Potawatomi demolishing former Cargill buildings ahead of DNC

Permit applications filed this week to raze slaughterhouse and R&D facility

Former Cargill slaughterhouse on West Canal Street.
Former Cargill slaughterhouse on West Canal Street.

Last updated on October 24th, 2019 at 02:58 pm

The Forest County Potawatomi Community is moving forward with the demolition of the former Cargill Inc. properties next to the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, although tribe still has no immediate plans to redevelop them.

The goal is to have the buildings down prior to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, according to a spokesman.

The Potawatomi tribe purchased the properties, totaling about 9.2 acres in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley, for $6.3 million in 2015. The acquired properties include the former beef slaughterhouse facility at 1901 W. Canal St., just west of the casino, and the former research and development facility at 1513 W. Canal St., just east of the casino and the 16th Street viaduct.

New Berlin-based contractor Veit & Co. Inc. this week applied for permits to raze the buildings on both sites, according to city records.

Potawatomi spokesman Ryan Amundson said the buildings will be torn down prior to the DNC for “aesthetic purposes.”

“There aren’t formal plans in place of what to do with those properties at this point, but we just want to bring them down to grade,” Amundson said.

Former Cargill RD facility.
Former Cargill R&D facility.

Permit records indicate the demolition of the 128,500-square-foot slaughterhouse, or “harvest building,” will cost $550,000. Demolition of the 13,800-square-foot R&D building will cost $210,000.

Cargill shut down its beef harvest facility, which employed 600 people, in August 2014. At that time, Cargill said it needed to shut down the facility due to tight cattle supply brought about by produces retaining cattle for herd expansion.

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Alex Zank
Alex Zank covers commercial and residential real estate for BizTimes. Alex previously worked for Farm Equipment magazine and also covered statewide construction news at The Daily Reporter. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied journalism, political science and economics. Having grown up in rural western Wisconsin, Alex loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, four-wheeling and hunting.