Advocating for Wisconsin
Ken [at] KenHarwood.com
Wisconsin Gov.-elect Tony Evers will be sworn into office Jan. 7, and
dealing with a slew of the state`s problems will soon be on his list.
The Democrat says innovation will be part of his approach...
...Business leaders hope Evers plans for innovation will also extend to
the state`s economy. In mid-December, the governor-elect met with the
board of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce,
and Milwaukee 7 — the economic development partnership for seven
counties in Southeastern Wisconsin... ...more
Ken Notes: Read this! The State business leaders need to pledge to work with the assembly and senate to move an agenda forward. This could be very good for business if we all agree to help. It would be nice to create a new platform on transportation, business, internet, taxes, education, and growth...
Transportation could be the first step
In his first public remarks to a business group since he was
inaugurated on Monday, Gov. Tony Evers called for the state’s leaders to
find common ground.
“I, as governor want you all to be successful,” Evers told members of
the Wisconsin Bankers Association gathered today in Madison. “If you’re
successful, then the people in the State of Wisconsin will be
successful. At the end of the day, Democrats and Republicans absolutely
have to find common ground on the issues I was elected on.”...
Evers sees transportation as top issue for potential compromise
Ken Notes: Wow, I wonder if he reads WDNews, I know he did a while back. Many of his statements align with my comments in the past. I hope transportation is just the beginning, I see a real opportunity to work with business and the legislature to create meaningful programs. As a fiscal conservative, I do worry about the budget but the senate and assembly should keep that in check. Finally I suggest he use the, "training wheels" period (his words not mine) to show the legislature what a redesigned WEDC might look like. If he listens to actual business professionals and not the politically motivated this could be an interesting four years.
Oh and just in case he is reading, Regarding that ACT 10 thing, start by removing health care from the collective bargaining table - as a School Board Member, Mayor, and Council Member I promise that the biggest headache was ALWAYS health care. Here is a simple solution - offer and fund health care for every teacher, administrator and public employee state wide! Fund this with an offset in state support for schools and communities.
Economic development in Wisconsin should mean more than just counting
jobs — it could also include helping companies create affordable
housing for employees, Gov. Tony Evers told a business group in Madison
Evers said decisions on how to use state economic development funds should be “more nimble.”
“It can be around: Do you need affordable housing? We should use economic development more in a more holistic way,” Evers said.
The governor called on business leaders to get involved so that all of Wisconsin’s 72 counties can spur their economies....
See Also: ...more
Ken Notes: For 12 years I have talked about more affordable housing. For 8 years I have asked WEDC and the state to work with counties to bring local ED professionals under the WEDC umbrella. I have advocated for incentives available to all businesses not just the "Foxconns" since well before foxconn was even a dream.
Now we need to understand the details. Home builders do not find enough profit margin is smaller affordable homes, so how do we encourage them to build them. Counties find funding their local ED professional(s) expensive and often cut professionals or programs to reduce costs while the State is silent on this issue. Medicaid expansion in not an economic development issue, not bad, just not ED. ED is stimulated buy reducing or offsetting cost to the employer, providing an educated workforce, eliminating delay, supplying investors and/or stability for bankers, and providing programs and services that save companies money.
Tony is saying the right things now he needs to focus on the challenges ahead because the solutions are the tough part.
MADISON - Gov. Tony Evers said Tuesday
he would plow ahead with plans to expand a health insurance program
under Obamacare despite Republican opposition, but gave up on a campaign
pledge to dissolve the state`s economic development agency.
...BadgerCare Plus is a Medicaid program that provides health insurance to low-income people using state and federal money.
Wisconsin offers BadgerCare to people at the federal
poverty level. Evers wants to use a provision of the Affordable Care Act
to make it available to those making up to 138 percent of the federal
If the state were to do that, the federal government
would pick up a much larger share of Wisconsin`s costs for BadgerCare,
freeing up about $280 million over two years, according to the
nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau...
See Also: ...more
Ken Notes: I want to look at this before we just say no! Also if we want to move in the direction of a stronger State Health care plan, we should place all public employees into the State health care plan in place now. Pay for it and thus remove health care from the negotiating table. We would save money, level the negotiating playing field, and demonstrate how a good health care plan should operate. All insurers and providers get to play, you CAN KEEP your current plan, State funds most affordable option, the process keeps all plans competitive. When and only when we get our own house in order, we can offer the same program to the private sector. Wisconsin could actually lead the nation out of the health care quagmire we are currently in. Call me...
Throughout its nearly
eight-year history under two mayoral administrations, the Judge Doyle
Square redevelopment project has morphed in its vision from being a
train station to a public market to a downtown headquarters for the
biotech firm Exact Sciences.
In its current iteration, the city is
partnering with Chicago-based Beitler Real Estate to replace the aging
municipal Government East Garage on Block 105 and bring a hotel,
apartments and retail and commercial space to the block that currently
holds the Madison Municipal Building on Block 88 downtown...
Ken Notes: Listen to George, he is among the smartest people in Madison, negotiated in the best interest of the city and got a very fair deal.
SCS - At the forefront of sustainable environmental solutions for over 40 years and ...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News
Looking to end a legal dispute over
the Judge Doyle Square development, the Madison City Council on Tuesday
approved paying Beitler Real Estate Services $700,000 in exchange for
the developer giving up rights over half the Downtown project.
Council members voted 15-0 in favor
of the proposal — which also requires Beitler to accelerate construction
of a hotel to serve Monona Terrace — after the body last year rejected
two other proposals meant to resolve the dispute with the Chicago-based
Ken Notes: Thumbs Up Council, George, Michael, Mayor... Can`t wait to see what tops the podium???
After his loss in the November 8th election, former Governor Scott Walker had just under two months to find a new place to live. On January 4th, three days before Tony Evers took office as Wisconsin’s 44th chief executive, Walker announced that he and his wife Tonette would move to a condo in downtown Milwaukee...
...Their new home occupies 1,619 square feet of the condominium development, constructed in 2004. It has two bedrooms and two full baths. And, it is a rental unit. The Walkers do not own the $397,500 condo, but instead rent it from its owners, Mario and Catherine Costantini. The Costantinis got the place for a steal at $178,600 in 2012 at the bottom of the real estate market. At the time, the unit was assessed at $309,200. Apparently the Costantinis, who own La Lune Collection, a Riverwest manufacturer of rustic furniture, do not occupy the unit as their principal residence, since they have long been situated in an imposing East Side mansion....
...The Walkers’ unit was listed for rent at $2,975 per month on a website called “Hot Pads
,” which noted “This pad was taken off the market on 12/12/18.”...
Ken Notes: A fairly cynical article, but very interesting. The condo is on the streetcar route, purchased for under 200K, in Milwaukee, and in a Walkable neighborhood. I actually love this area and the city, my guess he and his wife will love the dining, entertainment, sports events, third ward, festivals, riverwalk, new Grand Mall, and all MKE has to offer. I hope they enjoy the area...
A legal battle over expansion of Kinnard
Farms will have statewide implications and should be handled by the
state Supreme Court, according to a request issued Wednesday by the
state’s 2nd District Court of Appeals.
issue is legislation approved during Gov. Scott Walker’s administration
that effectively limited the state Department of Natural Resources’
authority to limit Kinnard’s herd size or require the farm to monitor
groundwater as part of state permitting.
County’s combination of thin soils and fractured bedrock create the
potential for manure to easily reach groundwater, an issue that has put
many of the residents at odds with the county’s extraordinarily large
number of concentrated animal feeding operations — CAFOs like Kinnard
Farms, that have 700 or more animal units, or roughly 1,000 cows, or
Ken Notes: We need far more than the courts here. We need the legislature to recognize that farms over 1,000 head produce huge amounts of waste that is not environmentally safe handled in ways designed for much smaller farms and should be regulated in this light. We should demand digestion and treating (heating) effluent. We are the dairy state and we are losing our farms at an alarming rate and actually milking more cows. This is not good. We need to act now...
Despite 2018 boasting one of the strongest
U.S. economies in decades, the number of homeless individuals remained
largely unchanged, according to the latest national estimates by the
Department of Housing and Urban Development.
HUD`s Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found 552,830
people experienced homelessness on a single night in 2018. That is an
increase of 0.3 percent since last year.
Wisconsin, an estimated 4,907 people are homeless — 92 percent of which
are in a shelter — according to the report. That is a 2.4 percent
decrease from 2017. The number of homeless individuals is down in
Wisconsin 22.5 percent from 2010, according to HUD`s snapshot report.
Ken Notes: As long as we use the same programs we have always uses we will always have the same problem. We need to use new strategies and new inventory. I would like to see a serious effort to use micro homes and micro apartments to house the most needy. Units that cost 10K to stick build could offer a safe place to sleep while providing a real incentive to do better. This would address the most needy and least likely to find traditional low income housing. Also creating an ownership opportunity would create some additional incentives.
The current affordable housing scenario provides landlords the opportunity to cherry pick tenants and gives tenants little incentive to improve their lot once housed. It is a cycle that does little address the real problem.
I would point to Habitat for Humanity International -- an independent, nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry as a model of what can be done. Imagine building five thousand micro units in the state -- problem solved. Oh and you can`t use Habitat because they will not even take public money...
Pursuing a rare opportunity, Madison
may soon spend $5.5 million to buy 3.65 acres of shoreline property on
Lake Monona next to Olin Park.
Allen Arntsen, 13th District, who represents the site, two other
council members and Mayor Paul Soglin on Tuesday will introduce a
resolution to purchase properties at 330 and 342 E. Lakeside St. from
the Wisconsin Medical Society.
properties would add nearly 450 feet of shoreline for public access to
the lake and provide expanded opportunities for recreational uses in
heavily used Olin Park, the resolution says.
Ken Notes: This is prime property... I hope a great adaptive reuse of the building is developed. A Park and Rec office would free up space in the city hall building??? Let other Nonprofits rent space???
Landscape Architecture, Planning, Architecture, Engineering...
Some consultants bring only a hammer to the table, and they hit every project as if it were a nail. We don’t come right out swinging. Ayres sits down with the client to thoroughly define the project and the desired results. Our multidisciplinary teams then use an impressive array of tools under the coordination of a project manager who remains attentive to the client while creatively conserving their resources and confidently taming any problems to keep the project on course....A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News ...more
Did the city pick the right landlord for its groundbreaking program?
Heavy tire tread marks in the dirt, frozen grass and the odd plastic bag dancing in the wind American Beauty-style
is all the empty lot between Ramen Station and Oriental Food Market on
South Park Street has going for it. For now, there is no apartment
building. No formerly homeless tenants. No on-site social workers. For
now, this is just a patch of dirt with a whole lot riding on it... ...more
Ken Notes: We perpetuate the problems by perpetuating the same solutions. There is a profit motive in building housing for the homeless, in fact for some developers it is big money and their sole or primary source of income. This means the ideas of mental health, crime, ownership, education, and social integration are ignored. This will always breed failure.
Look at the nonprofit Habitat model. NO profit margin is needed, homes are integrated into good neighborhoods, an ownership model is developed, social responsibility is emphasized, an actual mortgage is developed, the residents are involved, the community is involved, and the success is both measurable and profound.
Now imagine a program that builds smaller micro homes for every homeless individual, create an ownership model, require resident participation and social responsibility, integrate units into the community, provide mental health care, education and security, and finally create measurable outcomes. I promise this will work far better that what we are doing now...
Promega, a global life science company, will construct a new research
and development facility at the company’s campus in Fitchburg, Wisconsin
. The company will invest $190 million and is expected to create 100 jobs.
The project, which is expected to be completed next year, will include a
270,000-square-foot R&D facility that will provide the proper
infrastructure for Promega to respond to emerging opportunities in the
global biotechnology and life science markets
...Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation awarded the company up to $1.5 million in tax credits over three years...
See Also: ...more
Ken Notes: 15K per employee so still a moving target. Promega is a great company and is committed to Fitchburg and Wisconsin!
After years of wearing nothing but white hats, Big Tech added gray and even a bit of black to its wardrobe in 2018.
of social media giants found themselves apologizing to Congress over
the infiltration of their platforms by foreign hackers bent on spreading
“fake news.” The markets fell amid fears the party was over for major
tech stocks after years of run-up. Cyber-security threats grew in number
As 2019 opens, those trends and more will
continue to garner headlines nationally as the technology sector goes
through a natural maturation process. From its market lows of 2009
through much of 2018, tech was a rambunctious youngster that romped
through one success story after another. The swift sell-off of late 2018
turned tech – especially Big Tech – into more of a moody adolescent,
but one eager to learn from its mistakes... ...more
Ken Notes: One of the advantages of WDNews is that I actually read all the articles. I may not agree with the content but to the best of my ability they are factual from local sources. Also my list is NEVER shared, not online, and ONLY contains emails. If you are a sponsor we conduct business with an invoice (I will send soon) and use mail for payments. I do trust the internet, but want to make sure your data remains your data. I try to label opinions as such and ALL my comments are my personal opinion. I would love an opportunity to practice what I preach and find an even larger audience like Tom above. I promise to keep my readers in the loop and as always encourage everyone to subscribe to their local paper. Without reporters in the council chamber we will quickly fall into a place where anyone can say anything without a test of facts.
Kathy Kamp believes in the power of home ownership and its ability to help transform beleaguered neighborhoods.
is the executive director of the Wisconsin Partnership for Housing
Development, a statewide nonprofit. The organization is building two
homes and renovating a third in Janesville’s central city.
The ongoing projects continue a relationship between the nonprofit and the city that began in 2008.
That’s when Janesville received neighborhood stabilization money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. ...more
...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News
MADISON - Incoming Gov. Tony Evers
signaled Wednesday he would not go along with parts of lame-duck laws
that curb his powers, suggesting that GOP lawmakers or their supporters
would have to sue him over the issue.
anticipating most of the provisions will be challenged and I’m guessing
I will be a defendant rather than a plaintiff,” Evers said in an
interview Wednesday at his transition office...
See Also: ...more
Ken Notes: My guess is that there is plenty to accomplish despite the restrictions. I would look for some deals on roads, health care, property taxes, TIF laws, job incentives, the UW, and schools...
Re: Cabinet, I will be a bit nervous with Chandler gone at Revenue -- he is a very smart guy. An ED person at Workforce Development is a smart move. I do not know any of the rest. DHS will be a huge task -- she seem to have some good insight...
Project developer applied for affordable housing tax credits
A Columbus, Ohio-based developer has plans to construct a building
with 90 apartment units along with first-floor retail space in
Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood.
Woda Cooper Cos. Inc. applied for $1.55 million in affordable housing
tax credits for the project from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic
Development Authority. According to WHEDA records, the project is called
Olson Place and 81 of its 90 units would be set aside for low-income
A person with knowledge of the proposed project said it would be
located near South First Street and East National Avenue. In addition to
the 90 apartment units, the development would also include around
15,000 square feet of retail space.
Karen Bernick, a spokeswoman for Woda Cooper, declined to provide
details on the project while it is being considered for tax credits by
Ken Notes: See almost 20K per unit and then they get to pick the very best tenants...
Gov. Scott Walker leaves office next week, finishing his second term
by posting a budget surplus for the eighth year in a row. Wisconsin
ended last fiscal year with a $588.5 million surplus and will start
2018-2019 with the second-highest opening balance since 2000.
are leaving Wisconsin in the best financial condition in a generation,"
Walker announced. "This is part of our legacy and it will continue to
drive Wisconsin forward.”
Walker, who had not previously discussed
publicly what he planned to do after leaving office, said Tuesday he
would join a speaking tour across the country and “focus on new methods
to articulate a conservative message.”... ...more
Ken Notes: Not bad, and with a split government it should stay this way, but that is just a guess...
Ascension Wisconsin, the Glendale, Wis.-based branch of the Catholic
hospital giant, is partnering with microhospital operator Emerus to open
several small, neighborhood hospitals throughout the state in the next
The hospitals will be staffed by emergency medicine physicians and
run 24/7 as part of a larger hub of healthcare services that may include
primary care, specialty care, imaging and/or outpatient surgery,
according to a joint announcement about the partnership. The hospitals
are slated to open by the end of 2020 or in early 2021... ...more
Ken Notes: I get nervous when boutique hospitals enter markets taking profitable services away from the full service hospitals that have to take the uninsured and least profitable cases. Just a thought...
A hedge fund-backed bid to buy Gannett Co., the
publisher of USA Today and several other major dailies, is renewing
fears of consolidation and job losses — as well as a decline in the
quantity and quality of news coverage — in the already battered
Enterprises, better known as Digital First Media, offered $1.36 billion
on Monday for Gannett, saying in a letter that it can run the company
more profitably via tight cost controls and consolidation of operations
such as printing and administration.
Gannett said its board will review the proposal...
See Also: ...more
Ken Notes: See Editorial Below...
A group of local investors, including a
firm converting the former Grand Avenue mall into apartments, offices
and a food hall, plans to buy the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s buildings
— creating another big downtown redevelopment play.
Co. Inc., which owns the Journal Sentinel, has a purchase agreement
pending for the property, said Andy Fisher, the Journal Sentinel’s chief
But the buyers first need to
complete an investigation of the property’s conditions. That could take
months, Fisher said Wednesday.
Gannett is not yet disclosing the buyer’s identity... ...more
Wisconsin`s new legislative session begins Jan. 7 with Democrats
still seething over a Republican lame-duck session that weakened
incoming Democratic Gov. Tony Evers` powers. With divided control for
the first time in a decade, there`s fear that partisan gridlock and
infighting among Republicans who control the Senate and Assembly may
produce few meaningful compromises with Evers.
Here`s a look at the challenges lawmakers face as they head into the two-year legislative session:.. ...more
Ken Notes: I have to agree with this assessment, I do not like it but I do not see an agenda on the table that moves the needle at all. I wonder if the photographer intentionally framed the bird in the image???
Miron’s comprehensive range of construction services are designed to meet the unique and diversified needs of our clients. Contact Us. ...more
...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News
Wisconsin needs to recommit to clean and open government
When I arrived in Madison in the early 1990s from the
mean streets of Philadelphia, I thought Wisconsin’s commitment to clean
and open government was quaint, charming — at times a little irritating.
Badger Rules, the state ethics code, meant that legislative staffers
like myself couldn’t even take a cup of coffee from a lobbyist, and I
remember one lowly public official was nabbed for using a state phone
for a few private calls.
My, have things changed. The lame-duck power grab in the Capitol,
which weakened the powers of a newly elected governor and attorney
general, blocked their ability to withdraw the state from a lawsuit
against the Affordable Care Act (a key campaign promise) and limited
early voting, is the pinnacle of arrogant corruption — undoing the will
of the people literally the week the results of the election were
Ken Notes: An interesting read and some very good points, BUT it is not that easy. We have created systemic opportunities for many of the problems she suggests are there with no systemic way to correct them. Bipartisan leadership has been my dream for 30 years -- we are now farther away than we have ever been with no chance to improve in the near future.
Also once again we see a call for the elimination of WEDC which is wrong! We need a WEDC, just not the WEDC we have. It could be independent and work with the State in the light of day -- It does not. As a development professional I promise it was worse and will be a mess once again without an organization in place to guide business through the bureaucracy. To suggest we throw it out is pointing fingers not solving problems. I challenge the legislature to create one piece of bipartisan pro economic development legislation. I have two suggestions:
1. An income tax credit for all businesses expanding their employee count with good paying jobs...
2. A new TIF law that allows a community to offer an individual project incentives based on a guaranteed increase in taxable value.
Both would be fair to ALL businesses, create new jobs, establish a level playing field, and not require state intervention if the companies regress...
An offer has been made by Digital First Media to acquire the Gannett company. In Wisconsin this includes: The Post-Crescent - Appleton, The Reporter - Fond du Lac, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Herald Times Reporter - Manitowoc, Marshfield News Herald, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Oshkosh Northwestern, The Sheboygan Press, Stevens Point Journal, Wausau Daily Herald, and The Daily Tribune - Wisconsin Rapids.
This is NOT good news. ...more
To be honest, I am not a fan of the current owner Gannett for the same reason I fear the takeover. The new profit margin is found in eliminating the editors and journalistic reporters in favor of more cost effective and far more productive writer -- lots of brief stories, cool pictures, and click bait to the next story. Gannett is guilty and Digital First has turned this into an art form.
Our newspapers are dying and this is a very very bad thing. If we do not have reporters in the council chamber and at plan commission meetings we allow the system to act in darkness. Without detailed, fact checked, unbiased reporting we allow e-media to manufacture the story. If we do not have reporters providing actual researched information we get just the headlines. Like Facebook. Twitter, and Youtube those who make the most NOISE win. We have a president who won an election because of his Q score and ability to own the headlines - not his policy. We have debates taking place on twitter. We have the most partisan politics in history. We have problems that if we all spent just fifty cents a day would go away.
But Ken, you say, YOU are an e-media guy, none of your work is in print, you work from the headlines, and we read you -- so we are safe. Wrong wrong wrong, I am a blogger that aggregates stories you might not otherwise see, I comment to encourage you to think about making good decisions and changes to policy that could be made to improve the system. I read the details and bring the expertise of many to the light of day - But I rely on reporters to get the facts in front of us all so we can make the informed decisions that I advocate for. When we do not know the whole story we make uninformed decisions, wrong decisions, bad decisions. This I see every day! Special interests delaying or eliminating great projects, no developers agreement in place, Council persons who do not understand business making bad decisions, businesses blowing smoke up the butts of Council persons, legislators responding to lobbyists and contributions, and executives in and out of government doing more than I have space to talk about. We need to actually dig out the story and the number of reporters that can do this are exponentially diminishing.
The company, Digital First, making the offer to Gannett has a track record of getting rid of editors and reporters and replacing them with content writers and then they market the content on multiple platforms. It is fun to read just like the tweets of our President, fun to read but lacks the journalistic depth of the real story or real understanding of the issue.
The majority of people get their news and information from the internet. Anyone can publish there for free. We read far more stories with far less detail, In fact most of my readers will NOT be reading this sentence as it is too far down in the story.
Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. Thomas Jefferson
A community, not government, not a big corporation, but the people should own their newspaper... Ken Harwood
Ken Notes: This may be Reprinted, Edited, or used in part.
Editor Wisconsin Development News - Advocate for Wisconsin
409 North Mechanic St.
Albany WI 53503
Emmi Roth, a leading producer of specialty cheese, is expanding with the
acquisition of Great Lakes Cheese`s blue cheese plant in Seymour, Wisconsin
According to company officials, with the purchase of the Great Lakes
Cheese plant, Emmi Roth will not only be able to expand its blue cheese
production, but also increase its capabilities to develop new blue
cheese products and packaging solutions.... ...more
Ken Notes: I have had the opportunity to work with Emmi Roth and they are a great company, providing good jobs, and they represent the State well. A Swiss company, they are committed to Wisconsin and bring very high quality products to market...
“Founded in 1976 by George and Candy Gialamas, The Gialamas Company specializes in Class A Commercial Real Estate. Old Sauk Trails Park, is one of the most prestigious business parks in Wisconsin; containing numerous office buildings supplemented by restaurants, hotels, financial institutions, a childcare facility and a walking/jogging trail system.... ...more
...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News
Every year, Lake Country residents see
changes come to the neighborhoods they live in. If the resident is old
enough, they will be sure to recall a farm field where a subdivision now
sits. Even 2018 residents saw Lake Country build a Fleet Farm in Oconomowoc and tear down the "Old Rusty" water tower in Pewaukee.
new year will be no different. Though it is unknown what projects will
be proposed or what businesses might close, there are some changes
expected in 2019.... ...more
Ken Notes: We have a margin problem in Wisconsin. It is safer to build big and charge a lot that to build small because the profit is better at the high end. The last recession also taught us very little....
EQ, a Minnesota-based financial services and corporate services company, is establishing operations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
. The project is expected to create 180 jobs on the city’s northwest side.
company, established in 1929, provides a range of transfer agent
services that enable clients to manage share registers, communicate with
shareowners and undertake significant corporate actions, simply and
effectively. Formerly known as Wells Fargo Shareowner Services, EQ is
part of an international organization that services 23 million
shareholders and more than 1,200 clients worldwide...
...To secure the company’s investment in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC
) has authorized EQ to receive up to $1.25 million in tax credits
over the next three years. The actual amount of credits the company
will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created and the level
of capital investment over that time...
Ken Notes: Do not know when the deal was made, but are tax credits going to continue to be a hit and miss thing we offer to those in the know or available to all new or expanding businesses??? It is interesting that the 1.25 million (7K per new hire) is on the low side of what we have seen lately. I have suggested 2K per employee over ten years as a benchmark or starting point for a legislative option.
The many economic development successes for Sun Prairie in 2018 have
been overshadowed by the explosion that occurred in Downtown Sun Prairie
on July 10th, 2018.
Sun Prairie’s local economy certainly was impacted by these events, but overall it was resilient and competitive in 2018.
The following list represents of some of the most notable economic development stories of the year:
20. Menards Opens – ...more
Ken Notes: Neil should leave something for the rest of us...
The Alexander Company considers purchasing former textile mill
DANVILLE, Va. - Development of the White Mill Building has been seen by some as a white elephant.
The building has been vacant for over a decade.
The Alexander Company, though, could change that.
Development Project Manager Dave Vos said
Wednesday that a company interested in opening up in the building will
be taking a tour next week...
Ken Notes: Very interesting. I have often suggested we tap the expertise of local companies like Alexander and Gorman on projects like the Oscar Mayer plant... Just a thought...
A well-known Milwaukee developer has
bought two neighboring buildings at a high-profile site in Walker`s
Point, and plans to demolish one of them to make way for new
Joshua Jeffers now
controls a three-story, 6,400-square-foot building at 600-608 W.
National Ave., and a two-story, 14,400-square-foot building at 610-616
W. National Ave.
Those two buildings, and a vacant
lot at the northwest corner of West National Avenue and South Sixth
Street, were sold to Jeffers` investment group, 600 West National Avenue
LLC, for $750,000, according to state real estate records posted
Development in Oak Creek is proceeding at breakneck speed. Here are the 10 biggest developments from 2018.
OAK CREEK, WI -- If you`ve lived in Oak Creek for your whole life,
you might feel that the mass-scale development that has been happening
in Oak Creek over the last several years is transforming your city into
There have been big changes to Oak Creek High School and area
schools, there`s been the creation and expansion of a city center and
retail district, several new retailers have moved into the area, and now
we`re seeing new large companies landing in Oak Creek...
Ken Notes: They get Economic Development...
GREEN BAY - Construction on a 93-unit
apartment building and 14 townhouses should start by September under a
development agreement approved Tuesday.
Bay`s Redevelopment Authority unanimously approved an agreement with
Indiana-based TWG Development for development of the Broadway Lofts at
the north end of the Rail Yard district. The City Council is expected
to consider the agreement on Tuesday. ...more
Findorff, builders of Wisconsin`s finest projects...and ...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News
Ken Notes: I was sort of hoping that Wisconsin would maintain a strong battery presence because this technology will be the next big thing. From cars to storage on the grid, the world is seeking better ways to store and distribute energy and answers are not far away. The winner of this race will be among the largest and fastest growing companies in the world. UW are we in the game????
In December, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority
(WHEDA) issued a $148 million Housing Revenue Bond to finance rental
housing developments currently in its loan closing pipeline. The bond
issuance is expected to help finance 10 developments that will provide
1,156 units of affordable rental housing throughout Wisconsin. ...more
Ken Notes: Now WHEDA would be a great place to address housing! And while it has Economic Development in its name it is a housing authority. While they are guided buy federal legislation, we could look at ways of using the organization to fund homes that are not supplemented but just smaller, more dense, and lower cost. This current offering is about 128K per unit and they are rentals.
What if we worked with cities to provide sub 100K units of housing that could be purchased by anyone. The former Governor is living in 1,600 Square feet, why not build stand alone homes from 500 to 1,500 sq. ft. in nice neighborhoods that could be purchased by those making 20 to 50K. The rest of the market will take care of itself.
“The Challenges and Success of Economic Development in Milton” was
the focus of a presentation shared with the Janesville League of Women
Voters during its meeting held Jan. 10 at Milton City Hall.
Milton City Administrator Al Hulick led the hour-long presentation
and took questions from the audience. Some 20 people, including several
Milton residents and Mayor Anissa Welch, attended... ...more
Ken Notes: How can I help??
A historic industrial building on Milwaukee`s north side would be converted into affordable apartments under a new proposal.
Historic Lofts would have 72 units in the four-story,
70,000-square-foot building at 3100-3112 W. Meinecke Ave., according to
plans filed with the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development
EBI takes the time to get to know you and your business. We’ll provide
you with options so that together we can make the most of your space and
stay within your budget. ...more
...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News
Business Survey Finds Affordable Housing A Top Issue For Attracting More Stable Workforce
There are many factors contributing to the workforce shortage in
Wisconsin, but government officials, nonprofits and businesses in the La
Crosse area have their eyes on one area in particular: a lack of
The 7 Rivers Alliance — which deals with workforce issues in western Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa — recently released a report that
pointed to a lack of affordable housing as one of the main hurdles to
attracting more employees to the area. Access to child care and
transportation were also listed as a concern.
..."We’ve got about 22,000 housing units in the city right now, but we’ve
only got a 2 to 2.5 percent vacancy rate. That’s only freeing up about
400 units every year," said Jason Gilman, the La
Crosse director of planning and development. "If you need to have 2,000
people come on to the labor market annually, and you think of the
population per household of about 2.2 (people), that means we’re going
to have to have about 1,000 housing units available annually if we’re
going to attract and backfill that many employees."... ...more
Ken Notes: You do not need a survey. You need, we need, low cost high quality homes. Problem is it is more profitable to build fewer high cost high profit homes. I dare someone to address this issue. This would be a great challenge for the new Governor to throw at the legislature. Business would support him, cities would embrace him, and NO -- would not be an option...
Aiming to bolster the flow of
regional products into Madison, the city is exploring the feasibility of
using part of the former Oscar Mayer plant as a wholesale food
distribution and storage facility.
Ken Notes: I may have mentioned this... I would still use it to "Brand" Wisconsin products...
Outgoing state senator Caleb Frostman of Sturgeon Bay will be Secretary of the Department of Workforce Development.
Frostman was executive director of the Door
County Economic Development Corporation before running for public
office. He won a special election to fill a vacant seat for the 1st
Senate District last June but lost his bid for a full term in November
to Republican Andre Jacque of De Pere.
Former colleagues of Frostman say his background brings a unique perspective to the cabinet position. ...more
RHINELANDER, Wis. (AP) --
Petco Animal Supplies Stores is shuttering its Drs. Foster and Smith
operations, eliminating 289 jobs at the online business based in
California-based Petco says the operations,
with the exception of Live Aquaria, will shut down during a two-week
period starting March 10.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports
that Petco says since it acquired Drs. Fosters and Smith in 2015, the
pet supplies industry has changed at a rapid pace.
The company says in a notice filed with
the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development that the closure will
enable it to streamline operations and better focus on its core
Ken Notes: The shipping on pet food has to be crazy. I do not know how any company can do this and yet a few are still around. This will be a big dent in the Rhinelander economy. Could be an opportunity for an e-store with higher margin products...
Republican politicians are terrified of marijuana. In
hushed tones around the Capitol in Madison, they worry about a growing
political reality: Wisconsin voters’ overwhelming support for reforming
Wisconsin’s marijuana laws, which are some of the harshest in the
nation. Cannabis may just be the GOP’s political kryptonite... ...more
Ken Notes: We should watch Michigan and see what happens, and if we do enter the market we should earmark the revenue for specific issues like health care, the opioid issue, and protecting our youth from tobacco, drug, and alcohol abuse. Again Wisconsin could lead the nation in this area...
Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics, Inc. (FCDI) plans to build a $21 million
facility in Madison to manufacture stem cells for use in developing
regenerative medicine drugs -- its own drugs and those of other
As an affiliate of McMahon Associates, Inc., IPR provides Public/Private Partnership (P3) opportunities for a vast array of projects in small to medium-sized communities, as well as offering Municipal Administrator Services to local governments on an as-needed basis... and... A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News
Municipalities, developers and others who would like to learn more
about the state’s Certified In Wisconsin® Program, which designates
industrial parcels as being “development ready,” are invited to
participate in a free webinar at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
(WEDC) will begin accepting applications for the Certified in Wisconsin
Program on Monday, Jan. 14. The live webinar is aimed at giving
prospective applicants an overview of the program and its requirements
before they begin the application process. The hour-long webinar, hosted
by WEDC and Deloitte Consulting, also will include a
question-and-answer session. To register for the session, email WEDC
Real Estate and Location Specialist Zanya Bugri at firstname.lastname@example.org. ...more
It’s often not obvious precisely when an early-stage business reaches the point where it outgrows the “startup” label.
Case in point: Madison, WI-based Phoenix,
which sells neutron generators and provides image-reading services to
organizations in industries ranging from healthcare to renewable energy
to aerospace and defense. ...more
STEM Forward is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and metropolitan Milwaukee’s leading Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and outreach provider. STEM Forward’s programs, events, and activities inspire local youth to pursue STEM careers and provide a pipeline of talent to businesses in southeastern Wisconsin.
GRAEF`s President and Chief Executive Officer John Kissinger has been named the STEM Forward 2018 Engineer of the Year. The prestigious award has been bestowed annually since 1953 to a remarkable leader in the Milwaukee 7 community who has made an extraordinary contribution to the engineering profession.
Rich Merkel, executive director of STEM Forward, said, “John has uniquely demonstrated tremendous excellence as both a practicing engineer and business executive – we’re very excited to be honoring him as the Engineer of the Year.”.. ...more
Ken Notes: We need the private sector leading the way in STEM education because it is the real world experience that will get the attention of our youth. I still wish I had the funding to revive WisconsinApprentice.com because there are a lot of stories like this and few outlets to tell them.
Stay up to date by reading our MadREP Report, a bi-monthly newsletter that features regional economic development news, events and opportunities.
Find older issues here.
The Madison project will more than
double Catalent’s biomanufacturing capacity at 726 Heartland Trail, near
Old Sauk Road, where the company develops, manufactures and analyzes
pharmaceutical products made from biological sources. ...more
The city of Wausau is getting recognized as Wisconsin`s fastest growing metro-area for job growth.
According to data from the US Bureau of Labor
Statistics, Wausau`s employment rate grew by 9.6-percent between 2013
and 2018, the highest rate of growth in the state.
The website howmuch.net crunched the numbers and created a map to show each state`s fastest growing metro area... ...more
A `Shining Star` Of The Community On Pace To Be Completely Demolished Over Next Year
At the General Motors assembly plant in Janesville, Jeff Hanson
horsed truck bodies onto vehicle frames — one every 56 seconds, hundreds
in an eight-hour or 10-hour shift.
It was one of Hanson`s many jobs as a floating line worker, filling in wherever and whenever other co-workers were absent...
Ken Notes: I spend a lot of time in Jansville (it has the closest Menards) and it is coming along nicely. They could use a master plan but that is just me...
Apartment Company`s newest development, Timber Valley Apartments, opened its second 60-unit apartment building of the $50M
luxury apartment development on January 4th
of this year. Amenities are at the heart of the development`s focus.
Timber Valley has a total of 120 units currently completed, with another
54 units expected to open in May of 2019, plus more on the way.
Developer and owner, John McKenzie, states that Timber Valley has "an amenity and finish package that rivals any other apartment community in the state of Wisconsin."...
Residential - Commercial - Retail - Controlled Environments
FIRE / WATER / STORM DAMAGE RESTORATION
DESIGN / BUILD & REMODELING
“Located in the Madison region for over 30 years, Engineered Construction is an industry leader in commercial construction and the restoration of commercial and residential fire and water damage.” See comments from our clients here. ...more
...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News
DODGEVILLE, Wis. (AP) — Residents in a rural Wisconsin county are
split over a Chicago developer’s plan to work with two Wisconsin
utilities to build a solar farm that would include more than 1 million
The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the Badger Hollow Solar Farm
proposed by Invenergy would take up 2,700 acres in Iowa County and
could power more than 70,000 homes. The project is seeking a permit from
the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. ...more
I finally pasted together my list of beer events in Chicago from 2018, and now there`s a major announcement for 2019.
Kings & Convicts Brewing Co. of Highwood, IL has announced that
they will be building a second brewery, with a tap room, restaurant and
event space, just over the border in Pleasant Prairie, WI. The facility
will be located off I-94 and State Highway 50 in Pleasant Prairie`s
northeast corner, near the Woodman`s Food Market... ...more
Ken Notes: We need a Milk Marketing Board For Wisconsin Craft Beer!!!
JANESVILLE - The Rock County Board wants to put more focus on the
Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in 2019, with a new joint
citizen-supervisor board set to meet for the first time next week.
Airport board chairman Brent Fox said the goal of the new committee
is to draw future development to the airport, while raising the
visibility of the sometimes overlooked facility. ...more
Ken Notes: Just a quick observation, you know the economy is doing OK when airports make the news.
JSD provides complete services in Planning & Development, Civil Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Water Resources, Landscape Architecture, Construction Services, Surveying & Mapping, and Environmental Services. Offices in Madison - Milwaukee - Kenosha - Fox Valley & Wausau.
For several months now, solar panels and other equipment have been sitting in a warehouse owned by the City of Milwaukee.
idea was to add solar power to seven city buildings, saving money
while moving a step closer toward meeting the city`s long-term
The project, set to begin
last fall, was put on hold after We Energies refused to connect it to
the utility`s system, contending that the project is illegal under state
Ken Notes: FIX THIS!!!
UW–Madison has chosen three finalists for a national competition
seeking ideas to expand and strengthen the middle class in Dane County
Last April, Schmidt Futures,
a venture facility for public benefit founded by Eric and Wendy
Schmidt, awarded UW–Madison $1.5 million to produce innovative ideas
over two rounds of competition for increasing the net income of 10,000
Dane County families by 10 percent. The project is known as DreamUp Wisconsin, and is part of Schmidt Futures’ Alliance for the American Dream... ...more
St. Croix Economic Development Corporation
"Our 2018 honorees reflect the diverse business base in St. Croix
County, Wisconsin," said Gorres. "As the Emerging Business of the Year,
the founder of St. Croix Valley Blow Molding is not a newcomer to
business and industry. Next Generation Auto, now with two locations, has
a stellar reputation for giving back to people in the communities they
serve. iMARK Molding is a recognized leader in their industry. Together,
the Class of 2018 demonstrates the exceptional attributes of businesses
here in St. Croix County.".. ...more
Ken Notes: Congrats!!!! Wouldn`t it be nice if Jill were a part of a State network where we all could learn about these great companies!!!!
Giordano`s pizza is bringing its cheesy, saucy and cheesy deep dish pizza to Wisconsin. Did we mention the pizza is cheesy?
The Chicago-style deep dish pizza chain`s website says it has locations coming soon to Kenosha and Madison. It is also expanding to Peoria, Ill., Des Moines and Beavercreek, Ohio... ...more
613 Williamson Street - Suite 210
Madison, WI 53703
We are a team of commercial real estate experts devoted to ensuring commercial tenants receive conflict free, tenant-focused advice. Please Watch our video here.
...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News
Western Technical College was recently named the recipient of a
$95,571 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
(DWD) Fast Forward Funds... ...more
The east bank of the Wisconsin River in Wausau has looked the same for
the past year but that could soon change. The city of Wausau is moving
forward with a new developer for their Riverlife project.
The former developer of the Wausau Riverlife project failed to pay
contractors resulting in construction halting early last year.
"The first phase of apartments was started by a developer and that
developer defaulted last year. The city went through the process to
remove that developer and settle out with that developer," explained
Christian Schock, Development Director for the City of Wausau... ...more
Looking for a self-directed project this semester that can lead to
prizes, mentoring and live connections to the business world? The 16th
annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest will accept
entries online for the 2019 competition until 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31.
contest is designed to encourage entrepreneurs in the startup stage of
tech-enabled businesses in Wisconsin. It links up-and-coming
entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert
advice, management talent and possible sources of capital... ...more
Foxconn Technology Group has bought
another 91 acres of farmland just outside its designated development
zone, further expanding its Wisconsin real estate holdings.
latest purchase, for $4.6 million, gives Foxconn 186 acres on the south
edge of Sturtevant, kitty-corner from the site of the electronics
firm’s planned factory and research complex. Together with purchases of
nearby parcels earlier this year, Foxconn paid more than $9.2 million
for the 186 acres in Sturtevant.
In late 2017, the company also bought 65 acres about four miles south, in Kenosha County, for $1 million... ...more
is expanding, but not in Northeast Wisconsin.
The iron machine parts maker says it`s extending outside of the region partly because of worker demand.
manufacturers in United States, we have workforce availability issues
and we`re growing at a rate that exceeds the local workforce
availability," said John Wiesbrock, the executive director of Waupaca
Ken Notes: Isn`t the UP really part of Wisconsin???
We manage your IT-- so you can focus on running your business
Know you need IT but not sure where to start? Let our technical experts designs an IT plan that works for your company. We`re your IT one stop shop.
...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News
Alliance of Wisconsin recently released its
2015-2017 Economic Impact Report which found the six member
organizations provided impact to the state totaling more than $572
million over the past three years. Additionally, the organizations
helped create or sustain more than 3,870 jobs during the same three-year
“Communities throughout Wisconsin have tremendous economic impact
from the housing and community development activities provided by the
NeighborWorks® Alliance of Wisconsin organizations,” said Noel Halvorsen, Chair of the NeighborWorks® Alliance of Wisconsin and Executive Director of NeighborWorks®
Green Bay. “These effects stem from robust public and private
partnerships developed by the agencies and are facilitated by technical
and financial support from NeighborWorks® America.”... ...more
Parked on a frozen lake, Brad Schultz’s ice fishing shanty could be mistaken for a fancy travel trailer that’s lost its way.
an electric fireplace casts a soft, warm glow on the tongue-and-groove
cedar-paneled walls. At the touch of an electric button, a bunk bed
comes down from the ceiling, ready for a weary ice fisherman at the end
of a cold day.
But even when it’s 20 below outside,
it can be 70 inside the $41,000 fish house that’s a hotel room on ice —
wired for satellite TV, of course, so you won’t miss any episodes of
"Addicted to the Outdoors."... ...more
Ken Notes: Wow I could fish in this...
Ken Notes: WDNews relies on the actual journalism provided by your local media outlets. Without these partners we can not bring you the unbiased news, leads and updates you need to thrive in Wisconsin. Support your local media...
“Due to a lapse in federal funding, this USDA website will
not be actively updated. Once funding has been reestablished, online
operations will continue.”
A web search of federal websites for local offices —
Forest Service, Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and USDA Rural
Development — pretty much has the same message: the information on the
web page is not being updated due to a partial federal shutdown... ...more
Brookfield - A Los Angeles-based company that
operates comedy clubs throughout the nation plans to open a venue at The
Corners mixed-use development in Brookfield by early 2020.
Live`s venue, Improv, will include three live performance stages with
full food and bar service, according to Wednesday`s announcement.
It will be located on the lower level of The Corners, below Arhaus, with frontage onto West Blue Mound Road.
Construction of the 13,000-square-foot venue will begin this summer. ...more
National Advocacy Group Estimates More Than 1,000 Housing Units Could Be Affected By February
for more than 1,000 low-income individuals and families in Wisconsin
could be affected if the federal government shutdown continues through
The National Low Income Housing Coalition, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., found that 48 Wisconsin contracts for rent assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be expired by the end of next month.
Kamp, executive director of the Wisconsin Partnership for Housing
Development, said the longer the shutdown goes on, the higher the chance
that someone could be evicted...
Note: I changed the link here to Toms Twitter account. JS limits the number of articles I can read so I look at TD`s Twitter feed every week. I`ll Still include JS articles but after ten you need to subscribe.
I also updated the picture because, well Tom is getting old and development is taking it`s toll!!!
- 1/1/2020 Journal Sentinel business reporter Tom Daykin talks about
commercial real estate and development, including stores, hotels,
offices, condos, apartments and industrial buildings... ...more
Ken Notes: Tom Daykin is the source for ED news in MKE. This is a permanent link to articles in his blog which is updated daily...
...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News
Ken Notes: "Ken Notes" may be reprinted in context without permission. Attribution should be Ken Harwood, Editor Wisconsin Development News or Ken Harwood Advocate for Wisconsin.
Start Week: -1 - Query String:SELECT * FROM wdn WHERE `issue` > -1 and volume = 7 OR `issue` > 90 ORDER BY sortorder