Property owner pulls out of Madison homeless shelter proposal

Dane County and the city of Madison are back on the hunt for a suitable site for a men's shelter after a property owner pulled out of a deal to locate the facility on the city's east side.

The owner of the proposed property told city officials Tuesday night he was withdrawing his signature from the purchase and sale agreement, according to a statement from Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway.

"Obviously, this is unexpected and disappointing news," Rhodes-Conway said. "But it will not deter the City and the County from our serious intent to develop a new shelter facility."

The mayor said the governments involved were already examining alternative locations.

Dane County and Madison have together committed $6 million to the project, the mayor said.

The city announced the deal to place the shelter in a vacant building at 4111 E. Towne Blvd. on Tuesday.

The proposed, comprehensive shelter with plans for overnight stays and health and social services was in the city council district of alderperson Samba Baldeh.

"This was a well-intended project," Baldeh says.

Baldeh says the seller opted for a new offer with no contingency on the sale. The city's proposed $1.3 million dollar purchase required city council approval. "They had gotten an offer that had no contingency at all, so they decided to go with that," Baldeh says.

Baldeh says it's a surprise the negotiations between sides fell apart within hours of Rhodes-Conway and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announcing their respective inclusions of $3 million from each of their budgets for purchase and renovation. "If anything I think (Madison) Community Development (Department), it was a solid deal," he says.

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