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‘Micro-lodge’ component could return to Garver Feed Mill project, new tenants announced

November 30, 2018
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Baum Revision, of Chicago, which expects to finish its renovation of the Garver Feed Mill on Madison's East Side by summer, announced Thursday that three new tenants -- a yoga studio, vegan cafe and floral shop -- plan to move into the building.

The developer renovating the Garver Feed Mill could regain its rights to build “micro-lodges” on the surrounding land as more businesses are planning to rent space in the historic building on Madison’s East Side.

Baum Revision, of Chicago, would be able to build the short-term rental units on property adjacent to the feed mill, 109 S. Fair Oaks Ave., under a City Council resolution that would amend a development agreement between the city and Baum after Madison terminated the developer’s rights to that portion of the project this summer.

Separately, Baum announced Thursday that a yoga studio, vegan cafe and floral shop intend to make the feed mill their home with six other tenants already lined up.

Baum started renovation work on the then-crumbling, landmark feed mill about a year ago, but failed to provide city-required documents proving it could finance the micro-lodges by a June 30 deadline. That prompted the city to terminate Baum’s rights to the five acres slated for the lodges, known as Lot 2.

But the resolution, to be introduced next week by Ald. Marsha Rummel, whose 6th District includes the Garver site, would give Baum another chance at developing the property.

“I remain supportive and actually kind of enthusiastic for the vision they have,” Rummel said of the project.

Matt Mikolajewski, the city’s economic development director, said the amended agreement more clearly spells out when Baum has until to close on the property if the resolution passes, how long it would be given to start construction and when it would need to build a minimum of 35 micro-lodges, with the option of doing up to 50.

The amendment also better clarifies the division of work when it comes to the removal of contaminants on the micro-lodge site and what documents Baum would need to provide before Lot 2 can be closed on, he said.

Bryant Moroder, Baum’s project manager for the Garver Feed Mill, said in an email the developer and the city “have been working cooperatively to update the agreement so that we can complete our project as planned.”

Madison is slated to contribute $1.82 million of city funding to the project plus $1.6 million for soil remediation on the site, which is contaminated with some petroleum and polycyclic hydrocarbons, or PAHs.

“The Garver Feed Mill is well underway, and they’ve been performing very well on that aspect of the project,” Mikolajewski said. “I think we’ve worked out terms in this revised development agreement that will protect the city’s interests but also will help to ensure there’s an opportunity for Baum to be successful.”

New businesses added

The new tenants add to the primarily food-focused businesses already planning to be inside the Garver Feed Mill, which is expected to be renovated at a cost of $14.4 million, after work is finished in summer.

Moroder said there are only a few spaces remaining among the 60,000 square feet available.

Perennial, a yoga, wellness and mediation studio, will open its second location at the feed mill. The business started in 2011 at 5500 E. Cheryl Parkway, Fitchburg.

Also slated for the feed mill is Surya Cafe. The cafe serving vegan, gluten-free dishes opened inside Perennial’s Fitchburg location in April 2017. Surya Cafe is led by head chef Lauren Montelbano. Its second location will be located alongside the yoga studio at the feed mill.

Briar Loft, a floral design business, will also open in the Industrial Romanesque feed mill built in 1905 and named a city landmark in 1994.

The three tenants are slated to join Calliope Ice Cream, Ian’s Pizza, Kosa Wellness, NessAlla Kombucha, Sitka Salmon Shares and Underground Catering.

“The co-location of food-based and wellness businesses under one roof provides an ideal and vibrant platform for them to build on their strengths and collaborate,” Moroder said.

Running parallel to Capital City Trail, the feed mill is intended to be for “second stage” food producers who have established themselves locally but are looking to grow.

Baum is to lease the properties from the city on 98-year agreements.

Annual payments on the feed mill building start at $1,000, rise to $7,000 in the 13th year, and increase 2 percent annually each subsequent year. On the micro-lodge property, payments from the first year through the 12th year are $2,500 annually, go to $15,000 in the 13th year, and increase 2 percent annually in subsequent years.

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