WEDC investment to help fund new retail and commercial space in OM Station

MADISON, WI. June 12, 2019 – The City of Madison is receiving a $250,000 state grant for the redevelopment of the former Oscar Mayer facility into a business and light industrial park called the Old Madison (OM) Station.

The Community Development Investment Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will support the renovation and restoration of a 58,000-square-foot building, known as Building 20, that was constructed in 1939 and previously served as a garage and machinist shop.

Once redeveloped, Building 20 will provide a unique retail and commercial flex space in Madison. Renovations will include sewer and plumbing work, construction of pedestrian entryways and significant masonry work, as well as energy-efficient upgrades. The building will also require environmental remediation to remove asbestos.

“This site has been a significant part of the city’s history, and through the joint efforts of the state, the city and the developer, we see a bright future ahead for this century-old factory,” said Tricia Braun, deputy secretary and chief operating officer of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “This project has the potential to be an important economic driver for Madison, and WEDC is proud to support the redevelopment and revitalization of this site.”

This project will be the first public-facing component in the larger redevelopment of the site, and city officials believe this could be a catalyst in spurring additional commercial development.

“Redeveloping the old Oscar Mayer site is critical for the city of Madison and a major piece of the continuing development of the city’s North Side,” said Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. “This project capitalizes on both the unique character of these buildings and the central location of this site.”

Oscar Mayer had been at the location since 1919, and it served as the company’s headquarters since 1957. The plant officially ceased production in August 2017, and 910 Mayer LLC purchased the property in October 2017. 910 Mayer LLC, a partnership between Rabin Worldwide and Reich Brothers, plans to repurpose many of the existing buildings on the site and attract thoughtfully chosen tenants that will create sub-communities on the campus.

“Working together with the City of Madison and WEDC to develop the project has made a big difference in accelerating the success of the site,” said Orlee Rabin of Rabin Worldwide. “With WEDC’s support, we are almost complete with the tenant improvements for our first tenant in the building—The Bodgery, a maker space that will bring community and “makers” back to the site.”

“This WEDC Community Development Investment Grant is crucial to renovating Building 20,” said District 12 Alder Syed Abbas. “This 1939 building will be activated with multiple business tenants like The Bodgery, which is connected with the neighborhood and will provide all types of training and workforce skills for residents. I am truly looking forward to more of what is to come at the former Oscar Mayer site.”

“Investing in the redevelopment of sites like the former Oscar Mayer plant is always most successful when the state, city and developer work collaboratively,” said Paul Jadin, President of the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP). “This factory played a significant part in the city’s history and, with the continued support from WEDC and the city, is uniquely positioned to reemerge as a major economic hub for the Madison region.”

In 2018, the City of Madison was also awarded a $500,000 Idle Sites Redevelopment Grant from WEDC to assist 910 Mayer LLC as it reconfigures outdated infrastructure at the site to deliver gas and electricity to each individual building on the 67-acre parcel.

WEDC’s Community Development Investment Grant Program supports community development and redevelopment efforts, primarily in downtown areas. The matching grants are awarded based on the ability of applicants to demonstrate the economic impact of the proposed project, including public and private partnership development, financial need and use of sustainable downtown development practices.

Since the program’s inception in 2013, WEDC has awarded more than $24 million in Community Development Investment Grants to 101 communities for projects expected to generate more than $500 million in capital investments statewide.