Exact Sciences would move HQ to Hammes project pitched for downtown Madison

Exact Sciences Corp., one of the fastest-growing companies in Wisconsin, plans to move its corporate headquartes to a $125 million development proposed by Brookfield-based Hammes Co. and City of Industry, Calif.-based Majestic Realty Co. for the Judge Doyle Square site in downtown Madison.

Exact Sciences Corp. is currently located at 441 Charmany Dr. in the University Research Park on the west side of Madison. Last year the company debuted Cologuard, its new noninvasive colon cancer screening test. Cologuard offers an alternative to a colonoscopy by instead testing a patient’s stool sample.

Exact Sciences currently has about 300 employees in Madison and another 200 throughout the U.S. The company has said it plans to double the size of its staff to more than 800 by the end of 2015, including about 600 jobs in the Madison area. The company will receive $9 million in tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. if it hires another 758 employees in the state, at an average wage of $24.47 an hour, and spends $26.2 million in capital expenditures, all by the end of 2020.

Exact Sciences would move its corporate headquarters to about 250,000 square feet of space in a 1 million-square-foot Judge Doyle Square project proposed by Hammes and Majestic. The company would have about 600 employees at its downtown Madison headquarters. The proposed building would be built to Madison’s Capitol Height Preservation limit.

Judge Doyle Square is a mixed-use redevelopment project planned for a two block area bounded by East Doty Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and East Wilscon Street. The site is about one block southeast of the Wisconsin State Capitol. The site currently includes the Madison Municipal Building and the Government East parking garage. The city has been seeking mixed-use redevelopment proposals for the site. Previous redevelopment proposals failed to gain approval from the Common Council because developers sought large subsidies.

Earlier this year the council voted to start the process over with a new request for proposals. The new proposals for the site are due today. Hammes and Majestic said they submitted their proposal for the Judge Doyle Square site today to the City of Madison.

“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.”
In addition to the potential for Exact Sciences to leave the facility as the anchor tenant, the proposed Hammes-Majestic project for Judge Doyle Square 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 hotel’s room inventory could help the nearby Monona Terrace convention center in attracting large events.
“We have created an exciting plan for Judge Doyle Square,” 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.
“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,” 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.
“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,” 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.”

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