New Exact Sciences Corp. headquarters to anchor opportunity to continue reinvigorating downtown Madison
MADISON, Wis., May 1, 2015 – The Hammes Co. and Majestic Realty today announced that they have submitted a proposal to the City of Madison for the Judge Doyle Square project that brings together world-class architecture in a mixed-use setting and could relocate Exact Sciences Corp. to downtown Madison. The project also would strengthen Monona Terrace and the downtown as compelling destinations, and bring $125 million in private investment from the real estate developer for the 1,000,000-square-foot project. Exact Sciences would occupy 250,000 square as the anchor tenant.
The proposal was developed in partnership with Exact Sciences, one of Dane County’s fastest growing employers. Ground could be broken for the project as early as December 2015.
“Our proposal offers a rare chance to relocate a company’s corporate headquarters to the center of our downtown,” said Bob Dunn, president of the Hammes Co. “We are working closely with Exact Sciences to develop these facilities in the Madison area. Our strong preference is to locate them as the anchor of the Judge Doyle Square development.”
It is believed that the last time a major employer like Exact Sciences brought its corporate headquarters downtown was in 1975, when Verex moved to its new headquarters on Lake Mendota.
In addition to the potential for Exact Sciences to leave the facility as the anchor tenant, the project includes an urban hotel, entertainment establishments, terraced gathering areas on Pinckney Street, a public food hall, health and wellness facilities and other amenities. The project does not include any direct tax incremental financing, or TIF, support for any private component of the project.
“Welcoming an innovative tech company like Exact Sciences and bringing hundreds of highly-skilled workers downtown is an enormous opportunity for the city of Madison,” said Kevin Conroy, chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences. “This partnership is a chance to invigorate an underdeveloped corner of the city, grow Madison’s tax base and help Exact Sciences attract top talent as we continue expanding.”
The proposed urban hotel complements the other mixed-use components of the project at street level. These components are crafted to create a new enhanced experience for guests to downtown, the hotel and Monona Terrace. The hotel’s room inventory will enhance the competitive position of Monona Terrace in attracting large events.
“We have created an exciting plan for Judge Doyle Square,” Mr. Dunn said. “It brings together a combination of uses that will strengthen our downtown and activate Judge Doyle Square 365 days a year. One of our most important objectives has been to assemble the amenities that strengthen Monona Terrace and the city as a destination. As a result, we believe the economic and fiscal impact on the city of Madison exceeds other proposals that have been presented for Judge Doyle Square.”
A conference center with multipurpose meeting and function space is incorporated in the project to support Exact Sciences offices and can be scheduled for use by the hotel and Monona Terrace. Additionally, city-owned and financed meeting facilities could provide supplementary space to allow Monona Terrace to attract more of the lucrative large-scale events with the flexibility of additional ballroom and breakout meeting room spaces.
“As we consider a variety of options for a corporate headquarters in partnership with the Hammes Co., the plan that Bob and his team have put together is very attractive and heightens our desire to relocate to downtown,” Mr. Conroy said. “It also provides a vision for the entire site that is compelling for all of downtown and the broader community.”
The development also will include a food hall, a multi-faceted, indoor market that showcases a variety of local food vendors. It would offer an additional dining option suitable for everything from lunch for an Exact Sciences employee to dinner for hotel guests to group dining associated with a Monona Terrace event.
“Our firm is involved with many projects around the United States that are designed to bring year-round activation and stronger fiscal strength to these communities,” said Mr. Dunn said. “What is important to understand about our proposal is this public-private partnership is designed to complement Monona Terrace in a way that we can compete more effectively as a destination community.”