Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"The White Building": What's Going to Happen to Pyare Square?

Family memory.
"There's the white building, Daddy!"
 --An observation my preschool son made every time I drove him home from Kids Play daycare in the late 1980s.

Pyare Square is located at 4610 University Avenue.....


......across the street and up the hill from Hilldale.

The 14-story, 82,000-square-foot building opened in 1969, housing the central offices for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  The department moved to GEF 2 in the early 1979.


The building has remained mostly empty since 2005, when Capital Indemnity moved its offices to Middleton.  

I count 7 tenants listed on the building's current directory.


I was unable to ride the elevator to the 14th floor; I assume a key is needed.  Actually, I was surprised when the automatic doors opened as I approached the building's main entrance.  

Which is not the side facing University Avenue, now developing an unkempt appearance.


Pyare Square's recent history
  • 2008.  Owner proposes turning building into condos, floors 4 through 14, with 3 floors of parking -- sort of like a mini Marina City -- with 24 rowhouse condominiums constructed to the north.  Shorewood Hills officials give the plan a thumbs-down.
  • 2010.  An Illinois developer proposes razing the building and constructing 69 low-income apartment units.  Another thumbs-down from village officials.
  • 2013.  Another wrecking-ball plan.  Approval for an Oak Park Place proposal to construct 150 "continuum of care" units with first-floor retail expires, and as far as I can tell, the paperwork has never been resubmitted.  (Incidentally, Shorewood Hill's Tax Incremental District #4 Project Plan, Pyare Area, adopted January 19, 2010, is found here.) 

Bullet points source:   Pyare Square site eyed for senior housing. (Capital Times,7/24/2013)

The most likely outcome.  
Madison’s Pyare Square building is again facing a showdown with the wrecking ball.

My money is on the wrecking ball.

 All photos by Retiring Guy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I do not believe that the village rejected the first condominium plan, rather that during the process of working towards approval, the condo market faded. The second proposal for moderate income housing in its first version was rejected by the village board, however, there was never any further interest or communication from the developer to make adjustments in order to succeed.

The continuum of care facility was approved and the approval extended, but time ran out for the owner - not the village.

Now a project is approved and underway to add two buildings to the existing Lodge apartments, also with underground parking and some retail space. There will be 8 or 9 affordable units, including 3-bedroom apartments, adding to the village's existing 26 units, and another 15 or so being built or partially approved.