Edgewater proposal lives another day - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Edgewater proposal lives another day


MADISON (WKOW) -- After essentially killing the Edgewater Hotel project in December, the Madison Common Council may now decide to revive it.

One of the alders, who wasn't there last time, wants the council to vote again.

Alder Michael Schumacher is spearheading the resurrection.

"We basically have potentially two votes," said Schumacher. "One is to reconsider -- a simple majority of 11 council members. Should that pass, we're up for a decision to overturn the Landmarks Commission."

That's where the council came up two votes short last time.

After nine hours of debate, in a meeting that stretched two days, (Dec. 15th -16th), there weren't enough alders willing to overturn the Landmarks Commission, which deemed the new building out of character with the surrounding Mansion Hill Historic Neighborhood.

Plans call for a renovation of the 1940's art moderne style, an additional 190 rooms, an 8-story tower, and public terrace overlooking Lake Mendota.

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz says, during a recession, the $93 million renovation project would provide a much needed boost for the city and its workforce.

"In some of our trades, we have unemployment at 30 percent," Cieslewicz said. "To put that many people to work, to invest that much money in our community, expand the tax base -- we're looking at a million dollars a year in tax revenue."

Alder Schumacher says the project deserved more than to die in the design stage. He's hoping a re-vote will yield a different outcome.

"I'm cautiously optimistic," he said. "This is a very charged and polarized issue. I think there is no bad person on either side. Both sides make compelling arguments."

Alders Judy Compton and Thuy Pham-Remmele were other two alders not present at the December meeting.

Their votes could decide the outcome. As of Monday night, both were still undecided.

Pham-Remmele said her constituents are split. Compton said a referral is likely.

During the debate last month, several alders said they wanted the Urban Design And Plan Commissions to sign off on the plans first.

We tried to contact the project's developer, Hammes Company, for comment, but no the company did not return our calls.

Online reporting by Jeff Angileri

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