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Bioscience co. breaks ground on future headquarters in Beloit

Bioscience co. breaks ground on future headquarters in Beloit

A bioscience company broke ground on a new planned 50,000-square-foot facility in Beloit Thursday. 

The building at 1800 Gateway Blvd., planned to be finished later this year, will serve as the NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes headquarters, the company said. The facility will develop a radioisotope used in medical diagnostic imaging. 

NorthStar said in a news release that the facility is the first part of a planned 32-acre corporate campus. A second and third phase of expansion could double the building's size and build up to two additional facilities on the site by 2018.

The company said 20 full-time employees will work at the Gateway Boulevard building. According to the Rock County Development Alliance, NorthStar expects to have approximately 165 employees working at its Beloit campus within the next four years. NorthStar is currently headquartered in Madison at 5249 Femrite Drive.


Prep pipes for plummeting temps, utility says

As temperatures were predicted to drop into the single digits Thursday night, a utility department reminded Madison residents to prepare their homes to protect pipes from bursting. 

The Madison Water Utility said a few preventative steps taken now can help avoid a messy -- and costly -- consequence. 

The department recommended that Madisonians:

  • Check outdoor spigots to make sure all hoses are
  • Disconnect hoses from outdoor spigots
  • Make sure outdoor spigots are turned off and drained
  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas like crawl spaces, unheated garages, attics
  • Leave some heat on in unused areas of the home

If a resident is planning to go out of town for a few days, the water utility also suggests to: 

Olbrich expansion project seeks public input

Olbrich expansion project seeks public input

Olbrich Gardens to host redevelopment meetings

Olbrich Botanical Gardens will host a series of meetings for public input on a development plan for new buildings.

Olbrich is working with HGA, an architectural firm, to evaluate building needs. Final recommendations may include additions and renovations, a news release said.

An upcoming meeting on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on pre-design planning is the second in a series of planning forums.

Three more meetings will be held through May 20.

The planning process will begin with a declaration of guiding principles. Schematic design input forums will follow.

Olbrich said it will maintain up-to-date information on meeting notes on its website.

Madison Apartment Vacancy Hits Historic Low

Madison Apartment Vacancy Hits Historic Low

Madison's apartment vacancy rate hit its lowest level in at least 16 years, as economic challenges have forced thousands of Madison residents to seek affordable units.

Only 2.6 percent of the city's apartment units were available in the third quarter, according to Madison Gas and Electric data. Vacancies have dwindled nearly every year since 2005, when 6.4 percent of units didn't have occupants.

The high demand is causing rent prices to increase and allowing landlords to turn more potential tenants away, said Brenda Konkel, executive director at the Tenant Resource Center in Madison.

"It's probably the worst I've seen it," she said. "For people who have had problems with unemployment, who don't have steady income, for people who have any type of blemish on their rental record, it's become incredibly difficult."

Habitat For Humanity Turns Focus To Restoring Old Buildings


Instead of starting from scratch, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County will focus on building on foundations that have already been laid.

Habitat will continue working to create affordable, permanent housing for families, but as the community's needs change, so will the way the organization works.

The final two homes in the Twin Oaks neighborhood on Madison’s East Side are now under construction.

"This is our 51st and 52nd home in this community and the last two we're going to be building here," said Perry Ecton, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County.

Five years and 52 homes later, the organization is wrapping up in the Twin Oaks neighborhood.

On Friday afternoon, Jenice Anderson got her first look at what will soon be her family's new home.

"We're progressing. It’s kind of a long haul, and to see we're starting already and I’ve met some of the neighbors ... It’s a blessing," said Anderson.

Far East Homes Among 16 Included In Project Home Paint-A-Thon

Four homes on Madison's Far East Side are among the 16 homes that Project Home volunteers are giving a makeover this summer. The homes are on North Fair Oaks Avenue, Herro Lane, Cottage Grove Road and Vilas Road.

The 22nd annual Paint-A-Thon will paint the homes of low-income homeowners on Saturday, Aug. 14. Organizers said the homes are owned by low-income residents, most of whom are elderly and frail.  The homes will receive greatly needed exterior painting through the help of 210 volunteers. Over the last 21 years, Paint-a-thon has painted 465 homes of neighbors in need. 

Four of the 16 homes have already been painted because they were issued citations from the city of Madison and the homeowners were facing deadlines.