The Garver Feed Building sits just north of the bike path and the Wisconsin and Southern railroad near Olbrich Park on Madison’s east side. It’s a giant, hulk of a ruin, looking something like a haunted castle from Scotland transplanted to the midwest. Originally built in 1903 as a sugar beet refinery, the structure became home over the years to the Garver Feed and Supply store, a cement plant and a milking machine manufacturer. The City of Madison and Olbrich Gardens purchased the property in 1997 and the by then abandoned factory suffered a fire in 2001 that demolished the interior, leaving only the brick shell of the building intact. Since then, the city has entertained multiple redevelopment proposals for the site, including an ambitious arts incubator project that fell prey to the real estate crash of 2008 and never materialized. Now the city’s back to try again. On Wednesday, January 7th, the City of Madison Garver Feed Mill Criteria and Selection Committee will hear presentations from four private developers who have responded to a city Request for Proposals to redevelop the 22-acre site. Joining us now by phone are Marsha Rummel, Sixth District Alder and chair of the Garver committee, and committee member and neighborhood resident Alnisa Allgood.
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