City council sends Judge Doyle Square project back to drawing board

Council asked for new requests for proposal
City council sends Judge Doyle Square project back to drawing board
Judge Doyle Square redevelopment area

A controversial project to build a hotel on Judge Doyle Square was sent back to the drawing board at the end of a lengthy Madison Common Council meeting Wednesday morning.

The Madison Common Council unanimously decided Wednesday morning to take new requests for proposal on the controversial Judge Doyle Square project, then quickly adjourned.

The council voted back in April to let Madison Mayor Paul Soglin work on the plan that includes a city building makeover and a hotel near Monona Terrace.

However, when estimated costs of the project grew, council members decided to revisit the issue.

“The council was in this dilemma where the list of things we want in this project and the willingness to pay for those things had a complete disconnect,” District 19 Alder Mark Clear said. “I think some of my colleagues are imagining pixie dust will fall from the sky and that there will be someone there to supply all things that the city requires to have as part of this project without a significant public investment.”

Council President Chris Schmidt said it will cost at least $50,000 to start the process over. Soglin said there are already two potential bidders on the project.

“We’ve got to get a proposal. We have to cost it out. We have to see if there is a TIF. When you evaluate a TIF you have to look at the return on investment and all of this is premature. This is exactly why we want more study, more analysis, and to look at more options,” Soglin said.