The Madison Plan Commission again voted to reject the Hub II construction proposal on Monday, citing safety concerns and an unrefined aesthetic.
According to plans submitted to the committee by the Chicago-based real estate firm Core Spaces, the proposed building would be a 7-story, 106-unit apartment building situated at 126 Langdon St. The most recent proposal came after initial plans for the Hub II were denied by local officials in July.
The commission denied Core Spaces a conditional use permit, arguing that the firm failed to make the necessary changes discussed at the July meeting. Members of the commission agreed that the scale and aesthetics of the building diminished the character of the Langdon Street neighborhood, where UW-Madison’s historic fraternity and sorority houses are located.
“Langdon is a very special street in this city and I think even though it is not a local (historic) district, people view it as a local district,” Commissioner Bradley Cantrell said. “I don’t think this project is there yet … I’m struggling with the rhythm and the mass of this building that we’re looking at.”
Local residents also voiced concern about the construction of the Hub II, pointing to potential security risks. Christine Hughes, a board member of neighboring sorority Alpha Chi Omega, believes that the privacy of the sorority residents would be at risk.
“Based on reports from other development sights, we’re very concerned for the safety of the 60 women in the building,” Hughes explained during the meeting. “The upper stories to this proposed project will look right down into young ladies’ rooms. To me, that is a complete and total invasion of privacy. The inclusion of a common/party space on the roof is a recipe for difficulties with the neighbors.”
The Campus Area Neighborhood Association CANA, a non-profit consisting largely of UW Madison students, voiced dismay with Core Spaces, saying that the company’s new proposal indicated a disregard for the Madison community. Amol Goyal, the president of CANA, opposed both proposals for Hub II.
“The massing, size and scale remain excessive and the changes from the previous proposal are at best, minimal” Goyal said at the meeting.
Goyal told the Capital Times that while he was grateful to Core Spaces’ for their engagement with CANA, though the association still opposes the proposal.
Ald. Patrick Heck, District 2, voiced approval of Hub II — believing that the Core Spaces development team could proceed with the proposed plans while addressing the concerns mentioned at the meeting — but ultimately voted against the Hub II proposal, joining the panel in a 6-1 vote against the project.