Housing, an artists’ colony and nonprofit center, restaurants and retail space, a hotel and public dog park are some of the uses eyed for Madison Area Technical College’s downtown campus by prospective developers.

The college’s board of trustees on Wednesday selected five finalists from a field of 11 developers who provided qualifications and conceptual proposals for the property at 211 N. Carroll St.

MATC, also known as Madison College, plans to award a ground lease for redevelopment of the two-acre site by fall 2018. The plan to vacate the downtown campus was opposed by some faculty members and students, as well as downtown community leaders.

Trustees approved the ground lease plan — under which MATC retains ownership of the property — in May. It is part of a Metro Campus Plan that also includes leasing a smaller facility on Madison’s west side and proceeding with planning for a comprehensive campus in South Madison.

The developers chosen to submit detailed proposals for the downtown site are: Alexander Company, Madison; Baum Revision Real Estate, Chicago; C.D. Smith & HKS Holdings, Fond du Lac/Milwaukee; Hovde Development, Madison; and Sherman Associates Inc., Minneapolis.

Use concepts offered include:

  • Alexander Company: Adaptive re-use of the existing structures to convert into apartments, with an affordable housing component. Density would be added to the site through construction of a boutique hotel, another multifamily building and underground parking.
  • Baum Revision & Gardner Capital: Adaptive re-use of the existing structures to provide live/work space for artists. The first three floors of the building would be converted into work space for a coalition of non-profits and the remaining levels of the building would be converted into studio and loft affordable housing units.
  • CD Smith & HKS Holdings: Office, hotel, apartments, conference center, retail and restaurants, parking and an outdoor public plaza. The building would be re-used only if it were deemed to be financially feasible.
  • Hovde: Adaptive re-use of the existing structures to convert into affordable housing. Density would be added to the site through construction of a boutique hotel, grocery, retail, office & parking.
  • Sherman Associates: Adaptive re-use of the existing structures to convert into mixed income housing. Density would be added to the site through construction of a nationally branded hotel, retail space, public dog park and shared parking.

Detailed proposals are expected from prospective developers in March, with the goal of approving a ground lease by fall, 2017.

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This article was first published in The Cap Times by Pat Schneider.