Madison gets $500K state grant to redevelop blighted Garver Feed Mill

PHOTOS: Madison’s garver Feed Mill to get $500K state grant

The state economic development agency awarded Madison a $500,000 grant to redevelop the former Garver Feed Mill in Olbrich Park.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. said the facility will be redeveloped by Baum Development of Chicago into a mix of affordable commercial food production space for second-stage food companies, and retail space and office space. Madison will match the WEDC grant.

“The east side is a very attractive area as it is,” Jason Scott, regional economic development director, said. “This is a little hidden gem, I think, in the community. I think the potential is to open it up to the public and have some life generated to the property.”

The project will also feature a first-of-its-kind “international showroom” of affordable tiny homes call micro-lodges. The micro-lodges are low-impact, sustainable and mobile cabin like structures with an average size of 350 square feet.

Second-stage food companies are those with proven products, annual sales over $1 million, a customer growth history, and typically 10 or more employees.

The money is part of the Idle Industrial Sites program, which is administered by WEDC.

The project is estimated to cost a total of $20 million.

WEDC said the grant would be used to fund site improvements which would consist of the following: an access road into the site interior from Fair Oaks Avenue, parking and upgrades to sewer, water, gas and electric facilities.

According to a release, the Garver Feed Mill building is a two-story brick former sugar beet factory that was constructed in 1905, turned into a feed mill in 1929, and remained in almost continuous operation for years as a feed and supply company until becoming vacant in 1996 and purchased by the Olbrich Botanical Society in 1996.