City News

City of Madison unveils draft of plans for Oscar Mayer site

first look inside the newly renovated OM Station (formally the Oscar Mayer HQ)
first look inside the newly renovated OM Station (formally the Oscar Mayer HQ) Image By: Courtesy of Gabriella Bachara on Twitter

The city of Madison released a draft of the Special Area Plan for the Oscar Mayer site and surrounding area Thursday in an effort to reuse and redevelop the site. 

The draft, based on the city’s Oscar Mayer Strategic Assessment, provides a framework for the development of the Oscar Mayer site and surrounding properties as the city hopes to establish the area as a “thriving” Northside destination. 

“The plan incorporates a variety of new housing options, employment opportunities, open space and recreational options — all integrated with an enhanced transit system, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and a more connected street network,” a city news release stated. “The Special Area Plan builds on that work and serves as a detailed guide to inform future development in the area to achieve the vision.”

For 97 years, Oscar Mayer has been located on Madison’s Northside as a food production and headquarters facility. The 72-acre plant was one of several locations that closed down when Oscar Mayer’s parent company, Kraft Heinz, announced restructuring in November 2015. 

When the Oscar Mayer plant closed in 2017, it also created a redevelopment opportunity as the city viewed the site as a potential source for well-paying jobs.  

The current site plans build on redevelopment objectives centered on economic development, transit and sustainability, including site-specific guides for future development. Specifically, the plan addresses issues relating to land use, building scale and design, new streets and public spaces.

“This plan builds on the vision established by the Oscar Mayer Strategic Assessment Committee, creating significant economic opportunities for Madison’s diverse residents, adding much-needed housing and leveraging our current and future transit investments to achieve a more sustainable future,” Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said in the statement. 

The city is currently looking to receive feedback on the new draft of the Oscar Mayer Special Area Plans after incorporating feedback from the October open house and meetings with neighborhood associations and other interested groups.

The city of Madison staff and the consultant team, Vandewalle & Associates and EQT By Design, will host another open house to present the draft on Jan. 30 at the former Oscar Mayer office building.

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