OM Station redevelops former Oscar Mayer plant into mixed-use space

A look inside OM Station

MADISON, Wis. — A building that was once a bustling workplace is under redevelopment to become active once again.

The Reich Brothers and Rabin Worldwide are developing OM Station to be a mixed-use space in the structures that formally housed the Oscar Mayer plant before closing in 2016.

“The vision for the project really is to start reusing our existing buildings,” Senior Vice President of Real Estate at Rabin Nate Ellis said. “We (have) about 700,000 square feet of leasable structures that we are looking to refill.”

Developers have already spent about $6 million on infrastructure updates at the 910 Mayer Avenue structure, according to Ellis.

Work spaces will be available for lease in the building and developers will work with tenants to design a space that suits their needs.

Ellis said there are plans to redevelop other structures on the property in coming years to make the area similar to a downtown space.

“We’ve got about 40 acres of land that we will begin the processes to try and attract more businesses and actually bring more to this area,” Ellis said.

Developers said there are plans to keep certain elements of the building’s history alive.

“You know this office building was the world headquarters for Oscar Mayer, and it will be here for another 100 years, right? I think we retrofitted the building in a pretty strong way to pay homage,” Ellis said.

Former Oscar Mayer employees visited the space for a tour on Thursday.

“I actually used to work in here. I used to work at the reception desk here as a security officer, and it was very dark at the time. It was very closed off and secure, so you couldn’t just walk right in. It’s much more open and bright now,” Ben Tessner, a former Oscar Mayer employee, said.

Developers said outside renovations will begin Spring 2020.

In a press release Friday, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said: “This plan builds on the vision established by the Oscar Mayer Strategic Assessment Committee, creating significant economic opportunities for Madison’s diverse residents, adding much needed housing and leveraging our current and future transit investments to achieve a more sustainable future.”

An open house for the Oscar Mayer Special Area Plan is Thursday, Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. at OM Station (910 Oscar Avenue).