Lisa Speckhard Pasque (September 18, 2017)

A development project slated for Madison’s east side that will include cohousing and a new “circus space” has already won the support of the neighborhood and a recommendation of approval from city planning staff.

Next, the project must receive approval from the city’s Plan Commission Monday night.
The project, “Winnebago Arts and Cohousing,” is slated for a two-acre site at 2048, 2100 and 2114 Winnebago St. Accipiter Properties is the developer of the project.

The plans require five separate approvals from the city’s Plan Commission, including rezoning, demolition and conditional use permissions.

Three buildings sit on the properties today. Winnebago Studios, which hosts 17 artist studios, is located at 2048 Winnebago St. A multi tenant commercial structure, home to Madison Circus Space, Inc., is at 2100 Winnebago St. and Ford’s Gym is located at 2114 Winnebago St.

The proposal seeks to reconfigure the three parcels and would demolish Winnebago Studios and the commercial building. A new cohousing complex and circus space would be constructed. The Ford’s Gym building would remain as is.

The new $8.3 million cohousing space at 2048 Winnebago St. would provide 64,000 square feet with 45 condominium units, 11 of which will be sold to individuals at or below 80 percent of the area median income. The rest would be sold at market rate.

CohoMadison Cohousing Community is partnering with the developer. They describe cohousing as “a type of collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design and management of their own neighborhoods.” The development will host “generous” public spaces including a common kitchen, garden, laundry facilities, playroom and multipurpose room. The group originally worked to set up cohousing in the Union Corners development, but couldn’t reach an agreement with the developers.

According to the organization’s website, 24 of the 45 units have already been reserved.
The building would also include 10 commercial units to be used as artist studios. Construction on the project is slated to begin in May or June 2018 and end in June 2019.

The new $1.1 million circus building at 2100 Winnebago St. would be 10,300 square feet. Construction would begin in fall of 2018, with a target finish date of April 2019.

A letter from Brad Hinkfuss, president of the Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara Neighborhood Association (SASY), called the project “remarkable in that it preserves and enhances so much of what is special about the neighborhood.”

“Without exception, I can tell you that the neighborhood support has been positive and supportive,” he wrote.

Marsha Rummel, alder for the district, also supports the project, and city planning staff have recommended approval of all five requests.

Also before the Plan Commission tonight is a proposal to turn the historic Kleuter building at 901 E. Washington Ave. into a 144-room hotel and restaurant. The project would demolish four buildings and build a surface parking lot, later to be replaced by a parking garage.

The proposal was already approved by the city’s Urban Design Commission, and planning staff are also recommending approval of the project, although their report noted “regret at the loss” of one building to be demolished and lingering concerns about stormwater management.