the city’s Plan Commission reject the proposal. In their recommendation, staff observed the hotel’s design would be “fundamentally inconsistent with both the existing and intended character” of the surrounding areas of downtown.

Staff also warned that if such a development were allowed to be constructed, it would set a precedent for other tall building proposals along State Street that would be much more difficult for the city to deny. They advised if the current proposal were to be granted, the Plan Commission and City Council should provide specific details as to why this one was approved. 

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