City, developers agree to continue 100 Block of State Street project
After months of vacillating on the fate of a proposed redevelopment plan for the 100 block of State Street in downtown Madison, members of the Frautschi family and the Block 100 Foundation announced on Friday that they will continue with the project with the city’s support.
The project has been on hold since March as officials with the Block 100 Foundation decided whether or not the redevelopment should move forward.
City officials announced on Friday afternoon that they support the project. They said the project has the potential to be “spectacular,” mixing old city buildings with new, modern architecture.
“Except for the civic center and Overture (Center), this is the most significant development on State Street in half a century,” said Mayor Paul Soglin.
Foundation officials said that they will push forward with plans that have changed from those originally proposed to the city.
“This same long-term view motivates us now and while the tenor of some of the debate has disappointed us, we firmly maintain a hopeful outlook for Madison,” said Grant Frautschi, president of the foundation, in a statement. “To this end, we have decided to continue with the project.”
The revitalization of the project comes with many changes to its original concept. The Stark and Schubert buildings will not be demolished — a concept that was encouraged by the city’s Landmarks Commission. Retail, restaurant and office building will still go up on the street.
The project had met much controversy from the city. Three city committees had refuted leveling the Stark building on the corner of Mifflin and Fairchild streets to make way for a garden area opposite the Overture Center. The green space has been eliminated from the plan.
“We believe the project will continue to support the Block 100 Foundation’s objectives and the community’s objectives and we hope the project will be expeditiously acted on so we can begin these desired improvements as soon as possible,” said project manager George Austin, in a statement.
Profits from leases will eventually go to the Overture Center Foundation, which will total roughly $250,000 a year.
The mayor said despite past criticism, he expects this plan to move very quickly through the city committee process and eventually approved by the Common Council.
The project will still cost $11.6 million — all funded by the Frautchi family.
Foundation officials said that they’re hosting an open house next Thursday at the Overture Center to show off the new plans.