After eight months of disagreement over the condition of the 12-story downtown building that houses the Paisan restaurant, the Madison Plan Commission on Monday night unanimously approved a demolition permit for the structure.
The process of demolishing the 131 W. Wilson St. space could take several more months, Terrence Wall of Wilson Street Redevelopment said earlier in June — the developer hopes to eventually replace the building with a 14-story commercial and residential structure .
The Wilson Street space was first erected in 1971. One of the owners is Executive Management, whose chairman Greg Rice said in May that the building was “in danger of immediate collapse”, a claim initially unsubstantiated by city officials.
But at Monday’s meeting, building inspector Matt Tucker said the downtown structure “has reached the end of its useful life.”
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In June, not only was the general manager and other space owners on Wilson Street found in contempt by a Dane County judge for failing to conduct inspections, but the building received the ordered to close for the third time since September after failing to meet city inspection requirements. .
Wilson Street Redevelopment subsequently hired an engineering consultancy which produced a two-page “preliminary structural condition assessment” on June 9 which recommends the building be vacated and remain unoccupied until the facade can be fully stabilized and further assessed, and the structure of the lower parking garage, now supported by approximately 3,200 metal posts, is repaired.
The Plan Commission vote comes as Paisan, a 16-year-old tenant of the Wilson Street site, searches for a new location, likely the former Estrellon restaurant space in the Downtown Ovation building on West Johnson Street, and settles a lawsuit with management.
Paisan co-owner Wally Borowski said at Monday’s meeting that he wanted the governing body to delay demolition until “our landlord is able to resolve the commitments he has made to us. “.
“We invested in the restaurant and the community,” Borowski said.
State Journal reporter Dean Mosiman contributed to this report.
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