Council approves tech campus apartments

Mark Ignatowski

After about nine months of debate, the Common Council gave approval last month to construct a 39-unit apartment complex in the Fitchburg Technology Campus.

Developers will break ground this spring on the three-story building along Gallagher Drive. As part of the approval, a public green space will be dedicated to the city just north of the apartment complex.

The plan received unanimous support from the city’s planning commission prior to being approved by the council, Ald. Carol Poole said.

“We felt it was a very good use,” Poole said. “This is a good project for everyone.”

The council approved the third step of the Planned Development District zoning – the Specific Implementation Plan  – at its Dec. 10 meeting. Developer Chris Armstrong said the zoning plan approved last month reflects the input from nearly a dozen neighborhood meetings.

Armstrong said the plan helps minimize traffic in the nearby neighborhoods by encouraging drivers to use Research Park Drive. In addition, Nobel Woods is preserved by moving the apartment’s parking lot away from the woods. Armstrong said the park area would add to the woods and serve nearby residents, as well.

The building will have a similar look and feel to the City Row apartments on East Johnson Street in Madison, architect Kevin Burow said. The building will have composite siding, architectural stone and a shingled roof. There will be several “front porch” style entrances to make the building look more like the single family homes in the adjacent neighborhood.

“The main goal is to bring down the scale of the architecture and make it fit in better with the residential homes in this area,” Burow said.

The apartment complex will have 20 one-bedroom units and 16 two-bedroom units. Three studio apartments will also be available. Average rents will be just under $1,000 for the one-bedroom apartments and closer to $1,300 or $1,400 for the two-bedroom units, Armstrong said.

The building will have 39-underground parking stalls and 39 stalls in a surface parking lot located to the west of the building. According to city documents, the complex is set to open in spring 2015.

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