Update on the Unfinished Block 1 Parking Ramp at Madison Yardsposted
Since becoming District 11 Alder many residents have written to me with creative ideas on what could be done with this blank concrete wall at the corner of Sheboygan Avenue and Segoe Road. Some of the best ideas have been inviting local artist to paint a giant mural like the ones at Hilldale Mall, using the blank wall for showing movies in the summer, or my favorite from a resident a few months ago, "maybe invite a rock climbing company like Boulders to build a top-rope course on it." This week the Cap Times published an article by Abigail Leavins, "Madison Yards concrete wall ugly and puzzling, residents say" that features concerns from Hill Farms resident Jim Thiel that nothing will be done anytime soon. “Who says it’s going to start in the spring?” Thiel said. “Do you have it in writing? That’s the same sort of runaround we’ve been getting all the time.”
I visited the Madison Yards site to see for myself what area residents are calling the "monstrous ugly concrete wall" to compare what is there to computer renderings sent to me of what the space will look like in 2024. The City approved Block 1 as a phased development with 4 sperate components. To date, only the office building and parking ramp in block 1 have been completed. If you visit the Madison Yards website you can see the layout for all 8 blocks. The 80 residential apartment units and the standalone retail, resturant, and entertainment spaces in Block 1 remain to be constructed. I contacted Sean Roberts, Vice President at Summit Smith Development to ask if they are still planning to add add apartments to wrap around the cement parking structure. Mr. Roberts sent renderings and floor plans of the apartments (see below) and said they hope to start construction in Spring 2024. He noted that, "the solid concrete wall on the south and west of the parking is a fire separation between the parking and future residential. If we were not going to build another building, we would have saved the expense and just left it open like the east facade and the state parking structure. The site is tight, but we will be building a single loaded building with only one apartment and a hallway (not a hallway between two apartments.)"
"The construction is happening right on time." said Sean Roberts in the 10/31/23 Cap Times article, "It is a phased project, and the next phase is construction." During my interview with the Cap Times I said I am excited about this development because Madison Yards is an example of a project that helps to address the city's housing needs.
Source: Leavins, Abigail. "Madison Yards concrete wall ugly and puzzling, residents say" The Cap Times, Madison Wisconsin. October 31, 2023