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New condos and retail storefronts planned for Madison

The project would add 11 residential units and 2,900 sq. ft. of commercial space.

Interested buyers are already calling about the 11 Italian-inspired condominiums that soon will replace a humble rambler on Madison Avenue.

The Madison Avenue Villa mixed-use project will sprout up just north of Wyatt Way, next door to the Wyatt House retirement community.

Demolition of the existing single-family residence and construction of the five new buildings are set to begin this summer.

“We’re trying not to do one of those huge developments,” said Diane Sugden, whose family owns the property under VHP Enterprises. “We wanted something that seems like a small neighborhood (and) that lends itself to leaving the car at home.”

Redevelopment will likely require the removal of six trees on the 1-acre property. More than 20 parking stalls will service both residents and customers of a commercial space facing Madison. The property may include a trail link to Gideon Park.

The development will have eight family residences with two or three bedrooms.

Each residence will range in size from 1,275 to 1,400 square feet. Three studios will top a 2,900 square-foot retail space facing Madison. Sugden intends to sell the retail portion, which can be divided into three shops.

Island architect William Chester’s designs for the townhome-style family residences feature concrete and brick-walled ground floors, stucco-sided second stories with balconies, windows of various sizes and pitched metal roofing.

Sugden said she may abandon the stucco siding for materials that hold up better in Northwest weather.

“I liked the idea of a villa,” she said, describing homes she visited in Naples and Rome that were “neutral-colored, carefree and elegant.”

The Italian-inspired theme is also a “tribute to our folks,” she said.

Sugden spent about six years of her childhood in Italy when her father, James Pelland, was stationed there by the U.S. Army.

Sugden said she has not finalized construction cost estimates and does not know how much the units will cost.

She was not prepared for the immediate response from interested home buyers after notice of the planned redevelopment went up over the weekend.

“We still haven’t nailed down (cost) estimates, so I couldn’t believe we’re already getting calls,” she said.

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