Wilson Street development hits a snag

When Madison’s Urban Design Commission unanimously approved plans for a 14-story apartment building at 149 E. Wilson St., the project was headed for a hearing with the Plan Commission. That meeting, however, was delayed after Ald. Mike Verveer, 4th District, asked commissioners to allow for more discussions between the developers and concerned residents of two neighboring condo buildings.

The McGrath Property Group’s mixed-use project would replace a long-vacant former state Department of Corrections office building and include 127 apartments, first-floor retail, and 129 underground parking spaces. Its planned location, between two established condo towers on Lake Monona, had residents from those developments arguing against the structure, concerned they will lose their views and possibly property value.

Narrowing the proposed building by 10 feet to allow for more space between towers isn’t the answer, according to developer Lance McGrath, and would make the project economically unfeasible because of the lost square footage. He hoped the project would be built by June 2015, but now he’s worried any further delays could jeopardize funding. The Plan Commission will now hear the case on Jan. 27.