Last night the city’s Architectural Design Review team gave final approval to Jim Mueller’s project at 2051 E. Madison, allowing the project to move ahead into the standard construction permitting process. There’s several Mueller projects around the neighborhood – this is the one located across 22nd from Safeway that will replace the current home of the Twilight Exit. (note that this is not the Deano’s property – that’s across the street on the north side of Madison)
I know a lot of people have been wondering whether it’s worth talking about any of these projects considering the current economic issues. I asked Jim about that and he said that all of his projects depend on the availability of construction financing. That’s obviously not a certain thing with the credit meltdown. But assuming that is possible, the schedules call for construction on this project to start in the spring, with his other developments across Madison on the Deano’s property and at 23rd & Union getting under way later in the summer.
The final designs call for a 5 story apartment building with two ground floor retail spaces and an underground parking garage. It sits at a rare bend in E. Madison that will make it very noticeable to people headed west towards downtown. Designers tried to take advantage of that through large corner windows and a system of red accent panels that are meant to allude to the intersection’s historical home to jazz nightclubs.
The panels near the corner will actually be lit at night.
The retail spaces have windows along Madison & 22nd. The corner space is larger, and both spaces will have the proper ducting and plumbing to allow restaurants.
Access to parking is on the southeast corner of the property, putting it just a bit south of the entry to the Safeway parking structure. The south side of the building there also steps back at two levels to provide outdoor space to residents and theoretically ease the transition into the more residential area of the neighborhood.
A lot of time at the meeting was spent discussing the west side that will face what is currently the Planned Parenthood parking lot. Several board members and citizens remarked about the large blank wall on the southwest corner of the property there. Architects responded that the wall was right on the property line, precluding the placement of windows according to city code.
The project will bring some big improvements to the pedestrian environment when compared to what is on the property now. Designs call for sidewalks with a minimum width of six feet. Additionally, the building curves around more gently along 22nd than the street does, resulting in an increasing amount of public space between the curb and the resident entry to the structure. There’s also a dedicated area for outdoor cafe seating along 22nd near the corner with E. Madison, putting the tables and chairs out of the way of pedestrians.
Landscaping plans call for leaving the large existing trees on Madison and adding trees and planting areas long 22nd.
Andrew got several shots of the cardboard models that put the building into perspective with the surrounding properties: