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The opening of the Wilson Street Garage brings completion to nearly a decade of planning, collaboration, and a sign of relief. City leaders gathered with community and professional stakeholders June 22 to celebrate the official opening of the City’s first underground garage.

Sabrina Tolley, City of Madison Assistant Parking Manager, kicked off the press conference with appreciation to the team behind nearly a decade of planning.

“This garage represents much more than a building where cars are parked,” Tolley said. “It will serve a vital role in the economic vitality of downtown, and provides access for residents and visitors to government offices, local businesses, employment, events, and entertainment.”

The garage will have 560 parking stalls across 240,000 square feet. There will be moped and bike parking and ten electric vehicle charging stations for City electric vehicle use and four charging stations for public use.

In addition to being the City’s first underground parking structure, it also includes a new centralized Customer Service Ambassador Office. The new office will provide customer service support to anyone using the garage.

Other speakers included: Engineering Division Public Information Officer Hannah Mohelnitzky, President of Downtown Madison Inc. Jason Ilstrup and District 4 Alderperson Mike Verveer.

Verveer shared the impact the garage has had over the years through the planning process. “…today is a huge sense of relief to finally have the first phase of the Judge Doyle Square project open to the public, it’s a real big deal.” He continue, “(it) has been discussed and debated by 3 different Mayors.”

Many topics were briefly covered from the partnerships involved to the benefits that this garage can add to the tourism of Downtown Madison. Jason Illstrup added his impressions of the importance of this project by simply stating, “the garage adds density, it adds more parking and makes downtown more multi-modal. That creates the economic, political and cultural heart to our city, which is downtown Madison”

Verveer finished the press conference with sharing how much this garage opening means to the downtown community especially after a few months of protests and COVID-19 response. “Today’s grand opening of our brand new Wilson Street garage is really some great news for the downtown,” Verveer said.
The ceremony concluded after Tolley drove one of the City’s new electric Fleet vehicles through the entrance of the garage marking the Wilson Street Garage symbolically, and officially, open for use.

To watch the full conference, please visit: YouTube:
To read the original Wilson Street Garage opening news release: