Janesville60.5°

Days likely numbered for Case Feed building

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
June 11, 2010
— At least one council member thinks the historic Case Feed building’s time has run out.

“Enough is enough,” councilman Yuri Rashkin said Thursday.


He and fellow council member Bill Truman asked for a status report on the building at Monday’s council meeting,


The building’s owner, Nadeem Syed of Madison, has until July 2 to make enough repairs to stabilize the building. If he doesn’t, the city will tear it down, according to a memo to council members.


The Gazette was not able to reach Syed for comment.


“I would love nothing more than to have that building saved,” City Manager Eric Levitt said.


Because of its architecture, the building at 922 Rockport Road is cited in a central city neighborhood plan as the type of structure the city would like to see redeveloped. It is one of the oldest buildings in the commercial district.


“Unfortunately, despite our desire to see the building reused, it has been allowed to deteriorate by the landlord to the state of condition that it appears unlikely to be able to feasibly rehabilitate the building,” Levitt said.


The city filed a raze or repair order in October 2009. Staff worked with a potential buyer during that time but learned in May that the effort had fallen through.


Levitt said he was ready to recommend limited city funding to help close any financing gap.


A second repair or repair order was issued June 2 and gives the owner 30 days to stabilize the building.


That includes repairing the exterior brick and boarding up broken windows.


Gale Price of the city estimated the cost to be about $20,000.


Staff was not required to give a 30-day notice, but they felt it was prudent to give the owner one more chance because of the historic nature of the building, Price said.


The city has given the owner more time than some might like, Levitt said.


The building has become a safety and blight issue. If the owner does not make repairs, then the city would find the building to be a public nuisance and would move forward with the raze and repair order, Levitt said.


The city could buy the building, but Levitt said he doesn’t believe the city is in the position to do so because of the cost.


Truman said the future doesn’t look good for the building because the owner has said in the past he doesn’t want to put money into it.


If the owner won’t act, “then we need to do something,” Truman said.


Rashkin added: “Everybody loves Case Feed, but nobody wants to spend the money to fix it. It is now a nuisance, dilapidated and an eyesore.


“I don’t see anyone ready to finance it,” Rashkin said. “Nobody wants to touch it. Nobody wants to restore it. Nobody has the money to dump into this without anything (certain) in return.


“I think this place is done.”



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