Madison to building owner: Comply with inspections or shut down | Local Government

The city has ordered the Downtown building that houses Paisan’s restaurant to close if a required inspection isn’t completed by June 6.

In a letter to Greg Rice, the owner of the 12-story building at 131 W. Wilson St., Kyle Bunnow, a plan review and inspection supervisor for Madison’s Building Inspection Division, said Rice did not have an outside contractor inspect the roughly 3,200 steel shores that were installed to stabilize the building’s crumbling underground parking garage as required.

The most recent inspection was due May 19, but it has not been done. Meanwhile, Rice claimed the building is in danger of imminent collapse in a demolition request that blamed tenants for putting the public at risk.

People are also reading…

Bunnow and other city officials maintain that the building is safe, but Bunnow added that the city relies on the inspections to ensure that the building’s condition isn’t changing.

Rice is required to have the posts inspected every two weeks. The last inspection was on May 5.


Some 3,200 steel posts are shoring up the crumbling roof of the underground parking garage at 131 W. Wilson St.

In his letter Wednesday, Bunnow wrote that no information has been provided to the city as to why the last required inspection was not done and noted that Rice is out of compliance with previous orders issued in October 2021 and January of this year allowing his tenants to reoccupy the building.

Bunnow said Rice has until 1 p.m. June 6 to complete the inspection and provide the results to the city.

“Failure to complete the monitoring requirements outlined by your design engineer will result in Building Inspection reposting the building ‘No Occupancy’ and the building to be vacated,” Bunnow wrote.

The city has closed the building twice since September, the first time for structural concerns and again in December because Rice wasn’t paying Stone Mountain to inspect the posts, which put him out of compliance.

A Dane County judge ordered Rice’s company, Executive Management, to pay for the inspections and monitoring following a lawsuit from the owner of Paisan’s, Wally Borowski.

Lawyer Nick Loniello, whose firm Loniello, Meier and Associates has an office in the building, accused Rice of skipping the inspections in an effort to force the city to close the building, which could ultimately clear out its remaining tenants: Loniello’s firm and Paisan’s.

An unnamed developer wants to build a 14-story, mixed-use project on the site that would have roughly 250 apartments, office and retail space, and a deck-top pool. But the developer has not come forward because Rice is still locked in a legal battle with the building’s remaining tenants, Downtown Ald. Mike Verveer, 4th District, has said.

Loniello sued Rice in mid-April to uphold his lease and hold Rice accountable for acting in bad faith in his management of the building.

Rice has submitted a demolition request for the building, which the city’s Plan Commission is due to consider on June 27.

“It’s an immoral way to conduct business. They’re causing the act of the building inspector closing the building.”

Attorney Nick Loniello, whose firm Loniello, Meier and Associates has an office in the building



Leave a Reply