Wisconsin Development News (click to read online)
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
Advocating for Wisconsin
Ken  [at] KenHarwood.com
608.334.2174

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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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Developer shares details on massive `Madison Yards` proposal at Hill Farms site

Developers provided additional details at a community meeting Wednesday on a massive proposal that envisions a hotel, housing, office and retail space at the Hill Farms property on Madison`s West Side.

Smith Gilbane is looking to turn a 14-acre property adjacent to the under-construction state office building at the Hills Farms location into a collection of mixed-used buildings. The proposal, called "Madison Yards," would have four roads built to divide the land into five blocks.

The project could likely total hundreds of millions of dollars...

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Highlights of Wisconsin`s proposed $76 billion budget
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Highlights of the two-year state budget up for approval Wednesday in the Wisconsin Assembly, a vote that comes more than two months after the spending plan was due on July 1...   ...more

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Plan Commission to take second look at long-planned South Park Street, Fish Hatchery development

A proposed development at the intersection of Madison`s Fish Hatchery Road and South Park Street has gone through multiple iterations and considerable back-and-forth between the neighborhood, developer and the city.

The city’s Plan Commission referred the plans in July, citing concerns with the pedestrian experience and lack of parking. Monday night, the commission will look at updated plans, which altered sidewalks and setbacks but left the parking situation, a major concern for some neighbors, largely the same.

The mixed-use project by T. Wall Enterprises named “Peloton Place Residences” is slated for 1004 - 1032 S. Park St. The development`s footprint would be triangular to fit the property, with a courtyard at its center....

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Paper mill jobs meant a comfortable lifestyle in Wisconsin before globalization

In Wisconsin, a state Donald Trump won in November, over 90,000 factory workers have lost jobs since 2000. That includes employees in more remote parts of the state, where legacy industries like paper have employed generations of families...

...A decade later, Van Stappen still keeps that long scroll of paper in his basement, and the high school football team in Kimberly is still the Papermakers. But since 2000, 19 paper mills in the state have closed. Between 2005 and 2015 alone, Wisconsin lost over a third of its paper mill jobs...

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Ken Notes: I was in the middle of this and MANY factors came into play here. The cost of making paper in Wisconsin was no longer competitive with southern US and foreign countries, the river cleanup and the lack of working together with the state on federal mandates hurt, Softer pulp from south America was easier to obtain and produce in other countries, equipment was aging and meant new facilities could be built elsewhere, Darwin Smith wanted a divorce and the laws were more favorable in Texas than Wisconsin, the state was not interested in working with the companies because new jobs seemed to be on the horizon. Interestingly technology was not as huge an impact you would think back then it is more in the mix today. An associate at KC once told me as long as people poop we will be fine and they are OK but the production is anywhere but Wisconsin....

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Wisconsin Senate Passes Foxconn $3 Billion Incentive Deal

A $3 billion state incentive package for electronics maker Foxconn is moving much closer to becoming a reality. 

A $3 billion state incentive package for electronics maker Foxconn, the largest ever of its kind, moved much closer to becoming reality Tuesday by passing the state Senate.

The bill passed on a 20-13 vote with two senators breaking party lines. Republican Sen. Rob Cowles of Allouez voted “no,” while Democrat Bob Wirch of Kenosha, near where Foxconn may locate, voted “yes.”

Senate Republicans had moved more cautiously than their Assembly counterparts on the Foxconn measure. Its passage returns the bill to the Assembly for what likely will be a swift approval on Thursday...


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Wisconsin governor signs $3 billion Foxconn incentives bill
  • The bill offers $3 billion in subsidies and $150 million in exemptions for construction costs
  • Foxconn promised a $10 billion investment and thousands of jobs
  • Michigan passed the "Good Jobs" package to lure the company

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a $3 billion incentive package Monday for Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group to build a flat-screen plant in southeastern Wisconsin, a deal he said would provide thousands of jobs for generations.

The Republican governor signed the bill during a ceremony at Gateway Technical College in Racine County, where the plant likely will be located.

"This is about far into the future," Walker said. "This is about ensuring our children and our children`s children will have those kind, of really, generational-type opportunities. This is one of those things that`s transformational."

Eventually, Foxconn is planning to name multiple investments in multiple locations, likely in two or more states, officials told Crain`s. One of them could be Michigan....

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Madison public market, neighborhood centers advance under proposed capital budget

With the city already moving ahead on several major projects, Mayor Paul Soglin on Tuesday offered a $326 million capital budget that would complete design work on an $11.8 million public market and delivers initial spending for neighborhood centers on the Far East and South sides.

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OPINION: How to Build Wisconsin’s Economy

In previous columns I () argued that Wisconsin’s attempts to lure companies—particularly manufactures—through subsidies have been largely ineffective and threaten to become increasingly expensive, by promoting an arms race among states. But are there alternative strategies to build a stronger economy for Wisconsin?

Years ago, Michael Porter of Harvard Business School argued that successful business strategies took one of two forms: cost leadership versus leadership in differentiation. A company emphasizing cost leadership will do everything it can to drive down costs. Differentiation strategies take a variety of forms, but they all emphasize finding some unique characteristic, ideally something that others find hard to copy. It might be innovative products, responsiveness to customer needs, or a high service level....

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Ken Notes: I am not against pay to play incentives in Wisconsin, I just feel the playing field is very tilted. We need incentives that encourage all businesses large and small.

Imagine the small machine shop owner trying expand, the shop, buy equipment and hire 2 or 3 new skilled workers who they will need to train. He (or she) sees Foxconn getting north of 200K per employee. Fair?

I think Wisconsin needs to create a 20Kish tax incentive (2K for ten years) for new employees. Also a simple TIF plan that offers a 10% local investment for new value attached to a development agreement guaranteeing property value and payback. These incentives would have given Foxconn 1.3 to 1.5 billion and we could have asked the federal government to match that to encourage foreign investment in the US. Same outcome level playing field and thousands more jobs for Wisconsin.

Ken Notes: are the OPINION of Ken Harwood, Editor of Wisconsin Development News. They may be reprinted or used in context without permission. Credit is appreciated.

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Madison Plan Commission approves hotel project for former Mautz Paint building

A project to renovate a historic Near East Side building into a hotel received approval from a Madison committee Monday.

Developers Curt Brink, John Kothe and Kevin Page are proposing to renovate a five-story, brick-facade building at the corner of East Washington Avenue and South Paterson Street, which most recently was used by Mautz Paint, and construct a contemporary, five-floor structure adjacent to the building as part of a 144-room hotel project....

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Ken Notes: East Wash is a mecca for development, now we need transit, housing variety, and office space to fill out the corridor.

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Cap Times Idea Fest: Marty Baron on the future of journalism: continue to challenge powerful institutions

Marty Baron remains an optimist about the future of journalism. 

The executive editor of the Washington Post spoke Saturday, in conversation with author David Maraniss, at the Cap Times Idea Fest. Baron was previously the editor of the Boston Globe and led the team that broke the Catholic priest abuse scandal that was documented in the film "Spotlight." He highlighted ongoing business challenges for the industry but affirmed the importance of its basic tenets: finding facts, connecting them and effectively relaying them to readers....

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Ken Notes: I hope there is a strong future for fact checked, unbiased reporting. Without it we will see media shift to an anything goes internet. While this is how I make my living, unchecked that would be a very bad thing. We need outlets that have a true journalistic mindset. I encourage you to buy the Cap Times, Wisconsin State Journal, Journal Sentinel, and your local paper. The few dollars you invest will payback multiple times in better government, better businesses, and better communities. I will continue to weigh in on the fringes just to make sure.

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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.

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OPINION: We’re in it together, Wisconsin

Cities and villages in Wisconsin are investing in the future while they recognize that in order to thrive, they need strong schools and plenty of job opportunities. A recent analysis of 2015 spending patterns revealed that, for the second year in a row, municipal spending for development jumped more than 20 percent compared to the prior year. At the same time, in response to a question about future growth drivers, city and village leaders cited good schools and plentiful job opportunities as the most important factors necessary to attract citizens in the future.

The findings are taken from the Second Annual State of Cities and Villages Report, prepared for the League of Wisconsin Municipalities by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. The report combines an analysis of the most recently available data on city and village spending (calendar year 2015) and a 2017 survey of city and village leaders. The results are encouraging....

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Ken Notes: I agree, I wish the communication were better with local governments which may very well be sour grapes as I was once the local government liaison for the state, a position long since abandoned.

Both the legislature and WEDC need to improve both education and communication with local officials. As the author points out large cities get this and make sure they have the powers that be on speed dial but small communities are not sure how the game is even played. The numbers suggest I may be correct... Read the report!

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Neighborhood, city push State Street hotel to shift design from modern to traditional

The developers of a planned hotel on State Street originally proposed demolishing existing buildings to make way for a modern style building.

But months of meetings and feedback from neighbors and city officials convinced the development team to turn to a more traditional design that will retain part of an original building.

The hotel would take the place of two buildings: 122 State St., the six-story home of The Fountain bar and restaurant and office space, and 118 State St., formerly the two-story bar Winedown...

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Ken Notes: Well done! Read this...

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73% of Wisconsin construction firms report labor shortages

National survey finds chronic labor shortages could significantly impact economic development

A new national survey of construction firms released Tuesday by the Associated General Contractors of America shows there is reason to be worried.

Of the 1,600 survey respondents, 70 percent said they are having a hard time filling hourly craft positions that represent the bulk of the construction workforce. The shortage is changing the way the firms operate, recruit and compensate....


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Ken Notes: We have to fix this. We can fix this. We need apprenticeship on a MUCH larger scale. We need more partnerships between business and schools. we need leadership from the private sector to guide legislators. We need to be held accountable for the success of students entering the workforce as well as post secondary education. We need mentorship. We need to focus on the "school to work" half of high school graduates with at least as much attention as we give Foxconn...

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Proposed East Washington Avenue hotel gets design nod

The design for a boutique hotel on the 900 block of East Washington Avenue was met with general approval from the city’s Urban Design Commission on Wednesday.

But the plan also calls for developing the rest of the 4.2 acre site the building sits on, and commission members and the city had questions about the future stages of development.

The $15 to $20 million project will turn the historic Kleuter building at 901 E. Washington Ave. into a 145-room hotel and restaurant. ..

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Sparks Fly: Kenosha Steps Away From Foxconn Development

Kenosha is taking itself out of consideration for the potential $10 billion Foxconn electronics factory. One state legislator fired back.

KENOSHA COUNTY, WI — The City of Kenosha is voluntarily taking itself out of consideration for the potential $10 billion Foxconn electronics factory development.

And if you read the letter from Kenosha mayor John Antaramian to Gov. Scott Walker, one gets the impression that project as a whole represents a giant mess for the people of Kenosha.

Antaramian was considerably more tactful in his letter to Gov. Walker on Tuesday, concluding, "based upon the current status of the legislative bill which addresses the project, the City of Kenosha regrets that we will not be able to support this development in our community," he wrote. "We wish you, the State and Foxconn all the best in finding reasonable resolutions to all the issues surrounding this project."...

Other Articles:

How would the Wisconsin Foxconn deal work? Here are some answers


As Foxconn debate in Legislature nears close, here are a few oft-asked questions


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Ken Notes: Read this and the JS article on how the deal would work!

One other observation, Foxconn is a tech company, we need to look at the tech industry 25 years ago to see if Foxconn has the staying power to fulfill it`s obligation in the deal. TiVo, Nintendo, MapQuest, Motorola, MySpace, Netscape, Betamax, Palm Pilot, AOL, BlackBerry, WordPerfect, Lotus, Atari, Compaq, Gateway, Kodak...

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To attract people, Wisconsin looks to transcend its cheesy reputation

When people in other parts of the country think of Wisconsin, those are some of the main ideas that come to mind, according to a survey conducted last year by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

Or, as one survey respondent from a neighboring state put it: "I thought it was just farms and bars."

State officials counter that Wisconsin has developed far beyond its reputation as an agricultural rust belt state...

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Ken Notes: Again, for 10 years now I have been saying we need to sing about Harley, Kohls, EPIC, Johnson Controls, UW, Menards, Health Care, Lands End, insurance, manufacturing, and soooo much more. We could have mentioned a few of these every time we talked about Foxconn on the national stage. And do not forget cheese and beer made in Wisconsin is among the best in the world, so we need to add to the story not make it go away.

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Lessons of Amazon and Indianapolis

Jeff Bezos recently announced that Amazon is looking for a location other than Seattle for a second headquarters building. The proposal is for perhaps 50,000 total jobs with annual compensation of $100,000 or higher. This would make it the largest potential economic development deal in U.S. history. Naturally, this announcement sent city fathers across the U.S. scrambling to craft a proposal for Amazon....

...This proposal comes on the heels of what is arguably the most irresponsible economic development deal in modern history, Wisconsin’s $3 billion plus bid for 3,000 Foxconn jobs. Compared to that piece of fiscal insanity, the Amazon deal should be worth about $25 billion in incentives...

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Ken Notes: I hope he is wrong, I also I would love to see Amazon in Wisconsin, I suggest we offer 20K per employee (one billion) and 10% (TIF) on build out. Of course I suggest we offer that to every growing or new business in the state.

Amazon may see value in being able to bring their vast array of business partners to the region by offering the same incentives. Clearly Foxconn or Wisconsin can not offer anything close to the "Foxconn Offer" to the next business that comes along, even Amazon.

...Amazon insists that its new project have on-site access to mass transit, a commute of 45 minutes or less to an international airport and easy access to a major highway or arterial road — no more than two miles...

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PCBC working to bring statewide workforce development program to region

STEVENS POINT - In an initiative aimed at addressing Wisconsin’s workforce development needs, all nine of the state’s regional economic development organizations are teaming up to develop a statewide platform that directly connects local employers to students.

In the Centergy region, which includes Portage County, the Portage County Business Council is leading the effort.

Centergy and PCBC, with support from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, will expand the use of a web-based platform called Inspire that virtually connects area businesses to their future talent pool through online profiles, virtual career coaches, and career-based learning activities for high school student...    ...more

Ken Notes: I do believe the leadership for school to work will have to come from the private sector. All schools are focused on FTE`s and find it difficult to share or give them away. There are liability issues, and wage requirements (the the government actually can cause this problem) for unskilled workers. A prestigious law firm can get all the free interns they want, but a construction company is at risk if they have an on site training program??? Go figure...

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Wisconsin City of Racine most likely to land Foxconn plant

CHICAGO, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- The city of Kenosha in Wisconsin state says it`s no longer in pursuit of landing a Foxconn plant on Tuesday, leaving Racine the most likely candidate to host Foxconn`s multi-billion dollars project, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

On Monday, Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian wrote to state Governor Scott Walker, saying his city could not support and absorb the development of the project "without significant adjustments to specific current State laws impacting local municipalities."...

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Developers to present tweaked plans for new offices, hotel at Downtown MATC site

The development team that wants to turn Madison Area Technical College’s Downtown campus into a hotel and add a new office building and grocery store on the block-size parcel will present a tweaked plan for the site to the city’s Urban Design Commission on Wednesday.

Renderings provided to the commission show Hovde Properties has dropped a design that would clad the Wisconsin Avenue side of the building in a facade of wavy glass, replacing it with a more conventional modern look....

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KELLER, INC. PLANNERS, ARCHITECTS, BUILDERS



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Recession over, but concerns remain

Make it official: Waupaca County has rebounded from the Great Recession, but some concerns still linger.

“All I can say is that we’ve recovered from the recession. So I don’t know if I can definitely say the county and the region are in the best shape they’ve ever been in,” said David Thiel, executive director of the Waupaca County Economic Development Corporation. “I haven’t seen numbers that would make me say that’s true, but it’s clear that we’ve recovered from the recession.”

John Koskinen, the chief economist for the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, released an article this past month titled, “Wisconsin Economy: Best in 15 Years.”...

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Madison College’s ‘bold’ plan for south Madison includes school district partnership

Officials with Madison Area Technical College unveiled a location and a programming partnership for the school`s South Campus Initiative Monday that hold the promise of enhancing the college, community and beyond.

The college will purchase the current site of the state’s Employee Trust Funds and redevelop it for an expanded South Campus. The site is just north of the Beltline off South Park Street, across Badger Road from a Madison Metro bus hub and a walkable destination for south side residents.

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Ken Notes: I am a huge fan of adaptive reuse ad this sounds pretty good. I hope we can now move secondary students into a career path rather than turn them loose or allowing them to drop out. Even it we start with a part of the senior year we need to offer something....

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Making STUFF happen for the workforce of the future

New BizTimes Milwaukee publication aids students in transition to careers in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s manufacturing, building and construction sectors are thriving. The remarkable growth of these industries is outpacing the available workforce. Local businesses in our region tell us that they need more skilled workers with the desire to learn in an ever-changing, high-tech environment.

STUFF Made & Built in Wisconsin, our contribution to the workforce development effort, is available online here and can also be found in the September 18 issue at newsstands now...

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Ken Notes: I will ask again for help reviving my Wisconsin Apprentice newsletter because the issue is huge and an independent advocate can help foster programs across the state. Call me 608.334.2174....

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Wisconsin legislators change legal appeal rules for Foxconn plant

Foxconn Technology Group could appeal lawsuits directly to the conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court, skipping the state appeals court, under changes to a $3 billion incentive package the Legislature`s budget-writing committee approved Tuesday.

The unprecedented change to the usual judicial process drew criticism from Democrats, who also blasted the $3 billion incentives as a corporate welfare giveaway. But they didn`t have the votes needed to stop the proposal...

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Wisconsin`s offer to Foxconn grew substantially and hit $3 billion on handwritten note

MADISON - The state this summer substantially increased its offers to a Taiwanese company looking to build a flat-screen plant in southeastern Wisconsin, ultimately reaching the up to $3 billion subsidy deal now before lawmakers. 

Gov. Scott Walker and Terry Gou, chairman of Foxconn Technology Group, signed a commitment on July 12 on the up to $10 billion factory, according to documents released to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel under the state`s open records law. 

The single handwritten page was inked by the two men two weeks before the deal was announced by President Donald Trump at the White House....

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Ken Notes: WOW!

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Wisconsin employers’ hiring plans among best in U.S. for Q4

Metro Milwaukee hiring outlook trails state

The employment outlook in metro Milwaukee is slightly behind the state of Wisconsin as a whole, but businesses are expected to hire at a steady pace, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.

The majority of employers in the region plan to maintain their staffing levels in the fourth quarter, but 22 percent are planning to increase while 4 percent are planning to decrease levels. Those findings give metro Milwaukee a net employment outlook of 18 percent, down from 20 percent in the third quarter and up from 17 percent at the same time last year...

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Madison committee grants Edgewater entertainment license, 35 outdoor events each year

Over objections from its Mansion Hill neighbors, the Edgewater Hotel was granted an entertainment license by the Madison Alcohol License Review Committee early Thursday morning.

Wednesday night`s hearing prompted many immediate neighbors of the hotel to air their grievances over what they describe as an unacceptable level of noise coming from the facility for extended periods of time. Meanwhile, proponents of the hotel applauded its offerings to the community and access to the lake...

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Ken Notes: Glad to see compromise here. Edgewater`s events were directed to the public and created a vibe in the area. Like Breese Stevens field, these venues do much for the city. I walked to the last event at Breese and talked with an employee actually was checking sound levels a block away.

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Madison`s Operation Fresh Start renovation provides learning opportunities for students

As the local alternative education program Operation Fresh Start looks forward to using a larger space on Milwaukee Street, renovation of the building is a learning opportunity for students.

OFS helps students gain a high school education, job training in construction or conservation and supports them to find post-secondary education or a career. OFS has been running out of a 10,000 square-feet space at 1925 Winnebago St. for the past 28 years and is in the process of renovating the former Holy Cross Church and School at 2670 Milwaukee Street.

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Ken Notes: And here is a perfect article to share with the 400+ school districts, the tech schools, and the thousands of businesses interested in apprenticeship. Alas no sponsors...

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SCS Engineers







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SCS - At the forefront of sustainable environmental solutions for over 40 years

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Wisconsin startup funding up 60% in 2016

The report tracks only companies the state has designated as Qualified New Business Ventures, which is open to high-tech, early-stage Wisconsin companies developing innovative products, processes or services. Investors in QNBV firms receive a 25 percent tax credit on their investment....

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Entrepreneurship organizations encouraged to apply for state grants

WEDC opens applications for Entrepreneurship Support Program

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is accepting applications for its Entrepreneurship Support Program, which includes grants of up to $100,000.

The program is open to nonprofits and community-based organizations spearheading efforts to promote entrepreneurship and offer resources, such as training, mentorship, business development and financial assistance, to entrepreneurs....

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Ken Notes: READ THIS AND SHARE IT...

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Sun Prairie`s West Side shopping district continues development boom

SUN PRAIRIE -- The development of Sun Prairie`s west side is continuing to evolve with three projects under construction in and near the Shoppes of Prairie Lakes.

The Decker family, founders of Mega Rentals, a Madison traffic safety products and service company, is developing a parcel of land they own at 390 S. Grand Avenue for a 9,700 square-foot restaurant and retail building that is across the street from a Menards that is scheduled to open in spring 2018. Just down the street, work is proceeding on a 124-room Hilton Garden Inn that will also include a Johnny`s Italian Steakhouse....

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Ken Notes: Niel toss the rest of us a bone...

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Aging population presents double challenge in health care

Wisconsin’s growing worker shortage presents a particularly difficult challenge for the health care industry, especially in rural areas and at facilities that care for the elderly and disabled.

As Wisconsin’s baby boomers retire in greater numbers over the coming decades and live longer than previous generations, there will be more consumers of health care while the working-age population that provides those services is projected to stay about the same. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those age 65 and older spend 43 percent more on health care than those under 65 and 230 percent more than those under 30...

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Ken Notes: Madison should become the Midwest Mecca for boomers looking for a place to retire. best Heath Care, best housing, best social life, best food, best second career opportunities, a UW that loves you, affordability, and an aging hippie for a mayor...

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Wisconsin unemployment declines; Madison area has lowest rates

Unemployment across Wisconsin was down in July and August, with the Madison area leading the way with the most employed people.

The state Department of Workforce Development released unemployment numbers Wednesday, compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, showing updated numbers for July and preliminary estimates for August....

...The biggest drop was 1.1 percentage points in Milwaukee and Janesville, with the latest rates ranging from 2.3 percent in Fitchburg and Madison to 6.1 percent in Racine....

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Madison job center in shuttered west side restaurant delayed by lack of bids

Griff`s, a former burger joint located across the street from Elver Park on Madison`s west side, is slated to become a job center. Originally scheduled to open in 2016, the project has stalled again due to a lack of bids to renovate the property.

The job center at 1233 McKenna Blvd. will be called the Park Edge/Park Ridge Employment and Training Center once completed...

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Ken Notes: consider a bid on this project. It will be nice fall work.

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Madison officials to continue discussing public funds for Exact Sciences expansion

The conversation continues on whether Madison will provide public funds to aid the expansion plans of Exact Sciences Corp.

The Madison Finance Committee discussed in closed session Monday whether to provide tax incremental financing (TIF) for the cancer-screening company to build a second processing lab on Madison`s Southwest Side. Ald. Mark Clear, 19th District, said no vote was taken in the private meeting...

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Ken Notes: The big question is how is the building valued now, if the increment will guarantee an investment make it because I promise no other companies are standing in line to buy the building.

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In today’s competitive world, government incentives are part of the picture

As the Wisconsin Legislature nears another round of voting on the $3 billion incentive package to bring Foxconn Technology Group to the state, supporters of the deal find themselves sandwiched between two philosophical camps.

On the left are those who think government should spend predominantly on education, health care and helping the poor and not invest in attracting or retaining profit-seeking companies. That outlook fails to recognize that those profit-seeking companies spark an economy that generates taxes for government programs at all levels....

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Ken Notes: They are indeed< I just wish it were a level playing field.

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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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Kenosha County`s robust economy still driving jobs growth

A robust local economy has some Kenosha County employers experiencing the best of times in terms of expansion, production and sales.

However, some are beginning to find it harder to fill job openings.

Earlier this month, Amazon hosted a hiring day with the goal of employing 1,200. Meanwhile, other companies such as Uline have increased their hiring to fill positions for their expanded operations.

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Wisconsin inches up in job growth rankings, to 31st

Even as Wisconsin’s unemployment rate fell faster than the U.S. rate, the state only ranked 31st in private sector job growth, according to new data from Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state added 27,597 private sector jobs between March 2016 and March 2017, a 1.16 percent increase. Wisconsin ranked fifth in the Midwest during the period behind Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri and Indiana.

The data comes from the latest Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, generally considered the most accurate measure of job growth. It includes the period from January to March when the state unemployment rate declined by 0.7 percentage points compared to a 0.2 point drop for the entire country....

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Milwaukee makes bid for second Amazon HQ

Would house up to 50,000 jobs

The company announced on its website today it is soliciting proposals from cities for its new $5 billion headquarters, which would employ as many as 50,000 new full-time employees and be “a full equal” to its existing headquarters in Seattle.

Amazon said it’s looking for metropolitan areas with more than 1 million people, a “stable and business-friendly environment,” and urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent...

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Ken Notes: Keep reading, I would hope Madison could be included in some way. We should share the advantage of being the biggest fish in the pond. Also mention the people that would love to return to Madison for the right job....

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Good, bad and (sometimes) ugly: Building startups in northeast Wisconsin
APPLETON, Wis. – Hear a panel of experts discuss the challenges of building a high-impact startup company in northeast Wisconsin at the Thursday, Oct. 12 meeting of the Tech Council Innovation Network in Appleton.

This Tech Council Innovation Network luncheon is in partnership with theForum for Innovation, which will focus on high-growth companies in the region, and NEW North, the regional economic development group. It will be held at the Fox Valley Technical College D.J. Bordini Center, 5 N. Systems Drive, conference center BC112A.

Registration begins at 11:30 a.m., lunch at noon and the presentation at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $10 for individual members, students and Bunker Labs members, $20 for general admission and included for Tech Council corporate members. Click here to register....
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Construction workers in demand as Milwaukee area building booms

With metro Milwaukee’s building boom in high gear and more office and residential projects on the way, just about any skilled construction worker who wants a job probably has one this Labor Day, industry professionals say.

The men and women who drive the piles, erect the steel beams, frame the interiors, install the drywall and perform dozens of other vital tasks are in demand.

“Obviously, we’re in the go-go days of construction right now, as I like to refer to it,” said Mike Fabishak, chief executive of Associated General Contractors of Greater Milwaukee Inc.

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Milwaukee would face challenges in bid for Amazon`s second headquarters

If Milwaukee wants to win the bid for Amazon`s new second headquarters, the city will need to show it can pump out technology graduates and morph its image into a high-tech city, according to James Thomson, former head of Amazon Services, the division that recruits sellers to the online marketplace.

Amazon announced last week it`s going to build a second headquarters, "HQ2," and is seeking proposals for locations...

A few UW grads...

    Satya Nadella (’90 MS Computer Science) – CEO of Microsoft  
    Golda Meir (’17 Education) – the late founder and fourth prime minister of Israel   
    Carol Bartz (’71), chair, president and CEO of Yahoo! Inc.
    Kenneth Behring (’51), former owner, Seattle Seahawks
    Oscar C. Boldt (’48), chair, Boldt Group
    Thomas Falk (’80), president and CEO, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
    Hugh Jones (’85), president and CEO, Travelocity Global
    Aaron Kennedy (MBA’89), founder, chair and president, Noodles and Co.
    Kenji Kitatani (MA’78, PhD’81), president, Tokyo Dome Enterprises Corp.
    Kay Smith Koplovitz (’67), founder, USA Network
    Michael Levin (’72), founder and CEO, e-STEEL Corp.
    John P. Morgridge (’55), chairman, Cisco Systems, San Jose, Calif.
    Tadashi Okamura (MBA’73), president and CEO, Toshiba Corp.
    Steven Pogorzelski (’83), former president, Monster North America
    Tom Pyle (MBA’63), former chair and CEO, Rayovac Corp.
    Lee R. Raymond (’60), chairman and CEO, Exxon-Mobil, Irving, Texas
    John Rowe (’67, JD’70), president and CEO, Exelon Corp.
    Bob Schlicht (’73), president, M&I Bank
    Charlie Trotter (’82), chef and owner of Charlie Trotter’s restaurant, Chicago
    Scott Vandersanden (EMBA’00), president, AT&T Wisconsin
    Duane Zitzner (’70), executive vice president, Hewlett-Packard; president, Hewlett Packard Personal Systems Group


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Ken Notes: The UW (Ms) should team up and make a proposal for this office facility. We tend to not include our strongest weapons when chasing big game. Also can we bring previous UW grads to help us lobby...

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Backed by neighborhood, cohousing and circus project up for Madison Plan Commission approval

A development project slated for Madison`s east side that will include cohousing and a new "circus space" has already won the support of the neighborhood and a recommendation of approval from city planning staff.

Next, the project must receive approval from the city`s Plan Commission Monday night.

The project, “Winnebago Arts and Cohousing,”...   ...more

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GOP sticks it to hybrid and electric car owners

STEVENS POINT — My wife and I agree on almost everything, and when we don’t she’s usually right. When she purchased a 2012 Prius, I was skeptical. I found it low-riding and tight-fitting. But she was paying, and I learned to like or at least tolerate it.

But now we learn that the state Legislature wants us to pay up for not guzzling enough gas. Owners of hybrid and electric cars would pay an annual fee of $75 to $100 for this sin. Rather than address the antiquated highway funding formula and develop a 21st century transportation strategy, the Legislature fiddles with new fees....

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Ken Notes: He may be right. I`m a fiscal guy but a penalty for buying a car that uses less gas is nuts. Oh wait, we could charge a Teetotaller tax on nondrinkers, a dining in tax on those who eat at home, a heat miser tax on well insulated homes, a not big enough property tax on homes under 500K, and a public dole tax on all elected legislators and the governor. I may like that last part...

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Industrial machinery dominates Wisconsin exports in first six months of year

Showing once again that Wisconsin remains a heavy industry state, foreign shipments of made-in-Wisconsin industrial machinery dominated the state’s exports in the first six months of the year.

According to export data released Wednesday by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the category of “industrial machinery” accounted for 24% of the state’s exports in the January-through-June period, rising 1.6% to $2.6 billion. It was followed by the categories of medical and scientific instruments (10%) and electrical machinery (10%)...

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Ayres Associates

Landscape Architecture, Planning, Architecture, Engineering...

Please see our blog here for updates... .

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Downtown Madison`s Knapp House receives zoning approvals to become hotel

A historic building on East Gilman Street, once home to Wisconsin governors, has received city zoning approvals to become a hotel.

“I think our plan will give another 100 years of life to a 160-year-old building,” said Bob Klebba, who is renovating the property with David Waugh. The pair also owns a historic bed and breakfast at 744 E. Gorham St.

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Ken Notes: I`d stay here!!!

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Titletown District park and plaza to open next week, with tubing and skating to follow

ASHWAUBENON – Titletown District`s park and plaza will open at the end of next week.

"I`m real excited for ... people in the community to get to see this," Mark Murphy, president and CEO of the Packers, said Tuesday during a tour of the 10-acre park and plaza site.

Titletown District is a nearly 45-acre development bounded primarily by South Ridge Road, Lombardi Avenue, Brookwood Drive and Marlee Lane. Its anchors include Lodge Kohler hotel, Hinterland Brewery and Bellin Health Sports Medicine and Orthopedics clinic, all of which are open.

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Ken Notes: Now this is development. Destination tourism, jobs, retail, health and the Packers! Perfect!!

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Milwaukee Advances Tiny House Plan for Foster Care Teenagers

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee city planners are pushing forward with an idea to use tiny homes to help teens aging out of foster care.

Up to 36 tiny homes would be built to give housing to young people ages 18 to 25, especially those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported ....

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Ken Notes: I like this, I also like the idea of giving homeless vets a tiny house if they are homeless. With the right building covenants we could create very nice spaces with architectural and environmental issues addressed. Even on a very tight budget you can do some great things. Also every Sophomore shop class could build a unit and explore all the home building trades in one project.

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Madison School District and Madison College partner for S.T.E.M. academy

A partnership between the Madison Metropolitan School District and Madison College seeks to increase the number of girls and students of color who pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

The Early College S.T.E.M. Academy is set to start next fall. The initial pilot will recruit a total of 25 juniors and seniors from Madison East and La Follette high schools...

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Ken Notes: 25 is a start and growing to 200 is even better. 2,000 could use a school to work program. But you have to start somewhere -- Congrats..

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100 Black Men honored by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

The 100 Black Men of Madison, Inc. will receive the "Friends of Education" award from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Thursday. Each year, DPI recognizes individuals and organizations that have shown a commitment to supporting education in Wisconsin.

In a statement released by DPI, state Superintendent Tony Evers said this year’s winners were recognized because of their commitment to mentorship and civic engagement...

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Ken Notes: Mentorship and apprenticeship are huge in this area. I applaud both the efforts and recognition this organization and other are receiving.

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Waterloo on world stage as Trek hosts World Cup cyclo-cross event

WATERLOO — Grain for brewing and distilling are prepared here at Briess Malting & Ingredients.

Just down the street at Van Holten’s, cucumbers stew in brine to become Pickles-in-a-Pouch. And along the temperamental Maunesha River at Fireman’s Park, the restored 106-year-old C.W. Parker carousel continues to spin.

But beginning Friday, this Jefferson County city, which this month celebrated its 58th Wiener & Kraut Festival, will be the focal point of an international audience and thousands of visitors rabid about a growing biking event at this city’s largest employer....

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Miron Construction


Miron’s comprehensive range of construction services are designed to meet the unique and diversified needs of our clients. Contact Us.
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OPINION: Despite low unemployment, Wisconsin workers on a precipice

Recent talk of Wisconsin’s economic landscape tends to focus on our ability to attract business, the wisdom of incentives and associated implications on taxpayers or the number of jobs created. To be sure, finding effective ways to get more people back to work is important; however, missing from the conversation is the question of whether new jobs will provide real financial security for more Wisconsinites.

This is not an idle question. The link between work and financial security has weakened in recent decades. Low unemployment, though important, is not the Holy Grail for Wisconsin. While the state’s unemployment rate is at a six-year low, other indicators of financial instability for Wisconsin suggest problems...

...Next, we need to improve wages for ordinary workers. Line wages have grown just 15 percent since 1979, while executive pay has climbed by 138 percent. Those on tight budgets can easily have their financial lives derailed by seemingly mundane events — like unexpected expenses, fines or fees. Public subsidizing of low-wage employers is a waning trend. Private sector leadership is in demand as government is not moved to expand public assistance....

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Ken Notes: Well written... I wish he would have mentioned apprenticeship and mentoring...

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Construction Begins on Wisconsin FedEx Truck Terminal Opposed by Nearby Residents

Construction is beginning in Oak Creek, Wisc., on a huge FedEx truck terminal opposed by nearby residents.

An affiliate of Lexington, Ky.-based Setzer Properties has purchased the 48.6-acre development site, at 500 Opus Drive, from Opus Development Co. for $2.35 million, according to state real estate records posted Sept. 18.

Setzer Properties has been awarded the contract to develop the building, according to the company. It is scheduled to be completed in winter 2018.

FedEx ranks No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest North American for-hire carriers...

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Ken Notes: We do have the potential to be the Midwest hub for distribution and warehousing. This will require some infrastructure improvements, planning, and site development.

It is too bad we did not develop the MKE-MSP rail corridor when we had the chance. As Amazon becomes where you buy a refrigerator, couch, car, or house the current system will have to change.

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What`s coming to the Madison restaurant scene this fall

Fall in the Madison area brings another round of restaurant openings, from small chef-driven spots, a suburban place for provisions, a new pizzeria and another place for ramen near campus.

Over the next few months, keep an eye out for these fresh spots:

Near campus, Village Pizza, 616 University Ave., plans to open in about two weeks at the former Bob’s Copy Shop location near the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus...

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WEDC to discuss supply chain options with FoxConn

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will provide an overview of supply chain (contract vendor) opportunities associated with Foxconn Technology Group at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 18 at the Cashman Conference Center, WITC-New Richmond campus, 1019 S. Knowles Ave.

Tricia Braun, WEDC`s chief operating officer, will provide details on Foxconn, its economic impact, and how local businesses may become involved in the supply chain. Braun brings nearly 20 years of economic development leadership experience at WEDC. Prior to her current position, she served as WEDC`s vice president of economic development and regional development and attraction director. She is a graduate of UW-River Falls and former executive director of the River Falls Area Chamber of Commerce....

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Governor Walker Encourages Japanese Business Leaders to Consider Investing in Wisconsin
Governor Scott Walker and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan met with dozens of Japanese business executives in Tokyo today as part of their efforts to encourage overseas companies to invest in Wisconsin.“The more company leaders around the world learn about the advantages of doing business in Wisconsin, the more likely they are to seriously consider investing in our state, and that’s what these meetings were all about,” Governor Walker said. “During these meetings, we highlighted the state’s central location, talented workforce and pro-business climate as key reasons why these leaders should consider growing in Wisconsin.”...   ...more

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New Brookfield store is Wisconsin Vision`s first mall location

Two OnMilwaukee partners, Wisconsin Vision and The Corners, have come together recently. And, since it`s Wisconsin Vision`s fist mall location, we asked CEO Darren Horndasch a few questions about the new store, the industry and a burning question I`ve had about these ads for Hubble contacts that won`t stop following me everywhere I go online.

OnMilwaukee: With so many developments in the greater Milwaukee area, why is The Corners the right fit for Wisconsin Vision?

Darren Horndasch: The Corners of Brookfield is the newest mall development in the State of Wisconsin. We were able to negotiate complete exclusivity for optical services including glasses, contacts, eye exams and accessories....   ...more

Ken Notes: To keep malls vibrant we will need a different mix of vendors and health care is a perfect fit. I would also look at shared office and co-working spaces especially if big box anchors leave as predicted.

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Mitch Henck: Madison shouldn`t steal from its golf courses

Imagine seeing condos on the fifth fairway? Let’s hope not. Yes, The city golf courses have run deficits eight of the last nine years. But wait a minute. The Monona Terrace runs deficits of millions of dollars a year and nobody talks about selling the convention center.

But golf is supposed to be self-supporting. It doesn’t get subsidized by the city room tax, like Monona Terrace. The biggest golf budget deficit so far was $393,000 last year — even though revenues reached a record high $3.2 million....

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Ken Notes: I agree with Mitch, if we want to make money on our golf courses offer them to the private sector to be run by them. Charge a dollar per course and require some public access with all expenses paid buy the manager. I see the Princeton Club and others stepping up to the plate tee here.

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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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Possible failure for successful historic tax credits program
Drive through a quaint renovated small village or town in Wisconsin and you are likely seeing a downtown renovated using historic tax credits. In my opinion the historic tax credit is the most successful rural and small town economic development program administered by Gov. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. As the Legislature considers venturing into the great unknown on high-tech manufacturing with checks from our taxpayers for 15 years, that same Republican majority is planning to cap the historic tax credit program.   ...more

Ken Notes: I have a love hate relationship with this program, when used appropriately, they can revitalize a downtown and help owners maintain extremely worthy properties. Alas they are often used to stand in the way of (or delay) development. I would love to see priorities established and requirements that if historic development is chosen the best (or any productive) use is mandated along with the designation and credits...

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Explainer: How funding for the homeless day shelter fell short

When it became clear there was a funding gap for Madison’s coming homeless day shelter, there was concern that it wouldn`t open as planned this fall.

But with funding for 2017 secure, The Beacon day resource center will open in October after all, putting an end to a six-year effort to make it a reality. What will happen after that is still unclear...

...In the course of working through the 2017 gap, it became clear that Catholic Charities would need more than the $480,000 of available funds. Catholic Charities had estimated annual operating costs at $688,000 in their original RFP. This left a gap of about $200,000.   ...more

Ken Notes: The Ken Plan. A downtown "Resource Center" run by the Catholic Charities for "dues paying" members. 500 to 1,500 members paying $50 per month. Homeless receive a grant or voucher to use the facility for free or a few dollars a month others pay what they can on a sliding scale. Companies, churches, service organizations or Non-profits as well as the city, county and United Way could sponsor a member or members. Free office space to health care, mental health, housing or other groups offering services to homeless or low income individuals. MORE THAN ENOUGH MONEY, ownership, mentors using the facility, services for low income as well as homeless, less stigma attached to the facility.

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Businessman indicted for ripping off Wisconsin’s jobs agency
GREEN BAY — A Green Bay businessman has been indicted for defrauding the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation out of more than $1 million.

In 2011, Richard Van Den Heuvel got a $1.1 million state loan for his Green Box NA Green Bay LLC, an eco-friendly business. Van Den Heuvel used the money to pay old debts and personal expenses, including a new Cadillac Escalade, pricey Green Bay Packers tickets, and court-ordered support payments to his ex-wife, U.S. Attorney Gregory Haanstad said Wednesday.

In January 2012, Van Den Heuvel got a $95,500 grant to reimburse Green Box for the cost of training new workers. Van Den Heuvel submitted fraudulent time records for training that never happened, Haanstad said.

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German Pharmaceutical Company Expanding In Sheboygan Falls

A German pharmaceutical company is expanding in Sheboygan Falls with the help of state tax credits. 

MilliporeSigma, a subsidiary of the pharmaceutical giant Merck, will get $1.25 million in state tax credits for an 80,000-square-foot expansion of a its Sheboygan County facility that produces stains, dyes, fragrances and flavors.

The company also operates plants in Madison and Milwaukee, employing 1,000 people in the state, said MilliporeSigma’s CEO Udit Batra...

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Notes:

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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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Tom Still: After the votes, behind-the-scenes work on Foxconn just beginning

Both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature have passed legislation endorsing the framework of an incentive package for Foxconn Technology Group, which is poised to make a $10 billion investment in the state.

Now, the real work begins....

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Economic Development Resources


Dane County ED





Got Moo-La?








???

Madison Area Chambers -- New!

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Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp to serve as EPA deputy administrator

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp will leave her post to work for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Stepp, 54, will serve as deputy administrator of EPA Region 7, which covers Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebrasksa and nine tribal nations.

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Epic advances its health-centric app store

Epic Systems, the Verona-based maker of computer-based medical records, seems to be on the cusp of rolling out its own health care-centric version of the iTunes store.

Epic’s App Orchard, which has been years in the making, will be an online marketplace where health care providers can browse through software made by non-Epic developers. All the software featured, ranging from tools for predicting health outcomes to guides on how to talk with patients about cancer treatment, would link up with Epic’s health records platform in some way....

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Milwaukee Tool`s subsidiary, Empire Level, is celebrated for its commitment to growth
MUKWONAGO, Wis. - Empire Level (Empire), a division of Milwaukee Tool, celebrated its commitment to manufacturing growth in Wisconsin with the state governor and local officials. Through partnerships with Milwaukee Tool, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), Milwaukee 7, and local governments, Empire has driven growth and job creation within the state...
 
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Engineered Construction Inc. / General Contractors

   
GENERAL CONTRACTING
     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

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Startup accelerator to work with UW-Madison computer science students in new program

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s computer science department is teaming up with the state’s largest startup-building organization to help some of its students become entrepreneurs.

Gener8tor, a Midwestern company that specializes in helping high-growth startups grow and connect with investors, has rapidly expanded over the past year with new locations and new programs in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The newest addition to the gener8tor fold is called gAlpha CS.

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Battle over mining legislation ramps up in Wisconsin

Republicans say the repeal of Wisconsin`s so-called mining moratorium would leave in place a body of other state laws to protect the environment.

But the repeal legislation contains 10 additional provisions that would relax those other protections, say conservationists who are fighting the proposal.

The proposal introduced last month would relax wetland and ground water protections, constrain the time regulators have to review mine plans, limit challenges to state mining permits, and exempt mine companies from fees that cover costs of ensuring safe handling of hazardous waste.

"The bill includes a laundry list of subsidies and give-aways for the mining industry at the expense of our environment," said Dave Blouin, chairman of the Sierra Club`s Wisconsin chapter`s mining committee....


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Rebuilt Telemark could have huge regional economic impact

For Bayfield County, and indeed, all of northwestern Wisconsin, Telemark Lodge has been the slumbering economic giant that people have been hoping for years might finally awaken.

At a meeting of the Bayfield County Board in August, there were indications that giant might at last be stirring...

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Ken Notes: Hope so very cool place...

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City Looks To Demolish Machinery Row Buildings

One of the Machinery Row buildings has suffered “significant deterioration” and as a result, Gorman and Company has decided not to move forward with buying the properties.

Now the city wants to demolish the buildings at 820 and 900 Water Street that Gorman & Company once sought to redevelop so that they can sell the land to another developer and get it back on the tax roll. But neither Gorman nor the City own the properties. Rodney Blackwell, the owner of Iowa-based development firm Financial District Properties, has three of the four parcels and he has been in default of the developer agreement he had with the city. Still, the city holds the deed to those three properties but it hasn’t recorded them...

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Ken Notes: I have a lot of faith in Gorman and Co. so if they cant get it don it may not be doable...

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Outside chance: Wisconsin has stepped up job training in prison, but critics say it’s not enough

When Jerome Dillard was released from prison, looking for a job meant stomaching rejection after rejection.

“I put in, I would say, hundreds of applications in the first three months, and the only thing I could land was being a dishwasher,” he said.

He picked up a night job working as a telemarketer to supplement his income. But he was barely making it...

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Village, town boards approve "historic" development agreement

SOMERS — The Somers town and village boards have become the first to approve a multijurisdictional agreement for the Interstate 94 corridor.

The development deal is designed to attract millions of dollars in development in coming years.

At separate meetings Tuesday night, the Town Board voted 3-0, while the Village Board voted 7-0 in approving the agreement that also includes the city of Kenosha and the town of Paris. The votes come following a public hearing Aug. 23 at Bradford High School.

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Ken Notes: Multijurisdictional is a word we need to see a lot more in Wisconsin.

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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. For 40 years, The Gialamas Company has brought its real estate development, brokerage, leasing and building management expertise to the City of Madison and the State of Wisconsin.

Our premier development, 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.

The Gialamas Company’s fully integrated in-house staff and maintenance team, combined with our distinct knowledge and experience, ensures the highest level of service in all facets of the company. We offer an unmatched commitment to our clients. It’s a relationship that begins with our first contact and continues beyond the life of the lease. Experience the Gialamas standard of service today.”
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Workforce shortage prevents firms from expanding in Superior
Four of the top executives at FeraDyne Outdoors in Superior commute there each week – including one who flies in from Atlanta, Ga, at the company’s expense. The others drive from Minneapolis, St. Cloud and central Wisconsin...

 ...Attracting outside talent has been a significant challenge, Seyfert told BusinessNorth last month. But it’s not just executives who are difficult to recruit. The maker of sports equipment, including well known “Block” archery targets, also has difficulty hiring manufacturing workers...

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Walker: State budget will have UWP building projects, and he’ll sign it
PLATTEVILLE — Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday morning he was “very confident” that two UW–Platteville building projects approved by the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee last week will be in the final 2017–19 state budget, and he will sign the budget with those projects included.

The JFC approved $55 million for a new engineering building, Sesquicentennial Hall, and $24 million for the second phase of Boebel Hall renovation Aug. 28.

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OPINION: We’re in it together, Wisconsin

Cities and villages in Wisconsin are investing in the future while they recognize that in order to thrive, they need strong schools and plenty of job opportunities.

A recent analysis of 2015 spending patterns revealed that, for the second year in a row, municipal spending for development jumped more than 20 percent compared to the prior year. At the same time, in response to a question about future growth drivers, city and village leaders cited good schools and plentiful job opportunities as the most important factors necessary to attract citizens in the future...

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Ken Notes: Glad to see other media running this, it is very well said!

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Madison City Council changes transportation committee structure, moves forward on Exact Science funds

The Madison City Council voted Tuesday to simplify its transportation-related committees.

The move reduces the number of committees related to transportation from seven to two. It also calls for hiring a director of transportation — a position the city hasn’t filled since the 1990s — to oversee the managers of Madison’s Traffic Engineering, Parking and Transit divisions....

....Exact Sciences: The council moved ahead with providing tax incremental financing (TIF) to assist Exact Sciences Corp. in plans to build a second processing laboratory in Madison.

Ald. Mark Clear, 19th District, introduced a plan Tuesday to provide the company that makes the colorectal cancer test Cologuard with a $2.5 million TIF loan. Exact Sciences is considering building its second lab to process the cancer tests at the former location of Spectrum Brands on the Southwest Side.....

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Ken Notes: Could it be that someone on the Madison council actually reads WDNews???

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R.A. Smith

   ...more
R.A. Smith National, Inc. is a leading consulting engineering firm, providing multi-disciplinary services to federal, state and local government and the land development industry nationwide.

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Economic development corporations begin merger

The Crawford County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) and the Prairie du Chien Economic Development Corporation (PdCEDC) boards of directors have voted to begin merging into a single organization serving the entire county and surrounding area. The vote authorizes the creation of a joint committee that will develop recommendations, which will be formally voted upon by the boards later this year. The announcement was made jointly by Pete Flesch, president of the CCEDC; and Dan Kanis, president of the PdCEDC.

The focus of the proposed organization will not only be to attract new manufacturers, but also to retain and expand existing businesses.

“A lot of people think economic development is bringing new manufacturers to the area,” Flesch said. “That’s part of it. The most important part of what we do is business retention and expansion. Most jobs are added through existing businesses. Our job is to be facilitators, to be problem solvers.”...

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Ken Notes: This makes sense but getting to far from home can cause problems. WEDC should bring all economic development efforts under one tent with a program like UW Extension....

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Legislature`s finance panel ends road-funding impasse with prevailing wage repeal, hybrid vehicle fee

How to fund Wisconsin’s roads and bridges, the much-debated question that has delayed passage of the state’s two-year budget, now may be answered by a plan that cuts funding for highway maintenance, hikes fees on hybrid vehicles and ends a minimum-pay requirement for public works projects.

The plan, the contents of which were made public Tuesday night, also trims Gov. Scott Walker’s road-borrowing blueprint and moves the state incrementally closer to collecting highway tolls....

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Couple asks nearly $2 million for property near Wisconsin`s first Ikea

Ryan Maughan and Amanda Schmidt-Maughan are last to occupy homes near under-construction Ikea

In the shadow of construction that will become Wisconsin`s first Ikea store stands a single-family home. It`s a sole, occupied holdout in a string of purchases by Northwestern Mutual ahead of anticipated commercial development in the area.

This isn`t a David and Goliath story or a tale of "hell no, we won`t go" obstinance. Rather, the homeowners, Ryan Maughan and his wife, Amanda Schmidt-Maughan, said Tuesday they`re perfectly willing to move. They just want a fair price for the property...

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Ken Notes: Why can`t we establish property tax rates based on what owners and developers consider a fair price...

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Latest Wisconsin Cobblestone begins construction

Cobblestone Hotels & Suites has opened its latest Wisconsin hotel.

The Cobblestone Hotels & Suites Stevens Point is located in the downtown area of Stevens Point, with easy access to the Sentry Insurance Company andUW-Stevens Point. The property is managed by WHG Companies and was built by BriMark Builders....

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Digging in: Proposed mine and bill renew fight over economics, environment on Wisconsin-Michigan border

MARINETTE — The Sunday football crowd is perched on vinyl stools at Terry’s Last Stop. They sip light beer and Kessler-and-Cokes. They want the Packers to beat the Seahawks. They do not want the mine.

No one refers to it as the Back Forty, the name given to the project by Aquila Resources, the Canadian company that hopes to extract gold, zinc, copper and silver from an 83-acre section of Upper Michigan located about 150 feet from the Menominee River. Around here, it’s just “the mine,” and once bar owner Terry Walker starts to talk about it, it doesn’t take long for his patrons to chime in...

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Brothers Business Interiors


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Foxconn remains committed to project, but remains vague on details

MOUNT PLEASANT — Negotiations between the State of Wisconsin and electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group have been “making great progress,” according to a statement from the company.

The Journal Times submitted a list of questions to the company related to the contract negotiations with the state, the proposed incentive package, what Foxconn employees already in Wisconsin are doing, and the location of the proposed manufacturing facility...

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Applause: Bergstrom raises funds for Make-A-Wish

Bergstrom Automotive to hold Lube-A-Thon for Make-A-Wish

Bergstrom Automotive is partnering this month with Make-A-Wish Wisconsin to raise money to help grant the wishes of children battling life-threatening medical conditions. 

Throughout September, Bergstrom team members are conducting numerous fundraisers and each of the Bergstrom dealerships will donate $5 for every test drive taken. Plus, for each new fan or follower that Bergstrom receives on Facebook – www.facebook.com/bergstromauto, Twitter @bergstromauto or Instagram @bergstromauto, through Sept. 17, they will donate an additional $5. ..

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Ken Notes: Let`s all follow them on twitter and make them pay thousands. Or test drive a Corvette...

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As seen in WDNews...
MARSHFIELD — In an initiative aimed at addressing Wisconsin’s workforce development needs, all nine of the state’s regional economic development organizations are teaming up to develop a platform that directly connects local employers to students. In the Centergy region, which includes the Marshfield area in Wood County, the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MACCI) is leading the effort....   ...more

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Multifamily development advances in Franklin on site once planned for a park

FRANKLIN - On land originally planned to be a park, a new mixed-use multifamily development may be built.

Commercial development could potentially be added to the site in the future as well, with a portion of the 18-acre parcel at 7333 S. 27th St. getting set aside for such uses...

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Hancock Timber Resource Group Acquires Approximately 79,000 Acres of Timberlands in Wisconsin

Company has Acquired More Than 440,000 Acres of High Quality Timberlands in the Great Lakes Region Since Mid-2016

BOSTON, Sept. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hancock Timber Resource Group has completed the acquisition of 78,986 acres of timberlands in northwestern Wisconsin, Hancock Timber Resource Group President Brent Keefer said today.

The 78,986 acres of timberlands, located in Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas and Washburn counties, were acquired from investment funds managed by The Lyme Timber Company, a private timberland investment management organization based in Hanover, New Hampshire...

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Ken Notes: We need to watch these acquisitions because these are one step away from a mine or other use. I hope they are going to harvest the timber responsibly and allow some public access to the land...

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5NINES :::
helping our clients enjoy technology since 2001


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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.

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Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Hearing Draws Overflow Crowd

A crowd of more than 70 people spilled out of the Jane Greene room at the Sturgeon Bay Library Sept. 6 to hear testimony about the location of the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) on the city’s west waterfront.

The testimony came at a declaratory hearing held by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) at the request of the Friends of Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront to determine the location of the OHWM on the city’s west side waterfront. The hearing applies specifically to parcels 92 and 100 between the Oregon Street Bridge and the Door County Maritime Museum.

The Friends group provided lengthy, detailed testimony using dozens of historical maps, photos, articles, and city and other public records to show that the OHWM originally ran through what is now the parking lot behind the Greystone Castle tavern. According to the Wisconsin State Constitution’s Public Trust Doctrine, that would mean all the land between that mark and the current waterline belongs in the public trust and cannot be sold for private development, as the city has tried to do since 2013...

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Notes:

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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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Seiva, EatStreet, Isomark, WARF, & More: This Week’s WI Watchlist

Keep up with news from Wisconsin’s innovation community with these recent headlines:

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Potential Wisconsin Avenue Resort Sparks Concern

Whitefish residents begin weighing in on city’s framework for growth in corridor north of downtown

Initial plans for an upscale resort lodge, conference center and marina on Whitefish Lake near the intersection of Big Mountain Road have emerged as a sticking point for local residents as public comments continue trickling in on the city’s Wisconsin Avenue Corridor Plan.

The comments are underway after nine months of committee work to inform the corridor plan’s first draft, which city officials unveiled Aug. 23.

The plan is a collaborative effort to build a framework for commercial growth in the corridor running along Wisconsin Avenue, linking Whitefish’s downtown center to Whitefish Lake and Whitefish Mountain Resort on Big Mountain.

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Ken Notes: It is Never easy...

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Ambassador Suites development advances toward 2018 construction start

The Ambassador Hotel owner’s plan to buy and restore a former Milwaukee school into extended-stay suites gained its first city endorsement Tuesday after the proposed purchase price increased.

The project, led by the Ambassador Hotel’s Rick Wiegand, would restore the empty school building at North 27th Street and West Wisconsin Avenue and transform its spaces into a luxury hotel dubbed Ambassador Suites....

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St. Camillus campus in Wauwatosa gears up for phase two of expansion project

WAUWATOSA - St. Camillus is giving its 90-year-old campus an updated look. 

The campus is in the process of completing the first phase of an expansion project which includes a 72-unit assisted living building specializing in dementia care and a 50-unit Jesuit Community.

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Cash for Sherman Park redevelopment, conversion of Milwaukee school to hotel approved

Plans to redevelop a former Sherman Park bank torched in last year`s riot and the conversion of a former near west side school into an upscale hotel both won approval Tuesday from a Milwaukee Common Council committee.

The developments together would invest $17.5 million, including a $225,000 city grant, in Milwaukee`s central city.

"This is the stuff we live to see, particularly in a challenged area," said Ald. Jim Bohl, Zoning, Neighborhood and Development Committee chair....

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Notes: From the ashes...

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Public Comment Underway on Wisconsin Ave. Corridor Plan

The public got its first look at the Wisconsin Avenue Corridor Plan, a document that has been in the works for nine months.

The plan, introduced at the Whitefish City Council chambers on Aug. 23, is the result of months of committee work to build a framework for growth in the corridor running along Wisconsin Avenue, linking Whitefish’s downtown to Whitefish Lake and Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Creating the plan would help make future decisions for the area over the next 10 to 20 years, taking market forces, city infrastructure investment, environmental protections, and community character into account.

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WATCH: Mills Fleet Farm planning to build on old Delavan dog track

DELAVAN—Mills Fleet Farm is planning to build a store on part of the old dog track in Delavan, with hopes of Mills opening in fall 2018, Delavan City Administrator Denise Pieroni said.

The concept plan officials shared with the city at a Monday Plan Commission meeting was positively received, Pieroni said. Some city council members were present to also review the plan, although no formal action was taken...

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The Wisconsin Development Network
Our Current Publications:
WDN
WDNGreen
WDNGreen.com     
WisconsinApprentice
DriftlessNotes

  CirexNews.com
MadisonNotes
    
Ken Harwood
Advocating for Wisconsin
Editor [at] WisconsinDevelopment.com
608.334.2174
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Wisconsin Incentives and Workforce Development Guide

FINANCING & GRANTS

Brownfield Grants: Grants to local governments, businesses, non-profits and individuals for developing commercial and industrial sites that have been adversely affected by environmental contamination.

Brownfield Site Assessment Grant: Grant funds to approved projects to assist local governments with conducting initial environmental assessment and demolition activities on an eligible abandoned, idle or underutilized industrial or commercial site.

Business Opportunity Loan Fund: Financing options ranging from loans to loan guaranties for businesses making investments to expand in or relocate to Wisconsin.

Capacity Building Grants: Grants to assist local and regional economic development groups to create an advanced economic development network within Wisconsin.

Capital Catalyst: Matching grants to seed funds managed by local communities and other eligible entities to provide capital to high-growth startups and emerging growth companies.

Community Development Investment Grant: Financial support for shovel-ready projects with particular emphasis on downtown community driven efforts that deliver significant, measurable benefits in job opportunities, property values, and/or leveraged investment by local and private partners.

Global Business Development Grants: Grant funding to support the growth and expansion of exports by Wisconsin companies.

Idle Industrial Sites Redevelopment: Highly competitive program offering grants to Wisconsin communities for the implementation of redevelopment plans for large industrial sites that have been idle, abandoned or underutilized for at least five years.

Industrial Revenue Bonds: A unique type of revenue bond organized and issued by a state or local government, the proceeds of which are directed to a private, for-profit business.

Seed Accelerator: Provides grants to eligible communities and other organizations to support a pre-seed business model program that incorporates training, mentoring and financial assistance to entrepreneurs in their area. Grant funds may be used as seed capital for companies in the accelerator, as well as for costs associated with initiating the accelerator program.

Special Project Loan Fund: Loans or loan guarantees to eligible companies preparing for future growth; diversifying operations, markets or product lines to increase competitiveness; or preparing a project site for future commercial development.

Technology Development Loans: Flexible lending program designed to assist high-tech startup and emerging growth companies in financing the development and launch of innovative products and services.

TAX INCENTIVES

Business Development Tax Credit: Provides refundable income tax credits that can be earned based on jobs, capital investment, training and the location or retention of corporate headquarters.

Capital Gains Investment Incentives: Capital gains on funds invested in qualified Wisconsin businesses are completely exempt from the capital gains tax after the investment has been held for five years. Capital gains on existing investments which are sold in order to generate funds for investments in qualified Wisconsin businesses are deferred so that they are not taxed at the time they are invested in the Wisconsin businesses.

Development Opportunity Zones: Non-refundable tax credits for new and expanding businesses in the cities of Beloit, Janesville and Kenosha to assist with capital investment and the creation and retention of new, full-time jobs.

Enterprise Zone Tax Credit: Refundable tax credits for new and expanding businesses that can be earned based on job creation, job retention, training, investment and Wisconsin supply chain expenditures.

Historic Preservation Tax Credit: State income tax credit for 20% of the qualified rehabilitation expenditures for eligible buildings.

Job Creation Deduction: Companies can take an exclusion from income if they create jobs in Wisconsin of $4,000 per employee for small businesses and $2,000 per employee for larger businesses.

Manufacturing & Agriculture Credit: Available to individuals and entities for taxable years that begin on or after January 1, 2013, for manufacturing and agricultural activities in Wisconsin. The credit is a percentage of “eligible qualified production activities income.” The credit is calculated by multiplying eligible qualified production activities income by one of the following percentages.

  • For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2012, and before January1, 2014, 1.875%
  • For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2013, and before January 1, 2015, 3.75%
  • For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2014, and before January1, 2016, 5.526%
  • For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015, 7.5%

For individuals, the credit is limited to the amount of income tax paid on the income from which the credit is based. For a corporation, eligible qualified production activities income is the lesser of:

  • eligible qualified production activities income,
  • income apportioned to Wisconsin, or
  • income taxable to Wisconsin as determined by combined reporting law, if the corporation is a member of a Wisconsin combined group

Property Tax Exemptions: Machinery and equipment used in manufacturing is exempt from personal property taxes. Manufacturer and merchant inventories are exempt from personal property taxes. Certain waste treatment facilities owned by utilities, manufacturers, and commercial businesses used for the treatment of industrial waste materials are exempt from general property taxes.

Qualified New Business Venture (QNBV) Program: Helps drive investment to innovate early-stage Wisconsin companies by allowing investors to claim a 25% tax credit on the amount they invest into a QNBV-certified business.

Research and Development Tax Credit: An R&D credit is available to corporations, sole proprietorships and pass-through entities equal to 5% (10% in some cases) of the excess of qualified research expenses for the current year over a base amount.

Sales Tax Exemptions: Wisconsin sales tax does not have to be paid on the following:

  • Machinery and equipment used by a manufacturer in producing tangible personal property.
  • Tangible personal property that becomes an ingredient or component of another product in the manufacturing process.
  • Tangible personal property that is consumed or loses its identity in the process of manufacturing tangible personal property.
  • Machinery, equipment and tangible personal property used in research by companies that are engaged in manufacturing or biotechnology.
  • Fuel and electricity used in manufacturing.

 WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Apprenticeship Completion Award Program: Offers employers, adult apprentices and sponsors a 25% reimbursement (up to $1,000) for instruction costs, including tuition, books, materials and other course fees.

ExporTech: Export acceleration program to help Wisconsin companies expand their global market reach through targeted export strategy development and execution.

Industry Development: WEDC’s Division of Business and Industry Development delivers customized solutions—technical and financial—to established business associations, consortia and industry cluster organizations in order to create favorable conditions for expanding existing Wisconsin industries and attracting new companies to priority industry sectors in Wisconsin. The division also supports minority business development by working with and providing resources for revolving loan funds and technical assistance to minority business development groups.

Veteran Grant Program: Offers employers a state grant of up to $10,000 over four years for hiring and retaining eligible veterans.

Wisconsin Fast Forward: Makes $15 million in grants available to employers to develop and implement innovative and collaborative customized training solutions for skilled workers.

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Ken Notes: I ran across this and thought I would add links as time permits. Hope it helps...

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2017 Sponsors Thank You!



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Thumbs Up! WEDC creates Data base
Notes from Ken Harwood Editor WDNews and WisconsinDevelopment.com.

For several years I have suggested that WEDC create a database that lists all their loans, grants and other incentives and the current status of these investments. Now they do. Created for a report they recently issued, the data base is available online or as a spreadsheet.

If you are a business or ED professional, study the list an a resource of what type of assistance may be available. Make sure you have your local ED professional and representatives from WEDC as well as other agencies that may have available funds in the loop as you plan your expansion.

I will continue to advocate for a new jobs based tax credit to level the playing field and streamline the process, but do applaud the efforts of WEDC. I hope local media reports on this data base as well as the report and available options for new and growing businesses...

The Report is here...

All info is here...

http://inwisconsin.com/inside-wedc/core-strategies/operational-and-fiscal-excellence#programoutcomes

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Ken Notes: I will keep this article as a permanent link in WDN.

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Start Week: 34 - Query String:SELECT * FROM wdn WHERE `issue` > 34 and volume = 5 OR `issue` > 90 ORDER BY sortorder