Exclusive interview with new owners of Oscar Mayer property

Published: Nov. 6, 2017 at 6:58 PM CST
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We're learning more about the potential plans for redevelopment of the former Oscar Mayer property.

Reich Brothers and Rabin Worldwide purchased the 72 acre site on October 18. They're in town this week for meetings with government and community stakeholders.

"This project has been a year in the making," says Shira Weissman, COO and general counsel of Rabin Worldwide, "There's been a lot of work on the front end. We have big power, big water, big sewer, but making sure those are going to be accessible for all of the buildings on site is the work we've been doing."

"There really is so much to do. We have 60,000 square feet of industrial space over there. That space we can in effect lease out tomorrow," explains Marc Esrig, Senior Vice President of real estate development with Reich Brothers, "We have this beautiful warehouse space, about 143,000 square feet that we effectively have to re-engineer part of it."

"And we have this gorgeous 9-story office space, and it has incredible views of all of downtown Madison," adds Weissman, "It's 270,000 square feet of office space."

At its peak in the 1970's, Oscar Mayer employed about 4,000 workers, and when it closed this past year, it put 1,000 employees out of work.

"The big numbers that you mentioned, those are difficult," explains Weissman, "But I think we will be able to bring, through the businesses that we attract here, hundreds of jobs back to the area."

They've done similar facilities around the country. At one in Sacramento, California, where a former Campbell's Soup plant closed, they say they've brought 500 jobs to that area. It also had 1.6 million square feet of space.

"I think there's a potential through having an almost campus-like feeling here to bring a lot of different businesses back to the area and with that a lot of jobs," adds Weissman.

There is 1.6 million square feet of space, and they say businesses should be up and running there by next fall, maybe even sooner.

In the meantime, next month there's a chance for you to purchase a piece of Oscar Mayer history. Reich and Rabin are hosting a three day live and online auction December 6-8, 2017. You'll be able to buy everything from a ladder or tool set to large industrial food equipment like meat grinders and liquifiers.

Oscar Mayer equipment auction

December 6-8

More information: http://www.rabin.com/    http://reichbros.com/