With the Oscar Mayer plant expected to close by next spring, city officials are doing all they can to make sure when they do close, the property is utilized.
“When you look at the size of the plant and what’s happened in similar circumstances across the country, we can be talking 10-15 years before we find a suitable use for the site,” Mayor Paul Soglin said. “This building this site has virtually no chance of adaptation or reuse so that means it needs to be cleared and for that to happen there’s an estimate $10-20 million of expenses.”
A tear down expense Soglin says if picked up by Kraft-Heinz or someone else, the city would gladly take over the title and bring a boost to the area.
“Just think that parcel almost 100 years ago was the community and a business laying down a big bet on something different,” Zach Brandon President of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, said. “I think there’s an opportunity for us.”
“Our first objective is to maximize the site for employment, it has rail access, its across the street from the airport and its short distance for the interstate highway,” Soglin said.
Soglin says he has spoken to Kraft-Heinz officials but not about the sale. He says no matter who ends up owning the property, the site should be cleared.
The city will continue to have meetings to discuss the preparation of the site and what should be built there.