Madison Common Council votes to buy 2 properties for possible homeless shelters

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 10:28 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Madison Common Council approved the purchase of two properties which may be used to address homelessness.

The council voted 14-6 in favor of moving forward with buying the sites, but what the land will officially be used for is still up for discussion.

The property on Zeier Road, near East Towne Mall, could be used for a temporary shelter and as a site for long-term redevelopment. The former Saver’s building was not approved by the council in May, because the measure back then required 15 votes and failed by one.

The proposal uses funds from the Economic Development Land Banking Capital program, which only needed a simply majority to pass the more than $3 million resolution. This includes purchase and renovation costs.

City staff such as the Community Development Office Director Jim O’Keefe say the property on Bartillon Drive is in a flexible zoning district and is close to public transit.

“The property clearly has value for any number of short and long term uses and make that ultimate decision about its future use a little bit down the road,” O’Keefe said.

The Bartillon Drive location costs $855,000 to purchase and an additional $40,000 for environmental studies and other expenditures. The space is a former sports bar that was damaged in a fire.

The common council’s next meeting is set for Nov. 2.

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