On April 20, Madison College administrators officially recommended that the college enter into a ground lease with Hovde Properties and Drury Southwest for redevelopment of the Downtown Education Center (DTEC). This proposal was selected from the five remaining proposals based on the firms’ experience (30 percent), feasibility of the project (20 percent), and the project’s anticipated revenue stream (50 percent).
The Hovde proposal features converting existing buildings into a 197-room Drury Plaza Hotel, constructing a 10-story office building with first floor retail and grocery, adding underground parking, relocating the Central High School arch to the shared courtyard, and creating multiple rooftop terraces serving the office tower and hotel.
The projected revenue stream for the selected proposal offers the potential of more than $200 million over the term of the 98-year agreement, starting with an initial payment of $750,000. In a press release, Madison College President Jack Daniels said, “It is our responsibility to make decisions that place the needs of our students and communities first. This predictable revenue stream will help support initiatives that align with our mission of addressing the diverse needs of the communities we serve.”
Madison College administrators also tout the “qualitative” metrics that made the Hovde/Drury proposal the clear choice in their minds. Both companies are financially strong and family-owned. They have experience with similar projects in downtown areas including Madison. Finally, their plan considers community members’ preference for adaptive re-use of the building as well as key values described in the City of Madison’s Downtown Plan.