Tobacco Lofts at the Yards was the first redevelopment project initiated by Urban Land Interest at The Yards. Subsequent project work by Saiki Design also includes Seven27 Apartments, Quarter Row at the Yards and Nine Line at the Yards. This catalytic project restored and retrofitted a uniquely configured pair of Cream City Brick warehouses in the abandoned rail yard, provided a number of engaging site amenities in a central courtyard and included parking at the site’s periphery. In addition, the design created a strong connection to an adjacent shared use path linking the Downtown with the University and also Madison’s Lakes Monona and Mendota.
The site plan for the property focused on the courtyard space between the linear warehouse buildings. Blocks of native plant material at-grade and board-formed concrete planters contrasted blocks of concrete paving and lawn to create a series of walkways between the two buildings. Downspouts from the buildings were directed into sunken stormwater infiltration strips inter-planted with a mix of native species. The courtyard design integrated a regulation size bocce court for residents and formal and informal seating areas.