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Online at WisconsinDevelopment.com (4 weeks of articles) - Searchable at Search WDN - WDN Tool Box, Links you can use everyday to help you and Wisconsin grow! Edited and published by Ken Harwood @ LinkedIn. 

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Ken Harwood
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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.

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The Allure Of Destination Breweries As Rural Economic Engines

Craft beer fans seeking different flavors are accustomed to hitting the road to taste offerings from breweries both near and far from home. Special releases of new and limited-run creations are a big draw, but so too are the breweries themselves.

As the craft beer industry has blossomed over the past decade, so too have options for such visits. The Brewers Association, a national trade association for craft beer-related businesses, reported that in 2017, craft consumers visited three-and-a-half breweries near their homes and two-and-a-half breweries within two hours` driving distance on average...

...Two high-profile craft beer destinations in Wisconsin are New Glarus Brewing and Central Waters Brewing. Based in the villages of New Glarus and Amherst, respectively, communities in rural settings yet not too far a drive from larger cities, both have been drawing increasingly large crowds for the past couple decades. Newer operations around the state are trying to follow in their footsteps....

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Ken Notes: I have been advocating for this for about five years now. What we really need is a craft beer marketing board modeled after the Milk Marketing board. Wisconsin need to establish State brand identity for our craft products.

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Study takes dim view of economic development tool commonly used...

A new study published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy probes the pitfalls of “tax increment financing” districts — bank loans and other financial incentives that developers pay back with funds that would have otherwise gone toward property taxes.

The 72-page report, “Improving Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for Economic Development,” by University of Illinois at Chicago professor David Merriman, reviewed more than 30 studies of TIF across the country over several decades. It found that “in most cases, TIF has not accomplished the goal of promoting economic development.”...

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Ken Notes: I believe TIF has been used very effectively by many communities while others have found problems. Wisconsin needs to rewrite TIF laws to more closely align with how the program is used most successfully. I strongly advocate for a development agreement being required for any business receiving incentives.

Wisconsin reporters need to read the report, read it the interview their local leaders and write their own stories. The Report is free.

Finally the report should be required reading for every elected official in the state!!!

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Big hotel approved for Downtown MATC site

After nearly two years, a developer has won city approval to convert Madison Area Technical College’s Downtown campus building into hotel space and build an eight-story addition to create a roughly 315-room hotel a block from Capitol Square.

The Plan Commission on a unanimous voice vote late Monday night approved Drury Southwest’s proposal to renovate MATC’s six-story Downtown education center, 211 N. Carroll St., into a 199-room Drury Plaza Hotel and replace an existing parking area along Wisconsin Avenue with a new structure offering first-floor commercial space, four levels of parking and 116 more hotel rooms...

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Madison Municipal Building`s `breathtaking` $30 million makeover nearly done

The classic stone exterior, interior woodwork and other finishes are artfully restored. Contemporary work spaces and spacious meeting rooms with state-of-the-art technology await. Natural light pours through broad windows.

After a two-year, $30.2 million renovation, the landmark Madison Municipal Building has been transformed from a neglected, worn, cluttered, diamond in the rough to a civic treasure for both employees and the public...

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Ken Notes: Looks nice... Anyone interested in a tour???

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Foxconn Partners with Wisconsin for Ginseng Market Development
WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) -- Foxconn`s North American Vice President Charlie Alvarez was on hand in Wausau Tuesday to sign three partnerships regarding the Asian electronics manufacturing giant supporting Wisconsin ginseng sales and marketing.

While the company is known for its electronics, they are interested in the healthcare aspect of ginseng. Alvarez explains why Foxconn has partnered with Wisconsin for ginseng market development. "With ginseng, we also think that there are medical benefits. And so we`re partnering with UW-Madison and looking with the Carbone Cancer Center and looking at what some of those benefits can be. So we`re looking forward to selling those products not only in Asia but also here in the US."...

Several articles on this subject...
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Ken Notes: I love the Asian corporate structure of diversifying companies under the corporate umbrella. Did you know Foxconn is the 4th largest I.T. company in the world.

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A renewable energy revolution

The winds of change are suddenly blowing across Wisconsin, long a state that stood opposed to clean energy. Under Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin has been a fiefdom of fossil fuel, as I’ve previously written, and more dependent on coal power than all but nine states.

But that’s about to change, led by top state utilities Alliant Energy of Madison and We Energies in Milwaukee, both of which have recently announced they will eliminate all use of coal power by 2050, reducing their carbon emissions by 80 percent...

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Ken Notes: Stop pointing fingers and making this political. Renewables and cleaner natural gas are now both cost effective and good for business and the State. We allowed rate changes to address infrastructure costs with a promise of more renewables from the power companies and they are delivering.

Wisconsin is investing at the right point on the curve. Now we need to jump ahead in areas like batteries, mass transit, and manufacturing of this new technology. Harley-Davidson is going to Silicone Valley because we are not there yet - Let`s bring them home ASAP...

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Evers` Proposal To Replace State Jobs Agency Draws Criticism From Its Leader

The head of the state`s job creation agency and Gov. Scott Walker`s re-election campaign are criticizing a proposal by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers to eliminate the agency....

Ken Notes: Arghhhhhh! We need an EDC but we nee to fix it! Here`s how:

  • Bring local ED professionals into the tent as agents of the state development corp. Pay part of their salary and use the State benefit package to help do this. Mandate at least one rep per county and one rep per city over 25K. They will meet regularly and be educated on all State and Federal programs and opportunities.

  • Offer an incentive package to ALL growing business through tax credits for new employees.  No jobs no credits. No need for claw-back. I like 2K per employee for 10 years. If a company need the money up front they can present their plan to a bank and borrow using the potential credits as collateral.

  • Rewrite TIF legislation and work with communities to allow property tax incentive packages of up to 10% of new build-out costs when a signed development agreement guarantees the property value (thus payback) for the life of the project. Projects must fit into the long range plans for the community and still require support of schools and county. A district could still be established but not required.

  • Develop a clear public database detailing starting employee count, current employee count, beginning infrastructure property tax value, current property tax value for every company receiving incentives now or in the past.
I have served at local state and eve federal units of government and I promise this can be done.
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Ken notes 2: My ideas do not align with either party to the best of my knowledge so they are up for grabs so to speak alas to date no takers - because why would a company make political contributions to either party if the playing field were level.

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Five statewide Foxconn supply chain events set for this month

Foxconn representatives to be at each

Manufacturers interested in becoming a supplier to Foxconn Technology Group are invited to one of five supplier readiness events scheduled throughout the rest of September.

The event dates and locations are:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 19: Waukesha County Technical College, Business Building (B), Room B115/B117, 800 Main St., Pewaukee. Registration from 1 to 1:30 p.m.; the session will take place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

  • Thursday, Sept. 20: University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Ullsvik Hall, 30 S. Hickory St., Platteville. Registration from 8 to 8:30 a.m.; the session will take place from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

  • Monday, Sept. 24: Gateway Technical College, SC Johnson iMet Center, 2320 Renaissance Blvd., Sturtevant. Registration from 8 to 8:30 a.m.; the session will take place from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 25: Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (Room SC130), 2740 W. Mason St., Green Bay. Registration from 1 to 1:30 p.m.; the session will take place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 26: Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce office, 501 E. Washington Ave., Madison. Registration from 8 to 8:30 a.m.; the session will take place from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
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Ken Notes: You have to admit Foxconn is making some real efforts here.

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EDITORIAL Stylish hotel will enhance State Street

Height seems to be the sticking point for the remaining critics of a proposed $43 million boutique hotel near the top of State Street in Downtown Madison.

But here’s a stubborn fact the detractors gloss over: The stylish development would actually be shorter along State Street than the ugly office tower that now dominates the site. The old YWCA building at 122 State St. is six stories and about 70 feet tall now. That would come down, with the entrance to the hotel on State standing just four stories tall, similar to another building on the corner...

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Ken Notes: I agree -- When ground prices are so high. height is the only way to distribute the costs. Lower the height and you will see less architecture and design elements -- it is developmental math...

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State Street hotel proposal moves forward with Plan Commission approval

Despite receiving a recommendation to deny it from city staff, Madison’s Plan Commission approved a zoning change Monday that would allow a proposal for a nine-story hotel on the 100 block of State Street to move forward.

Commissioners, alders and community members expressed concerns over parking, height of the building and inconsistency with the city’s previously adopted Downtown Plan. However, some were willing to put aside those concerns for the benefits the project could bring to the top of State Street, which many in the city considers a troubled area.

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Ken Notes: I like the Staff request to the Plan Commission, “The Commission and Council should make clear findings why this project is exception in order to preserve the integrity of the Downtown Plan and its recommendations,”. We need height variances to make some projects work but instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water we need to ask staff to follow the rules but present the best plans for exceptions and consideration....

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The key to attracting development? Communities need to tackle the labor problem

Developers face a common problem: It’s a challenge to find enough skilled labor to build industrial facilities, office towers and medical office buildings. And when that labor is available? It’s expensive.

That’s why commercial developers say it’s so important for municipal governments and economic development corporations to work together to find solutions to labor solutions.

Consider Zilber Property Group. The real estate company has been particularly busy in the Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin regions today...

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Ken Notes: In 1985 when every administrative professional in the State had to learn new personal computer skills, I partnered with Fox Valley Technical College as a consultant/trainer/author to develop the Micro Computer Instruction Series for fox valley companies. In a few years we trained well over 5,000 professionals. We need to again partner our tech and UW systems with these companies and develop training programs that bring the workforce up to the skill-set required today. It should not be that difficult and it MUST be a partnership with the private sector!

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Ayres Associates

Landscape Architecture, Planning, Architecture, Engineering...

Please see our blog here for updates... .

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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

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New budget proposal aims to help UW students prepare for Wisconsin workforce

The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents recently approved an operating budget request for $107.5 million of state funds. The funding request must be approved by the state Legislature and governor before it can be officially instituted.

According to reporting from the Wisconsin State Journal, 75 percent of the funding would be allocated to campuses based  on how adequately they perform in areas like student success and operating efficiencies, among others.

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Sherman Park Business Hub An Investment In Milwaukee Neighborhood
Officials in southeastern Wisconsin expect Foxconn’s manufacturing facility in the Village of Mount Pleasant to spur economic development in the region.

Milwaukee leaders say the recently opened Fiserv Forum signals a downtown revitalization.

But on the north side of Milwaukee, leaders of a smaller development say they’re hoping to drive investment in the inner city.  

After two years of planning and construction, Sherman Phoenix is nearing completion. The new business hub in Milwaukee`s Sherman Park neighborhood will offer small business owners resources and a support system often unavailable to Milwaukee entrepreneurs...

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Ken Notes: We need more of these. I wonder if the UW system could establish Business Development Hubs and Co-working spaces at each campus. This would be a great opportunity for staff and students to test new ideas while receiving tech and office support. If you think about it most of the components are already in place.

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Retail continues to rise on Sun Prairie`s west side

There`s a massive new Menard`s, an elementary school that opened earlier this month and Hy-Vee has plans for a convenience store.

And in Prairie Lakes, where a $24 million Hilton Garden Inn that includes a Johnny`s Italian Steakhouse has recently opened near Costco, Woodman`s Market and Cabela`s, earth is being moved to make way for 50,500-square-foot building that will house a T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and a Five Below discount store that sells items up to $5 in price.

Sun Prairie is also one of the fastest growing cities in the state and hundreds of new homes are under construction or being planned in the neighborhood....

...Kraemer, president of Kraemer Development, has broken ground on the first phase of what will ultimately be seven buildings totaling 80,000-square-feet of space. The 40,000-square-foot first phase is scheduled to be finished by next summer and will include a HuHot Mongolian Grill, Park Bank, Robertson Cosmtetic Center, America`s Mattress, a sandwich shop, chiropractor and likely a fast-casual concept restaurant...

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Notes: I think Neil Stechschulte Director of Economic Development for sun should throw the rest of us a bone now and then. I am surprised he did not get the new Amazon office facility. I can`t wait to see what he finds next.

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Harley to Open Research Facility in Silicon Valley

Harley-Davidson Inc. says it plans to build a research and development facility in Silicon Valley to develop its electric motorcycles.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Harley-Davidson Inc. says it plans to build a research and development facility in Silicon Valley to develop its electric motorcycles.

The Milwaukee motorcycle manufacturer said Wednesday the facility will serve as a satellite of the product development site in Wauwatosa.

Harley announced in July that it would launch a line of electric bikes as part of its growth plan. It plans to hire about 25 people with electrical, mechanical and software engineering skills for the Silicon Valley site...

COMING 2019 LiveWire™

An authentic Harley-Davidson expression of individuality, iconic style and performance that just happens to be electric. 
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Ken Notes: I wonder if they need a marketing / public relations guy???

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Kimberly-Clark wants Wisconsin to decide on incentives by Sept. 30 to keep plant open

Kimberly-Clark Corp. will close one of its plants in northeastern Wisconsin but may keep a second facility open if the state comes up with millions of dollars in an incentive package, the state Senate`s leader said Tuesday.

But lawmakers would have to move quickly.

On Tuesday, the company said it wants a decision from the Legislature by the end of the month — just weeks before the Nov. 6 election...

See Also:

Arkansas official says his state can`t match Wisconsin`s $100M tax incentive package for Kimberly-Clark

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Ken Notes: Why not ask them to return the corporate headquarters to Wisconsin. An interesting piece of trivia (the company will deny this), KC moved HQ to Texas because Texas had more favorable divorce options for the then CEO Darwin Smith. I developed the financial comparison spreadsheets with his personal staff at the time.

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$4 million in relief available for Wisconsin flood victims

MADISON (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker is announcing two new programs to help people and businesses recover from flooding.

The governor`s office issued a news release Friday saying the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority is launching a new $2 million program that will provide no-interest loans of up to $10,000 for repairing homes...

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Ken Notes: Let`s hope it gets to the correct people...

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Honoring the men and women who build Wisconsin

Dear editor,

On Labor Day, we honor the men and women who build our cities, villages and towns. From roads to bridges, schools and municipal buildings, Wisconsin’s construction industry has contributed to our local development, advancement and strength for decades. And the construction industry builds people, too, by prioritizing well-paying jobs, professional advancement and lifelong learning.

The Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin and our more than 870 members have been setting the standard for excellence in construction since 1976, and workforce development remains one of our strategic goals. Our chapter – the largest of 72 ABC chapters throughout the country – is working hard to recruit and train the next generation of construction workers. These efforts are most evident in our apprenticeship program, which features more than 1,500 workers who are receiving paid on-the-job instruction in 12 different construction trades...

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Ken Notes: I agree with John. I would add that we should exponentially increase our use of apprenticeship and working with our tech, UW, and secondary systems in the State. I would also like to revive WisconsinApprentice.com to promote these ideas if there are any sponsors out there interested call me...

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OPINION: State needs to regain tradition of infrastructure excellence

As someone who spent a career in transportation engineering, I love taking road trips, seeing developments in transportation and how states are handling infrastructure needs and highway safety.

A recent trip from my new home in Arizona to my native state of Wisconsin left me wondering what has happened to the highway system we Badgers once proudly embraced as the best in the Midwest and one of its chief economic and lifestyle selling points.

There have been numerous reports and studies in the past few years documenting Wisconsin`s slide in infrastructure rankings, including a most recent U.S. News and World Report "Best States" comparison that ranked Wisconsin`s road quality at 44th among all states...

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Ken Notes: I agree, but we need to address future needs, tech and trends as well. Mass transit, shipping and distribution need to be on our radar screen. We need to work with communities and prioritize projects statewide. Finally we nee to depoliticize the entire process which will be the real challenge.

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OPINION: Use smart technologies to make southeast Wisconsin a smart region

Region could be proving grounds for smart use of technology and smart city leadership

Will smart technologies lead to smart communities in southeast Wisconsin? Not without a plan.

The promises offered by next-generation technology – to build safer communities, to create efficient networks, to expand opportunities – are not guaranteed. As local developments involve discussion of artificial intelligence and supporting infrastructure like dedicated driverless vehicle lanes, the enormous potential for building smart communities has dominated the minds of planners like us and become a critical issue...

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Ken Notes: Yep, I have been preaching this for years.

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Packers with Microsoft announce TitletownTech operational details

The Green Bay Packers with Microsoft Corp. announced operational details Wednesday for TitletownTech, the joint venture between the two organizations that will spur economic expansion in Northeastern Wisconsin and beyond by bringing world-class digital innovations and expertise to Greater Green Bay. Momentum for the TitletownTech venture continues as Craig Dickman was named as managing director and it was announced the program and building are to open in early 2019.

Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, Packers Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Ed Policy and Microsoft President Brad Smith gave updates from inside the under-construction, state-of-the-art building in Titletown, the development immediately west of Lambeau Field...

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Ken Notes: I love this project!

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Foxconn reveals new details on vision for Mount Pleasant campus (Video)

Expansive parks, corporate buildings that look like rounded-out flying saucers, and ample development beyond offices and manufacturing are all laid out in a video rendering Foxconn Technology Group recently released of its plans in Mount Pleasant.

The nearly 4-minute video (below) is the most detailed vision the company has released thus far of its overall site plan in Mount Pleasant. It details the company’s vision, at least in concept, for the 2,894 acres Mount Pleasant officials are acquiring east of Interstate 94 around Braun Road. The video borrows many of the design concepts shown in a physical model that Foxconn displayed during its June groundbreaking in Mount Pleasant...

Watch the Video Here...

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Outagamie County will get $126,000 to support Air Wisconsin expansion

GREENVILLE - Outagamie County will get about $126,000 to help pay for infrastructure projects related to the construction of a 30,000-square-foot maintenance facility being built by Air Wisconsin Airlines at the Appleton International Airport.

The money will come from a state Department of Transportation program meant to help communities attract employers to the state, Gov. Scott Walker announced Tuesday.

The infrastructure improvements will provide truck access to the loading dock, a concrete apron and storm water facilities....

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Ken Notes: I still think we should put together a group of business professionals and elected officials to go up and talk to AirWis about a Madison hub...

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Anniversary of effort to assist Wisconsin employment seekers

VIROQUA, Wis. (WKBT) - An effort pairing Wisconsinites with jobs is celebrating ten years.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker stopped by La Crosse`s Workforce Development Center Wednesday to celebrate the one decade anniversary of JobCentersofWisconsin.com.

JobCentersofWisconsin.com currently has more than 96,000 job openings and 35,000 resumes...

See Also:
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Milwaukee to Open New Business Center

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee leaders hope economic development will be spurred by a new commercial center built at the location of a bank that was burned down two years ago during unrest over the fatal police shooting of a black man.

The $4 million Sherman Phoenix is scheduled to open in November, Wisconsin Public Radio reported . The center stands at the location of a former BMO Harris bank, which burned down amid protests against the shooting death of 23-year-old Sylville Smith...

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Ken Notes: This is great adaptive reuse and we shoul look at centers like this in every community. They should also include co-working space and training facilities. DWD????

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DWD awards dual enrollment training grant to WITC

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has awarded a Wisconsin Fast Forward Dual Enrollment Grant to WITC in the amount of $167,219 to train a minimum of 35 teachers toward certification of Higher Learning Commission Dual Enrollment standards in career and technical education areas. WITC will work with teachers from several school districts in their service area. Career and technical education certifications include healthcare, financial, accounting and multiple welding areas.

A total of $3.6 million was awarded to 14 technical colleges that will serve 209 school districts and more than 1,000 high school teachers across Wisconsin. These teachers will be trained in their relevant subject areas to achieve the same level of certification as instructors teaching the same courses at their local technical colleges...

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Ken Notes: Like this!

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Grant Expands Career Exploration for Youth

It`s the quintessential question for any young person. Popular answers often include `pro athlete` or `actress,` but there are so many career opportunities available that today`s students aren`t aware of. To expand career exploration and teach students about the wide variety of future occupations in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) piloted the MySkills Career Grant this summer. Through this initiative, local entities across Wisconsin were awarded funds to provide hands-on career experiences and teach youth about different jobs....

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Ken Notes: Apprenticeship????

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The Gialamas Company






 “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....
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Milwaukee`s Fiserv Forum Opens With Diverse Live Music Lineup, Starting With The Killers

The new home of the Milwaukee Bucks was "designed with touring shows in mind."

The Killers and Violent Femmes will perform the first concert tonight at Fiserv Forum, the Milwaukee Bucks` new $524 million, 17,500-seat sports and entertainment venue in downtown Milwaukee with dozens of concerts scheduled to follow.

"We are working to bring all kinds of music and shows to the city and prove that we can support all different types of touring shows and acts," explains Raj Saha, general manager of Fiserv Forum. "From hip hop to Latin, there`s a lot of different genres that have skipped over the city in the past and we`re setting out to show that Milwaukee is a great live music town and there is no shortage of genres that can work in this city.".

The building has a busy month ahead with Kevin Hart (Sept. 13), Maroon 5 (Sept. 16), Justin Timberlake (Sept. 21) and Jim Gaffigan (Sept. 22). The building is trying its hand in the Latin space with J Balvin on Oct. 11, a string of rock shows starting Oct. 16 with Metallica followed the next night with the Foo Fighters an Oct. 18 show with the Eagles and then the Twenty One Pilots two nights later; and its first country concert with Chris Young on Oct. 26. ..

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Ken Notes: Can I just mention that Madison got Sir Paul McCartney.

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Housing Summit In Racine County Focuses On Foxconn-Related Needs

Racine County and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority are trying to address a housing shortage a new Foxconn manufacturing facility in the Village of Mount Pleasant is expected to exacerbate.

Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn has pledged 13,000 jobs and a $10 billion investment.

While the company has set up its North American headquarters in downtown Milwaukee, Racine County leaders expect the bulk of Foxconn employees to move within county limits and they want to be ready....

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Foxconn to hire “a few hundred” employees within three months

Company visiting college campuses over next few weeks

Foxconn Technology Group plans to hire “a few hundred” employees in the next two or three months as it ramps up recruiting events targeting veterans and Wisconsin college students, Foxconn director of U.S. strategic initiatives Alan Yeung said Monday.

“This is not your normal job. These are things that are moving at Foxconn’s speed,” he said, emphasizing the opportunity to work on advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and health care challenges. He also said there’s a role for those in liberal arts fields to play as Foxconn builds up its operation...

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P.F. Chang’s in Middleton closes permanently from flood damage

MIDDLETON, Wis. (WMTV) - P.F. Chang`s restaurant in Middleton closed on Saturday, September 1st, because of damage due to recent flooding.

The restaurant is located at 2237 Deming Way and it is expected to lay off 36 employees who have all been notified.

According to a letter from Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, the closure will be permanent and is blamed on damage from flooding in recent rain storms...   ...more

Ken Notes: Rain didn`t help but restaurant row in Middleton was a gamble to start with with some of the highest sq. ft. costs in the State. I hope a local entrepreneur can make the space work. PS clean it up ASAP the mold can be a killer....

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Summit promotes new, high-density housing

MOUNT PLEASANT — As developers begin to plan to build the future housing that Foxconn Technology Group will make essential, they, and municipalities, will have to be open to high-density projects.

That was one of the messages that came out of a midday panel discussion during Wednesday’s Southeastern Wisconsin Housing Summit held at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Racine, 7111 Washington Ave. The six-hour event attracted about 250 developers, builders, municipal officials, other community leaders and lenders.

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Ken Notes: What a great opportunity to explore housing diversity and the development of new neighborhoods, entertainment, retail, and hospitality...

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Findorff - Character Community Craftsmanship
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Foxconn obligations bring downgrade to Wisconsin village
Moody`s dropped Mount Pleasant one notch to Aa3 over risks tied to the $10 billion project. CHICAGO -- Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin’s financial obligations to the new $10 billion Foxconn Technology Group manufacturing plant drove a one-notch downgrade and warning of potential further rating erosion ahead.

“Mount Pleasant is poised for significant growth and development as the location for the new Foxconn manufacturing facility, but is exposed to substantial associated risks as a result,” Moody’s Investors Service said of its decision to lower the rating to Aa3 from Aa2 Thursday...
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New grocery store chain may enter the market

DELAVAN — A new player could be entering the Walworth County grocery shopping business, as Michigan-based Meijer Foods makes plans for a major new store.

Meijer Foods has approached NRB Land Development Group about building a 160,000-square-foot grocery store on the former site of the Geneva Lakes Kennel Club.

The estimated 200-acre development along Interstate 43 already includes a 200,000-square-foot Mills Fleet Farm outlet that is scheduled to open its doors next month.

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Ken Notes: Madison???

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Owner of Madison Fresh Market plans store for downtown Milwaukee below 310 luxury apartments

Jeff Maurer admits he may be a bit ahead of the population density he desires for a grocery store. 

But with 310 newly constructed apartments above, an anticipated 1,000 Foxconn employees across the street and thousands more in the headquarters of U.S. Bank and Northwestern Mutual a few blocks away, Maurer believes he has found the ideal spot for his Urban Market in downtown Milwaukee...

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Meridian wraps 307,000-square-foot spec project in Wisconsin

The Milwaukee market remains a hot one for industrial, as the area’s central location makes it a perfect spot for companies that need to ship products across the country quickly. Need more proof? Meridian Design Build believes enough in the strength of this market to have recently added another major spec industrial facility to the area.

Meridian Design Build recently completed construction of a 307,850-square-foot speculative industrial facility for Land and Lakes Development in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin...

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Ken Notes: Spec in the distribution market - Brilliant!

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Foxconn, Wisconsin begin marketing campaign to recruit workers

The Foxconn project in southeast Wisconsin will be among the beneficiaries of a multimillion-dollar state campaign promoting the advantages of living and working in the state, analysts and economic development officials say.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) began work on the promotional campaign years ago, before Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group finalized plans to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant. The LCD panels the plant will one day churn out will be used in televisions, computers and electric cars...

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Emmons Business Interiors


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.

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Developer proposes affordable housing, restaurant space that would shrink Babe’s Grill and Bar

A developer is proposing a $20.6 million, mixed-use project with affordable housing, including units for the formerly homeless and veterans and probably new, smaller space for the popular Babe’s Grill and Bar on the West Side.

Stone House Development wants to demolish the existing Babe’s, 5614 Schroeder Road, to build a four-story, U-shaped building that would likely relocate the grill and bar to 4,000 square feet on part of the first floor facing the road and provide 96 apartments in the rest of the structure...

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Madison developer to revive proposal for 43-unit student housing project on West Johnson

A Madison developer is taking another stab at getting city approval for a 12-story student apartment building at the corner of North Charter and West Johnson streets.

A previous proposal to demolish an aging two-story house at 222 N. Charter St. and construct the 43-unit building was shot down in a unanimous vote by the city Plan Commission in March. Commissioners then were concerned that the building plan didn’t meet setback standards from Charter Street in the neighborhood plan. In addition, the plan didn’t meet standards for stepbacks at upper floors, and city staff were concerned that the project would set a troubling precedent for future developments...

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Superior Wisconsin Empire Block in running for economic development award

The Empire Block has been selected as a finalist for a Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse economic development award.

The award is part of the Community and Economic Development Awards program established by the Wisconsin Economic Development Association to recognize businesses, projects and organizations that are making significant contributions to Wisconsin`s economy.

Once a blighted building in downtown Superior, Empire Block has been renovated into a vibrant location

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Reps in the News: Appleton Airport Receives $10.5 Million DOT Grant

Rep. Gallagher announced a Department of Transportation (DOT) grant of $10,452,500 to Appleton International Airport for the construction of an Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting Training Facility. Gallagher was instrumental in directing DOT to address the lack of training facilities in Northeast Wisconsin and to award grant funding. “The $10.5 million in grant money will be a driver of economic development and jobs for not only Appleton, but for all of Northeast Wisconsin. I’m proud to go to bat for our local airports through my work on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and I will continue pushing for policies that encourage growth for the region.” Gallagher was selected to serve on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, one of the largest committees in Congress...

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In Foxconn development, an opportunity for minorities and women in STEM fields

A Foxconn representative said recently that up to 80% of its future employees would be engineers and research and development scientists, a move that has some concerned about the future of the labor market in southeastern Wisconsin.

But to me, this news represents an opportunity.

Contrary to some conjecture out there, this shift away from hiring mostly assembly workers will not shut out underrepresented minorities. In fact, it represents an opportunity for the opposite to occur.

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Good City secures $1 million MEDC loan for taproom next to Fiserv Forum

The Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. will help Good City Brewing with its new downtown taproom.

The MEDC has approved a $1 million loan to Good City, founded by Dan Katt, David Dupee and Andy Jones in 2016, to help cover the cost of its new downtown location, which is currently under construction in the Milwaukee Bucks entertainment block across from Fiserv Forum. Katt said Tuesday the work on the new building`s interior will begin next week.

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IPR (Integrated Public Resources)

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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

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WEDC Deputy Secretary Braun receives national recognition as a top economic development official in North America

MADISON, WI. SEPT. 12, 2018Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer Tricia Braun has been named one of the top economic development officials in North America by a national consulting firm.

Consultant Connect, a consulting agency designed to bridge the gap between economic developers and site consultants, this week named Braun to its list of “North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers” for 2018...

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Kimberly-Clark Wants Wisconsin’s Commitment on Tax Incentives

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) launched an eleventh-hour campaign to save an aging paper plant, begging senators for a special legislative session to enact more than $100 million in tax incentives for Kimberly-Clark Corp.

Walker sent a letter to senators Sept. 14 requesting passage of A.B. 963, which would provide a package of tax benefits to Kimberly-Clark’s Cold Spring plant in Fox Crossing, Wis. and preserve 500 jobs. The bill passed the Assembly in February, but the Senate adjourned in May without taking action. Some type of extraordinary meeting of the Legislature would be required for the Senate to act on A.B. 963...

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Ken Notes: I hope we want a long term commitment from them as to staying as well. Not to mention returning some units to the state...

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MadREP Report
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.
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New retail building approved for Prairie Towne Center on Junction Road

A shopping center on Madison`s Far West Side is getting more space for restaurant and retail space while plans have been formulated to subdivide the Lands` End building if the clothing retailer were to decide to downsize or vacate the property.

UBS Global, a Texas company that owns the Prairie Towne Center at Junction and Mineral Point roads, has been given approval by the city to construct an 8,233-square-foot building in the parking lot near Pick`n Save. The building would be home to three to five commercial businesses, including two to three restaurants. The move is designed to drive more traffic to and provide for longer stays at the shopping center that is also home to a Target, Old Navy, Party City, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Frugal Muse and Fontana Sports, among others.

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Badger Meter receives $250K in tax credits for expansion; will add 40 jobs
Badger Meter is preparing to expand its operations here and is expected to create up to 40 jobs in the next three years, according to a press release from Gov. Scott Walker’s office.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is supporting the project by authorizing up to $250,000 in state income tax credits based on job creation over the next three years. The actual amount of tax credits Badger Meter will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created during that time.

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Wisconsin manufacturers invited to supply chain workshop

MADISON — The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, in collaboration with Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing and Productivity, Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the state’s regional economic development organizations, is hosting an informational workshop on Monday, Sept. 24, in the SC Johnson iMet Center, 2320 Renaissance Blvd., Sturtevant. Registration is from 8 to 8:30 a.m. The session will take place from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m...

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Swedish-Based Nolato Expands St. Croix County, Wisconsin Manufacturing Center
Nolato Contour, a Sweden-based plastics manufacturer, is expanding its facility in St. Croix County, Wisconsin. The company will invest $17.9 million and is expected to create 62 jobs over the next three years.

The company plans to expand at its Baldwin location by adding more than 27,000 square feet to its existing facility, a project that includes the addition of two clean rooms as well as space for material handling and warehousing needs.

As an incentive Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is supporting the project by authorizing up to $250,000 in state income tax credits over the next three years...    ...more

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Economic Development Resources


Dane County ED





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Madison Area Chambers -- New!

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WEDC awards $750,000 grant to support development of biomanufacturing initiative

A $750,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. will support the establishment of a new biomanufacturing center. 

The center is part of the Forward BIO initiative, which is a collaborative effort to help entrepreneurs and researchers access the resources needed to turn discoveries into commercial products, a news release says. The initiative aims to advance the state’s position as a national leader in the biomanufacturing industry.

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Foxconn one year later: 8 lessons from the rushed legislation for massive subsidies

September 18 marked the one-year anniversary of the bill authorizing massive subsidies for a Foxconn plant in southeast Wisconsin. Although we still don’t know many specifics about the plant that will be built and the new jobs that will result, we have learned a lot in the last year, and the current picture is considerably different than what we had been led to believe a year ago.

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Ken Notes: pretty biased read but though you should see this..

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Engineered Construction Inc. / General Contractors

   
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“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
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Monona neutron imaging company Phoenix plans move to Fitchburg

Phoenix, a Monona company whose advanced physics technology is being used to detect explosives, test missiles for defects, and create radioactive isotopes for medical tests, is moving to Fitchburg’s Uptown district, where it will launch a new service designed to serve the aerospace industry and the military.

Phoenix will establish the Phoenix Neutron Imaging Center, an operation that will create highly detailed images of critical industrial components — such as the turbine blades in jet engines — to check for tiny flaws...

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Former Toys R` Us building to become pop-up for Halloween and holiday toy sales

The former Toys R Us building at West Towne Mall is coming back to life on a temporary basis.

The 55,000-square-foot facility will be home to a Halloween City and Toy City, both pop-up concept stores from Party City Holdco, the parent company of Party City.  Signs went up on the building in the last two weeks and the store is expected to open this month, although no formal date has been announced...

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Epic, Kiio, HealthMyne & More: This Week’s Wisconsin Watchlist
—Epic Systems, a Verona-based developer of record-keeping tools for the healthcare industry, said virtual assistant software it created in tandem with Nuance Communications is now commercially available. The tools allow doctors and other care providers at hospitals and clinics that use Epic’s software to document information in patients’ electronic health records using their voices, rather than the keyboard and mouse, the companies said...   ...more

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Abandoned Northridge Mall hit with building violations

MILWAUKEE -- The abandoned Northridge Mall has been hit with building violations from the city of Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Business Journal reports the vacant mall at North 76th Street and West Brown Deer Road has been receiving complaints since winter of 2017, further pressuring the city to figure out what to do with the property.

The mall belongs to a Chinese Investor group called U.S. Black Spruce. They have no plans on re-developing or selling the property, despite repeated calls from Milwaukee officials, including Mayor Tom Barrett...

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Ken Notes: Look at your ordinances they are in violation of many send them a bill for compliance.... Also start a committee to explore many options for adaptive reuse mandate they have a rep on the committee...

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JSD Professional Services
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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.

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Japan-Based Matheson Expands with Acquisition of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Firm
Matheson, a subsidiary of Japan-based TAIYO NIPPON SANSO CORPORATION Group, one of the five largest suppliers of industrial, specialty, and electronics gases, continued its strategic expansion with the acquisition of Weld Specialty Gas & Equipment, Inc., in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.   ...more

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Fiserv HQ can stay where it is and receive up to $12.5M in state aid
Most of the attention on upwards of $12.5 million in state economic development aid to Fiserv Inc. focuses on the money going toward a new headquarters, but the company is eligible for the money simply by remaining at its current Brookfield Lakes location...
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Cresa

        613 Williamson Street - Suite 210 Madison, WI 53703 - 608.467.1513

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.

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‘Telecommuter Forward!’ designation first in U.S.

History was made in Cable on Aug. 22 when Bayfield County was officially certified a “Telecommuter Forward!” Community, the first in the nation. At a meeting held at Norvado’s impressive headquarters on U.S. Highway 63, state, county, and local officials gathered to celebrate the landmark designation.

Administered by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, the “Telecommuter Forward!” certification recognizes local units of government that meet criteria for promoting telecommuting opportunities in partnership with broadband providers, economic development professionals, and the Wisconsin Broadband Office....

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Ken Notes: Let me just mention 5G will allow us to do this for pennies on the dollar if we start working together NOW not next week NOW. The cellular companies are designing today we can not wait.

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Brown County proposal: Turn Neville Public Museum site into mixed-use development

GREEN BAY - In 2016, it seemed that Brown County had closed the book on potential expansion of the downtown Green Bay site of the Neville Public Museum.

But two years later, some county leaders are again pushing the idea of further developing the site, a prime downtown Green Bay location on the west shore of the Fox River.

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Getting their hands dirty

She’s established a partnership with Milwaukee-based socially responsible coffee company Buena Vida Coffee to supply the coffee beans, and is working with Milwaukee architecture firm Rinka Chung Architecture to develop the retail space.

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WHEDA grants support future senior living apartments

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) recently awarded State Housing Tax Credits to The Depot at 300 River St., a multifamily development in River Falls. The tax credits, distributed by WHEDA, will help create 50 units of affordable senior rental housing...

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Nolato plans expansion in Wisconsin

BALDWIN, Wis.—Medical molder Nolato Contour will add 27,000 square feet to its Baldwin facility as part of a $17.9 million project expected to create 62 jobs during the next three years.

The expansion calls for two additional clean rooms and space for material handling and warehousing at the U.S. division of Nolato Medical, which is part of Sweden`s Nolato A.B.

Formerly known as Contour Plastics, the business was founded in 1990 and sold to Nolato in 2010. Based in Torekov, Sweden, Nolato molds thermoplastics, silicone and thermoplastic elastomers for the medical, auto, telecommunications and some industrial markets at operations in Europe, Asia and North America.

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Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Center offers support, programming for mature workers

By 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates nearly 32 percent of individuals age 65 to 74 will still be working. But for many mature individuals, simply finding work is the greatest obstacle.

Whether due to an outdated skill set, higher wage expectations or simply age bias, workers in their 40s and beyond spend longer times being unemployed than their younger counterparts, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. For those who are struggling to find or keep employment in their later years, the Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Center offers myriad services and programs, free of charge.

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Milwaukee Bucks` New Arena

The Milwaukee Bucks` new arena has been one of the oft-discussed new developments in the NBA, and at long last, it`s finally here.

On August 26, the Bucks opened Fiserv Forum to the public, showing off the modern and chic arena which will house Bucks games, Marquette basketball games, and concerts, hosting over 200 events a year.

Bucks president Peter Feigin, who helped head the project, spoke with Business Insider about the $524 million arena, the club suites, food options, design features, and surrounding plaza, which will have a brewery, beer garden, sports bar, residential space, and more.

See Also:


There’s a brand new brewery in Milwaukee’s newly-developed Arena District


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Wisconsin teachers, librarians granted $1.5 million for ed tech training

Funding from the Department of Public Instruction will go toward improving digital literacy of the state`s educators.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced on Wednesday the state’s latest round of Technology for Educational Achievement, or TEACH, grants. Nearly $1.5 million has been earmarked by the state’s Department of Public Instruction to help school districts and libraries improve access to educational technology for educators...

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Tax credit combo leads to renovations in Superior

Fueled by a combination of federal and state housing tax credits, more than $2.5 million of renovations is slated for the Clifford Lund and Regina Hill apartments in Superior. Work at the buildings is expected to start by the end of 2018 and is slated for completion within a year...

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State tax credits spur planned improvements at 2 local affordable apartment complexes

A couple of affordable housing apartment complexes in the Chippewa Valley will undergo major renovations with help from a new state tax credit program.

The $197,613 in state housing tax credits awarded to the Wisconsin Preservation Housing Corp. will help with $1.39 million in budgeted improvements to Englewood Apartments in Eau Claire and Barrington Apartments in Chippewa Falls.

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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...

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Milwaukee Land and Space

 Milwaukee - 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...

Land & Space Development Database


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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...

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City Financing Proposed for Michels’ Massive Development

The $100 million, multi-phase development planned for the north end of Bay View by Michels Corp., an infrastructure and utility contractor, may receive $7.8 million in city financing.

Tom Daykin reported the Department of City Development has a proposal for a tax incremental financing district that will go before the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee in September. The city funds would be directed towards constructing a riverwalk and environmental cleanup with an additional $1 million grant for job creation.

A developer-financed portion of the district, where the developer fronts the cash and is repaid through future property taxes on the city, would assist in financing the parking structure and first office building, Sean Ryan reported.

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Wisconsin developer looks to turn 115 acres into housing in Pewaukee
The development would contain multiple homebuilders and offer lots that are a half-acre, or more, in size...
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Notes: Subscription required at the link...

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Mount Pleasant transfers additional land to Foxconn

Second land transfer to be completed

The village of Mount Pleasant has transferred around 63 acres to the Foxconn Technology Group subsidiary that is leading the development of the company’s planned $10 billion LCD manufacturing campus, according to state records.

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Featured Deal: Marquette apartments

Five apartment buildings near Marquette University’s campus were purchased by a Milwaukee developer with plans to renovate them for the first time in years.

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Milwaukee Bucks Daily: Wisconsin executive hired for Ventures and Development

In today’s edition of Milwaukee Bucks Daily, we hear about the latest executive hired by the Bucks, look ahead to what the new season could have in store, look back on the franchise’s championship season, and more.

Hired as the Bucks’ Senior Vice President of Ventures and Development, Mike Belot will likely be kept very busy between the various happenings at Fiserv Forum, Menominee Nation Arena in Oshkosh, and the uncertainty surrounding the future development plans for the Bradley Center site and some of the surrounding areas as a part of the arena district...

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