Ridgewood building razed

FITCHBURG – A demolition crew on Monday began tearing down a fire-ruined apartment building at 2001 Post Road in the Ridgewood Country Club Apartments complex.
Though the work was the first visible activity in the 52-acre, 832 apartment subdivision since Madison developers E.J. Plesko & Associates bought the troubled property this summer, a spokesman said taking down the structure “is not a precursor to other actions” being planned there.
By Cliff Miller
Correspondent for The Capital Times
October 18, 2005

Brandon Scholz said the demolition was “a singular event” to remove a building that was made uninhabitable by fire in February. Plesko expects consultants to finish “an in-depth market analysis” of the complex within 60 days.
Plesko told officials at a recent Fitchburg City Council meeting that he intends to present preliminary concepts to the city by the end of March next year, outlining what he proposes to do with the rest of the complex.
The developers allowed police and firefighters to conduct training exercises in the building while reusable materials such as doors and windows were being removed for salvage.
Removing the building was a final step required to settle an insurance claim by previous owners of the complex, Plesko said in a press release.
Fires and vandalism, coupled with neglect by the previous owners and a host of building and fire code violation complaints by the city, were followed by a mortgage foreclosure action by lenders. Plesko bought the complex for $29 million in August to settle the foreclosure case. Plesko took over for Gary Gorman & Associates of Madison, which had proposed to redevelop the property before pulling out in August.
Plesko has given few hints of his vision for the future of the apartment complex, which is home to a large population of Hispanic immigrants and other minorities.