Janesville70.5°

Case Feed building to come down

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Stacy Vogel
November 5, 2009
— The owner of the Case Feed building probably will have tears in his eyes as the building comes down, he said.

But it would cost more to repair it than raze it, he said.


“I love the building, don’t get me wrong,” owner Nadeem Syed said. “But I just don’t have the energy or the money to put into it and have another failure.”


Syed is planning to tear down the building at 922 Rockport Road, the oldest commercial building in Janesville, in response to a raze-or-repair order from the city.


Janesville issued the order Oct. 30 after city council President Bill Truman told officials about bricks that had fallen off the exterior.


Both the storefront and warehouse sides of the building are in danger of collapsing, said Gale Price, city manager of building and development.


“We certainly have very strong concern about the west side of the building and the cracking of and shifting of masonry structure,” he told WCLO radio. “We believe it’s in the public’s interest to remove the building as soon as possible.”


Syed doesn’t believe the building is in imminent danger, he said. He believes the bricks came off as a result of vandalism.


But he also believes it’s time to say goodbye to the building.


“We tried selling it, and there’s no buyer for it,” he said. “We can’t just keep leaving it vacant.”


Syed has owned the building for eight years through his business, North American Group of Companies. It’s been vacant most of that time, he said.


A potential buyer, Gideon Ngobi, stepped forward earlier this year hoping to turn the building into a mixed-use development with a teen center. But he wanted the city to chip in $450,000—far more than the assessed value of the property—to renovate the building.


The city suggested Ngobi look for other funding sources and return with a smaller request, and the deal fell through.


Syed is working with the city to get the permits to raze the building, he said. The raze-or-repair order requires the work to be done within 30 days.


He’s not sure what he’ll do with the property when the building comes down, but he intends to keep it, he said.


The site has development potential, Price said.


“It’s certainly a viable development site,” he said. “At that point, it would just be a matter of submission of site plan and intended use of the property.”



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