Redevelopment Projects Proposed Near UW Campus

With apartment vacancy rates at the lowest level in 16 years, Madison developers said now is the time to act.

From studios to five-bedroom apartments, redevelopment projects are targeting University of Wisconsin-Madison students.

Nick Garcia, a UW-Madison junior, lives at 1323 W. Dayton St., and he said the location was a big reason he wanted to live there.

“I definitely like the location,” Garcia said. “That was one of the really big selling points for my roommate when we decided to choose this place. They are pretty old, however.”

The apartment building just steps from Camp Randall Stadium and the new Union South is considered by many to be a prime location.

A developer could soon turn Garcia’s home into an eight-story apartment building with 73 units.

“I don’t know if I would personally live there, mainly because of the price. But I definitely think replacing it is a good idea just because of the age,” Garcia said.

The city’s Urban Design Commission is hearing initial plans for four proposed redevelopment projects, with all but one near campus.

“There is a demand seemingly for good housing downtown, and there’s demand for campus housing, as well, that developers have been meeting in the community,” said Dick Wagner, chairman for the UDC. “We’ll look at the height of design as to whether it conforms to city regulations and with the context which they’re building in.”

Also being considered is a 12-story, 155-unit apartment building at 507 W. Johnson St. with a 42-unit building next to it.

Another project is proposed at 701 Lorillard Court near Monona Bay. The 115-unit building would face the water. The commission called the project “interesting.”

While more apartment choices sound great to students, some feel it’s a pricy alternative.

“I’d prefer to live in an apartment because the apartments around here can be really nice, except they’re really expensive so not a lot of people can afford them,” said Krista Hertel, a UW-Madison sophomore.

“If I don’t live there next year, someone else is going to,” Garcia said.

A fourth apartment building is being proposed at 3210 Maple Grove Dr. It would have four buildings and 106 units.

Each project will also need to apply for rezoning permits.

The proposed projects will need approval from the UDC, the Plan Commission and the Madison Common Council.