Save Our Neighborhood - Oppose Hub II
Save Our Neighborhood - Oppose Hub II
If you oppose the development of Hub II, please sign this petition!
Core Spaces, the developer that built Hub Madison and The James, has proposed a 124 unit apartment complex called Hub II. Hub II is a luxury development that is unlike anything ever before proposed to Langdon Street and it does not fit within the historic fabric that Greek life provides to our campus. Although Core Spaces may have the right to do this development, we have the right to define how it fits within our neighborhood.
It is for these reasons that we oppose Hub II:
- Affordability: Hub Madison is listed at a minimum monthly rent of $990 per person and maximum of $1700 per person. Hub II will undoubtedly be at a similar or more expensive rate. This is also very close to campus, which would inevitably drive up prices for pre-existing student housing. As a result of similar luxury housing projects, the national market value of housing has increased exponentially, to rates now 40% above a 2012 low-point.
Failure to Follow Conditional Use Approval Standards of 1, 3, 10, and 15: The Plan Commission cannot approve conditional use projects that fail to meet these standards.
- Standard 1: Hub II violates city zoning, which allows for a 5 floor building here. It will also endanger public health, safety, and welfare by towering over neighboring houses and creating noise pollution.
- Standard 3: As demonstrated by significant student and neighborhood opposition, the wellbeing of the community will be impaired.
- Standard 10: The impact on traffic and parking with 373 new residents will clearly cause significant disruption in the area.
- Standard 15: The Urban Design Committee made recommendations that were clearly not all followed. As a result, we have significant doubts as to whether Standard 15 can be met here.
- Ethics Violations: Core Spaces has allegedly reached out to Greek life on Langdon Street, promising “philanthropic donations” and cheaper leases in Core Spaces buildings if they support Hub II. We will not permit bribery being used as a way to buy support.
- Disregard of Prior Recommendations: The Urban Design Commission (UDC) motioned on February 12 as follows: “It is the recommendation that the UDC does not recommend this as designed. While the design team worked hard, the excess height does not demonstrate a higher quality building with bonus stories. It does not meet criteria item (b). The other condition, based on the downtown height map, seem[s] reasonable to design a building with more than 8 units.” After this recommendation, Core Spaces only made minor changes to the front street facade. Moving forward with Hub II as originally proposed, without making all the concessions recommended by the UDC, is disrespectful to the City’s planning process as a whole.
- Altering the Neighborhood: Hub II will dramatically alter the historic nature of Langdon Street and traditions that Greek life offers the area. A property of this design does not coincide with the nineteenth century style lakefront mansions and significantly alters the historic skyline of this neighborhood.
- Precedent: The last development proposed in this location was denied due to it not being architecturally coherent with Langdon Street.
- COVID-19: In the wake of a global pandemic that is putting a financial strain on students and their families, another expensive apartment complex will negatively impact students.
We believe that new housing projects should cater to those who need them. Madison does not need another luxury apartment building that is practically synonymous with a hotel. For us as students to approve Hub II, here is what we want:
- Affordability: For us to get on board with Hub II, we would like to see an affordable component. We request that at least 50% of the units be considered affordable units, as this would allow the property as a whole to better suit the community it aspires to be a part of.
- Scale: A smaller, more reasonably ambitious proposal that fits within the current height limits stipulated by city zoning restrictions (i.e. five stories) should be considered. Complying with this order will ensure that the structure does not significantly alter the city skyline and add light pollution to a scarcely lit neighborhood.
- Outreach: Core Spaces must make a strong commitment to connecting with all neighboring fraternities and sororities in the area so their voices are heard throughout the development process.
- Commitment to Community: The currently existing proposal must state its efforts to reduce noise pollution and traffic disruption in a student-dense neighborhood.
- Sustainability: We would like to see an Environmental Impact Report that addresses potential groundwater contamination and runoff concerns that the underground parking may cause Lake Mendota. Hub II will also stand in the way of developing recycling programs for neighboring houses. How would Core Spaces establish the rooftop swimming pool, for instance, in such a way that would not impact the environment with noise pollution?
Hub II will be voted for approval or denial by the Madison Plan Commission on Monday, May 18 at 5:30 p.m. CT. If you are able, please make your voice heard and speak or register in opposition to this project. The meeting agenda will be posted at least 24 hours in advance, with details on how to join the meeting virtually here.
From your fellow students,
Matthew Mitnick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Elena Haasl (email@example.com)
Amol Goyal (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Adrian Lampron (email@example.com)
Emma Axelrod (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Julian Nazareth (email@example.com)
Samuel Jorudd (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lennox Owino (email@example.com)
Langdon Street photo taken off the internet. Originally by Joey Reuteman of The Badger Herald