Downtown Madison, sitting proudly at the center of the isthmus created by Lakes Mendota and Monona, is home to the state Capitol and the University of Wisconsin. At any given moment you’ll find an eclectic and vibrant mix of locals and tourists working, dining, shopping and playing side by side. Luxury high-rise condos and modern apartments intermingle gracefully with student flats, beautifully restored Victorian homes, offices, boutiques and hundreds of restaurants. Downtown is the perfect home for those wanting a healthy dose of both convenience and culture.
One of the best things about urban living is that regardless of your lot in life, there’s a space for you. A healthy mix of professionals, students, empty-nesters and families all find a place to live downtown. It’s also where Madisonians gather to celebrate and enjoy our beautiful city. Every Saturday from late April to early November thousands walk counter-clockwise around the Capitol at the farmers market. Wednesday evenings in June and July, thousands more picnic on the lawn while enjoying Concerts on the Square. A walk down State Street, with its mix of local and national shops, restaurants, galleries, museums, concert and theater venues – including the Overture Center – will bring you to the UW campus and the famed Memorial Union Terrace. There is quite possibly no finer way to spend a summer day in Madison than sitting at the Union enjoying Lake Mendota, people watching as you happily eat ice cream from Babcock’s Dairy or listen to a band while you quaff a locally brewed draft.
Amidst an ever present air of conviviality and friendly discourse, people immerse themselves in the constant activity found downtown, from taking in a play, to skateboarding, to kayaking on one of the lakes. When you live and work downtown, as many residents do, a car isn’t a necessity. You can walk out your door and within minutes you’re surrounded by endless four and five star dining options, as well as quaint cafés celebrating cuisine from around the world. Locally-owned shops take care of all your errands, and if you need a Target run, it’s only a ten minute drive. Entertainment options range from chamber music to indie music, spoken poetry nights, University sponsored lectures from renowned experts in every imaginable field, art museums and galleries, comedy and improv clubs, operas, symphonies, Broadway musicals and off Broadway plays. In short, you can have whatever lifestyle you want downtown as long as you want an active one.
Downtown Madison has a little something to make just about everybody happy, regardless of budget or lifestyle. Condos can be found for $150,000 to $2 million and suit everyone from young professionals to older couples downsizing after their kids move out. A recent building boom has added several luxury apartment buildings into the fray, but most of the non-students living downtown make their home in one of the many condos surrounding the Capitol Square. Options range from rehabbed historic buildings like The Loraine and Doty School to modern structures like the Marina and Capitol West. Though few and far between, there are single family homes downtown. And as more families move here we’ve noted an emerging trend of two and three flats being rehabbed back into their former glory as single family homes. While the current market is low in inventory, the more expensive condos and penthouses tend to linger on the market longer than the less expensive ones which go fairly quickly.
Being in the middle of the action, endless dining, shopping and entertainment options, the lake views, no-maintenance condo living and the energetic vibe.