Tonight I attended what might have been the most tasty development meeting ever. Jim Mueller held an open house to discuss plans for the old Deano’s property at Denny & Madison, and it was catered by Chef Brenda Lee (a CDNews sponsor). And I can officially say that people are a lot less picky about architecture when they’ve got a little something to munch on.
In addition to the food, we also got a peek at the updated designs for the former HQ of crime on the north side of Madison. Dean Falls, the previous owner, had sponsored a design that was intended to be a slice of Paris on Madison, with a mansard-ish roofline:
The new design is intended to bring a more modern look to the corner:
The project contains 222 apartments and 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. Parking is provided in a below-ground garage with 228 stalls. It’s all organized around a central courtyard that will be open to the public, with a main covered entrance off of Madison that will also provide sheltered outdoor space for cafes:
The north side of the building along Denny Way will feature residences with ground-floor entrances. The top floor of the building is stepped back on this side to avoid casting too many shadows on the single-family residences to the north. Another change was made here to raise the entry ways up above the street grade vs. having them sunk below ground as in the original design:
All the residences will be market rate apartments, mostly a mix of studios and 1 bedroom units and a much smaller number with 2 bedrooms. The combination of this project and the other Mueller project across the street will add a total of 15,000 square feet of new retail space to the area, with an estimated lease rate around $35 per sq. ft. per year.
The big question with all of these projects is when the financial markets will open up for new construction loans. Mr. Mueller described two big problems: wealthy investors are not able to provide the typical seed money that forms the equity of loans for these projects, and banks have doubled the amount of down payments that are required to get financing. If things improve in the first part of 2009, we can expect to see these projects get off the ground by mid summer. If not, there could be months or even years of delays.
A formal design review for this project is tentatively scheduled for January 21st. In the meantime, Mr. Mueller is taking feedback and answering questions via email at askmadison at jcmueller dot com.
Thx to Andrew Taylor for the photos