Court sanctions property management group over Paisan’s building closure

MADISON, Wis. — A Dane County judge found the property management group responsible for the building that previously housed Paisan’s in contempt of a court order Wednesday.

Judge Juan Colas ruled that Executive Managers, Inc., and Rice Investors, LLC will pay $1000 every day until they comply with a court order compelling them to pay for routine inspections on the building, located at 131 West Wilson Street.

“The failure to make even a minimal effort to ask the owners of the building on whose behalf EMI is working for additional funds to comply with the court order is a demonstration of an intentional disregard of the order,” Judge Colas said. “There really was no effort made here to do the least that was necessary.”

Paisan’s Restaurant, Inc., brought the suit against EMI, after being forced to leave their building space due to structural concerns late last year.

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That was the second time in four months that staff had to vacate the building. Paisan’s owner Wally Borowski said last month that the City of Madison would only allow the building to reopen if the landlord paid for a third party to regularly perform inspections on a temporary shoring system.

For now, the restaurant is operating out of its sister location Porta Bella.

RELATED: A draining waiting game: Paisan’s owner speaks out after second evacuation in several months

The building was initially evacuated in September of last year. According to Borowski, city reports show that officials were aware of structural issues at the building as far back as 2016.

Deferred repairs reportedly led to the issues, and city officials had fears that the building may collapse. Underground support columns were installed in the building’s parking garage as a temporary fix.

RELATED: City orders downtown building home to Paisan’s to close again

It is unclear when, or if, EMI will begin paying for inspections, or when tenants will be allowed to return. Borowski previously stated that it was “very unlikely” that Paisan’s will return to 131 West Wilson Street in the future.