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April 3, 2012

MADISON - The City of Madison has received a $400,000 grant to help with environmental cleanup work as part of the city's efforts to revitalize a near-east side property with a history of industrial use.

The Department of Natural Resources awarded the $400,000 Ready for Reuse grant to Madison for the north 800 block of East Washington Avenue, which was most recently the site of a former car dealership, in an area Madison has designated as the Capitol East District.

Ready for Reuse grants are federal funds given to communities by the DNR to clean up contaminated properties known as brownfields. The city will use the funds to remove soil contamination at the site.

"Ready for Reuse funds don't just benefit environmental cleanup," said Darsi Foss, brownfields section chief for the DNR Remediation and Redevelopment Program. "They also have an economic impact for communities like Madison. We hope these funds serve as a catalyst for the redevelopment along East Washington Avenue."

The site was included with 8 acres of property purchased by the City of Madison in 2011 for the purpose of redevelopment. City officials say redevelopment of all the sites could provide 200,000 square feet of new commercial space, housing up to 700 employees. In addition, up to 250 residential units could be constructed. The result could be an increase of $95 million in the city's property tax base.

"Redevelopment within the Capitol East District is an important step toward providing the type of space that employers will demand in the years ahead," said Mayor Paul Soglin. "We are grateful for the partnership of the DNR on this important economic development effort."

The cleanup builds on work completed by previous owners, including the removal of several underground storage tanks. However, with the city's plans for a mixed use, commercial-residential redevelopment, additional work was needed.

"With what the city has in mind, a higher-end cleanup is desired," said Foss. "The Ready for Reuse funds will pay for that."

Foss added that the DNR has additional Ready for Reuse funds available, which can be awarded as either grants or loans. The grant awarded to the city required Madison to provide a 22 percent match.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Darsi Foss, DNR, (608)267-6713, or Brynn Bemis, city of Madison, (608)267-1986; Drew Savagian, DNR, (608) 261-6422

Last Revised: Tuesday, April 03, 2012

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