Statement of Madison Mayor Paul Soglin regarding WEDC Grant

Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 4:24pm

I am very pleased with WEDC’s decision to invest $500,000 to help unleash the economic potential of a targeted redevelopment opportunity on Madison’s east side. These funds and the City’s matching $1.825 million will be part of a $20 million rehabilitation of the vacant Garver Feed Mill building. The improvements will facilitate the redevelopment of the Garver Feed Mill building to create a major regional destination for food production, a local hub for artisans and retailers, and a national showcase for the tiny home movement.

The City has been working on the redevelopment of the Garver Feed Mill since it was acquired in 1996. Originally planned for an expansion of Olbrich Botanical Gardens, the City has since pivoted to redeveloping the site and locating the expansion of Olbrich Gardens on other City owned property.

Working in partnership with the City, a development team led by David Baum of Baum Revision, is now poised to invest nearly $20 million to transform this vacant building into a vibrant part of the City of Madison featuring food producers, artists, retailers, and innovative tiny homes that will be part of a "micro-lodge" showcase unparalleled in the United States. Current plans call for approximately 60,000 square feet of commercial food production, artisan production and retailers, and space to curate the micro-lodge operations.

The injection of funding from WEDC’s newly created Idle Industrial Sites program will be critical to bring this project across the finish line. The Garver Feed Mill is situated adjacent to attractive and affordable residential neighborhoods and the world renowned Olbrich Botanical Gardens. By transforming a vacant and unused blighted building into a mixed-use facility with a one of a kind micro-lodge showcase, this project will create jobs and tax value, while helping maintain Madison’s east side neighborhoods as a great place to live and work. It is clear that the city is, and will continue, to focus on economic development opportunities throughout the City of Madison. WEDC’s investment in the project is testament to the ability of the State and the city of Madison to work together toward common economic development goals for our community and its neighborhoods.

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