More drama threatens Judge Doyle Square

The city of Madison and Beitler Real Estate of Chicago appear headed toward another court battle over the Judge Doyle Square project, according to a report in the Wisconsin State Journal.

This time, the project’s hotel and apartments could be in jeopardy as Beitler apparently no longer intends to design either and now wants to replace underground parking with a swimming pool. Both sides claim the other is in default of their development agreement.

For its part, Beitler claims the city has made it impossible to secure timely financing, and now the city is threatening to terminate the development agreement. Without a resolution, litigation is a distinct possibility.

Beitler was chosen in 2016 to develop two city blocks, including the Municipal Building block, as part of a $186 million project with a hotel, housing, and commercial space in three large, glass buildings, plus underground parking.

Earlier this year, the two sides resolved a dispute over part of the project, as the city agreed to pay Beitler $700,000 in exchange for reclaiming the rights to develop the Municipal Building block. That portion of the project was subsequently rebid for the housing and commercial components.

The latest snag could result in the entire project being rebid in separate components, not to mention costly litigation.