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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 47.0° F  A Few Clouds
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State Street parking ramp down but not out
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The Buckeye Lot in between Gorham and Gilman streets and adjancent to Lisa Link Peace Park is the long-discussed location for a mid-State Street Parking Ramp.
The Buckeye Lot in between Gorham and Gilman streets and adjancent to Lisa Link Peace Park is the long-discussed location for a mid-State Street Parking Ramp.
Credit:Kristian Knutsen

The Madison Common Council will vote Tuesday night to rescind its decision to acquire properties downtown for a mid-State Street Parking Ramp. The $26 million project by developer Curt Brink, which would have included underground parking and condos above, proved too expensive.

But that doesn't mean downtown business owners have given up on the idea of a new ramp.

"I think everyone just had to take a step back from it," says Susan Schmitz, president of Downtown Madison Inc.

Although Brink's proposal failed, Schmidt says the city learned a lot about what kind of ramp should be built on the site. For instance, underground parking, which was estimated to cost $50,000 per stall, is clearly too expensive.

And while Mayor Dave Cieslewicz had suggested spending $3 million to build just a parking ramp, Schmitz says the business community decided it wanted something nicer. She notes that the site is adjacent to Lisa Link Peace Park and State Street business owners want "a good infill project" next door.

"What was driving the project before was parking, and that was going nowhere," she says. "[Business owners] want a project that includes parking, increased retail space and some housing."

With a new city council in place, Schmitz hopes the discussions about a ramp can begin again soon. "We have to start talking about it with different people with fresh eyes."

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