JCap proposal for Madison’s East Wilson and Blair preserves Hotel Ruby Marie

JCap proposal for Madison’s East Wilson and Blair preserves Hotel Ruby Marie

MADISON, WISC. (excerpts from www.madison.com) – After talks with the city and neighbors, a developer has refined ambitious plans to redevelop a block that holds the beloved but aging Essen Haus German restaurant Downtown for a hotel, housing and parking.

Vandewalle & Associates has been instrumental in the entitlement process for the property.

JCap Real Estate of Eau Claire proposes redeveloping properties at 506, 510, 514, 516 and 518 E. Wilson St. and 134, 140, 148 and 150 S. Blair St., including a large surface parking lot, for a six-story, 100-room hotel along East Wilson Street and an eight-story residential building with 170 units, including 39 lower-cost ones, on South Blair Street.

The landmark Hotel Ruby Marie, 524 E. Wilson St., and its Up North Bar would be remodeled and remain a separate structure. But now the facades of the venerable Come Back In and J.B. Drives Store Building along East Wilson Street would be preserved and incorporated into the design of the hotel.

A new alley or promenade between the buildings, called a “living street,” offers a chance to create a sense of place for hotel guests, residents and Up North Bar patrons.

It’s the fourth redevelopment proposal for the block since 2000. None of the previous three came to fruition.

“This project offers new hotel and commercial vibrancy along East Wilson Street, much needed residential opportunities and affordable housing while preserving the historic Hotel Ruby Marie, integrating two contributing facades and responding to the surrounding historic context,” JCap’s new submittal to the city says.

The submittal is getting a positive first-blush reaction from the neighborhood.

The proposal has incorporated important historic elements on East Wilson Street, which many neighbors support, said Juli Wagner, interim chair of the First Settlement District of Capitol Neighborhoods Inc.