The Regent St. Neighborhood actually incorporates three distinct neighborhoods. Its official boundaries are Campus Dr. to the north, Franklin Ave on the west (extending through the border between Glenway Golf Course and Forest Hill Cemetery), on the South by the Southwest commuter bike path, and in the east by Breese Terrace.
The area north of Regent St and East of Allen St compose the first neighborhood – that of University Heights. One of the grandest neighborhoods in the city – the homes here are typically quite large, some referred to as mansions. The geography in this area is quite hilly, which means that many of these homes have fantastic city views. The proximity to the university has led many of these grand homes to be divided as student rentals, others are owned by distinguished faculty, and there is even a housing co-op nestled into University Heights. Much of the neighborhood is a part of a historic district and many of the homes in the neighborhood are listed on the national register – including at least one Frank Lloyd Wright designed home, as well as homes designed by other notable architects such as Keck and Keck, George W. Maher, Louis Sullivan. Architecturally the neighborhood is extremely diverse – Queen Ann to modernist with everything in between comfortably coexist. The neighborhood was platted in 1893, and while there are some lots that have been recently built (or rebuilt) the vast majority of the homes were completed prior to the second world war.
Purchasing a modest home in University Heights will set one back at least $500,000. There is no real upper limit on price in the neighborhood.
The area to the south of Regent St is distinctly different than it’s neighbor to the north. In part of the area, affectionately referred to “Lawyers in little houses”, the homes are significantly smaller than those across Regent St. The neighborhood has fewer students calling it home, though it is still very close to and influenced by the university – many professors call this neighborhood home. The feeling in the area is that of professionals in various stages of their careers, and their families. If you want to call this neighborhood home, bring at least $350,000 and for that, you should expect to do some work.
The area to the west of Allen St has a lot in common with the next-door neighborhood of Sunset Village, though the homes are of a vintage matching that of the rest of the Regent neighborhood. This area might be thought of as “the slums” of University Heights, if it were reasonable to think of well maintained 100 year old homes costing upwards of $300,000, full of professionals and families as a slum. The area is one of the most popular in Madison, and for good reason. While there are areas bordering university that have apartment buildings and condos full of students (most of them med students from the adjacent university hospital), the areas closer to Regent feel much more exclusive without the annoyance of gates and restrictive HOA covenants.
The Regent St Market Co-op, Higher Fire Clay Studio, the Salted Root Coffee house (Formerly The Froth House) and St Andrews Episcopal church all call the neighborhood home, and residents have the luck to live walking distance to the Babcock Hall Dairy Store, by way of the pedestrian foot bridge over Campus Drive. The bike path marking the southern border of the neighborhood makes for easy access to the university, capitol square and everything on the isthmus.
Truly the Regent St. Neighborhood is one of Madison’s gems and one of the most sought after for good reason.