Garten Factory Redevelopment Agreement Approved

The Fond du Lac City Council last night approved an agreement that will allow the Wells Manufacturing Building on South Brooke Street to be redeveloped once the City takes over ownership. Wells is moving into its expanded facility on Rolling Meadows Drive this summer. Community Development Director Wayne Rollin told the Council the City thought it was going to be taking over the sight, demolishing the buildings and capping it because of environmental issues with very little chance of redevelopment. Instead Commonwealth Development formed Garten Factory a limited liability corporation and will convert the site into its headquarters with a landscaping retail business, possible restaurant and café and more. Neighboring businesswoman Joanie Dreifuerst, who owns DuFrane Rental Center, says they would have been interested in the property. She says the City should have been more open in marketing the site. Council President Rob Vande Zande says the redevelopment will be good for the City and the neighborhood. Rollin says between Commonwealth and state and federal funding the City received for the site, it’s a $1.8 million project.