It's impossible to look at the Hammes Corporation's artist's rendering of a design for Judge Doyle Square incorporating the Madison Municipal Building as part a hotel in the development and not conclude that eliminating that option was a mistake. The design is so complementary to the rest of the proposed block, and the public activity and street life it would generate is so need on that side of the Square that foreclosing on it makes no sense.
Even if some city officials are right, and the city eventually does need more office space – no sure bet at this point – it would make sense to find the space if Judge Doyle Square is the vibrant, successful commercial, hotel, mixed-use development that lives up to its full potential. This development plan is too important to handcuff a developer with use restrictions that keep it from being everything it could be. And once the deal is done the opportunity is lost. We think the City Council should reconsider its restrictions on how the Municipal Building should be used, and let's build the very best Judge Doyle Square we can.