Garver Feed Mill

The city of Madison has pledged up to $1.825 million to assist in the rehabilitation of the Garver Feed Mill, which was built in 1905 and has fallen into disrepair.

Madison is asking developers for proposals to rehabilitate the landmark Garver Feed Mill building near Olbrich Gardens on the East Side.

The City Council on Tuesday approved a request for a “visionary proposal” that captures the community’s imagination for rehabilitation and reuse of the 60,000-square-foot structure at 109 S. Fair Oaks Ave.

The request for proposals makes available $1.82 million in city funds for a project, which is supposed to be sensitive to the neighborhood, environmentally friendly and encourage alternate forms of transportation. It also aims to have a use that complements Olbrich and asks for 14,000 square feet of storage to be used by Olbrich.

The two-story, Industrial Romanesque structure built in 1905 was declared surplus property by the Park Commission in 2005 and is deteriorating and presents safety hazards.

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In the spring of 2011, Common Wealth Development dropped a $16 million redevelopment plan for an arts incubator on the site due to fundraising challenges in the bad economy.

A city report that fall offered a range of options including a $1.1 million demolition, saving parts of the building with costs ranging from $2.4 million to $4.2 million, a basic rehabilitation costing $9 million, and a complete rehab with a $14.1 million price tag.

Mayor Paul Soglin’s proposed capital budget for 2015 includes $1.82 million for construction drawings and specifications for improvements to the structure.

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