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Madison’s past and future collide at The James

The James, a 366-unit, 12-story luxury housing community in the heart of downtown Madison, will feature a wide variety of amenities including a rooftop sundeck with a pool, hot tub, lounging area, barbecue grills, and beautiful views.

The James, a 366-unit, 12-story luxury housing community in the heart of downtown Madison, will feature a wide variety of amenities including a rooftop sundeck with a pool, hot tub, lounging area, barbecue grills, and beautiful views.

All photos courtesy Core Spaces

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Madison is continuing to enjoy a still relatively recent renaissance in multifamily construction and development, one that’s offering a wealth of luxury housing opportunities for young professionals right in the heart of downtown.

Among the latest projects is The James, a 12-story, 366-unit building being developed by Core Spaces, a Chicago-based real estate development and management firm, which is running ahead of schedule for completion. Core Spaces recently celebrated the feat by placing the last yard of structural concrete on the roof deck of the building.

“Core Spaces is proud to work with the local community to transform downtown Madison with modern facilities of the highest quality, while honoring the past by paying tribute to the city’s founders and namesakes, including James Madison,” says Eric Grimm, Core Spaces chief development officer. “This transformation includes The James housing community, an iconic building at a prominent location that blends the best of new and old.”

Exterior shot from along University Ave. and Gorham St. of in-progress construction at The James.

“The biggest challenge for a project like this is the fight against time with construction,” notes Melissa Flath, director of new business for Core Spaces. “It impacts the ability for residents to move in, but it also impacts leasing. If a building looks like it’s not going to be completed before the scheduled move-in day, then residents will get scared and not sign a lease with us. Thankfully, we have a fantastic construction team that is ahead of schedule and have topped out with construction almost a year before the scheduled move-in date.”

The James, located at 432 Gorham St., is being developed in the heart of the downtown area with easy access to nearby restaurants, shops, nightlife, and cultural and recreational attractions, and just steps from the University of Wisconsin campus and Capitol building. The James East will be completed in time for June 2017 move in, while The James West will be move-in ready by August 2017.

Blended housing

Madison is a unique market because the traditional student housing market and the traditional multifamily market have overlapped to the point of a merger, notes Flath.

Aerial rendering of what the rooftop deck of The James will look like once completed.

“In traditional university markets we see a trend of student housing developments, and in urban, more ‘downtown’ markets we see multifamily developments,” Flath explains. “However, usually, the university area isn’t the same as the downtown area. Madison is one of a handful of markets where the two merge and we find a good mix of both. That’s where The James comes in. We are the best mix of both in an area that requires both. Students can still have a bit of the ‘college scene,’ and some young professionals want to stay a little closer to the community feel that comes with an amenity-rich apartment near a university.”

According to Flath, Madison is home to a new type of renter who wants the best of both worlds, regardless of if they are a student or young professional. “We’ve seen a need to accommodate that renter and we feel that we are heading the race to catch them.”

(Continued)

Old to new | New to old
Sep 22, 2016 03:09 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Looks like a nice project but doesn't seem to offer any earth shaking amenities not offered in any number of similar projects. I would rather see you feature one of those similar projects developed by a MADISON developer, as compared to a perhaps one and done Chicago group.

Dave Dahlin

Sep 22, 2016 04:19 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

This is the same company that developed the Hub on campus, so not a one and done. Besides, Madison should be happy that developers from cities like Chicago see value in placing their projects here. Not to mention the construction companies and skilled labor being used on this project is most likely all local. Relax, and enjoy the economic prosperity for once.

Sep 22, 2016 08:08 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Mr. Dahlin,

Core Spaces is a leader in multi-family housing because of their ability to provide superb amenities and exciting architecture in the best locations nationwide. Please name a project done by a Madison-area developer built before the Hub on Campus that encompasses the three qualities I mentioned above. There aren't any! Lucky Apartments may be the closest, but it has far fewer amenities (Rooftop pool, hello!) and the interior finishes aren't nearly as nice as the Hub or The James. Core Spaces has set the standard of luxury apartment living.

Oct 4, 2016 05:20 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

My daughter was the third lease signed at the new James East for occupancy August of 2017. Did not know that this was a Chicago company, but being from Chicago I applaud you Core Spaces. I have had two children go through 4 years each in Madison and have lived in multiple apartment buildings. This building, its location and amenities caught our eye immediately. My daughter will be completing a one year Masters next year and was in need of a studio apartment. This was a perfect building for her in a perfect location. We were so impressed with the project that we signed a lease on our first visit in August. Beautiful building with beautiful amenities and great security, my number one concern.
Looking forward to move in next year.

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