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

This Weeks Articles...

Civic envy
Madison added 54,000 jobs over past decade driven by tech sector
Barriers to affordable housing explored at summit in La Crosse
Developer offers revised final piece for $80 million Union Corners project
The Green New Deal as Economic Development
Matt Wachter to lead city`s Planning, Community and Economic Development Department
Weed dispensary set to open just across Wisconsin-Illinois state line; what police want you to know
Wisconsin Dells developer eyes hotel, conference center next to Ikea in Oak Creek
Truckstar set to break ground on expansion
Southwest Wisconsin faces `perfect storm` of housing development challenges
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Releases Latest Research On Net Economic Impact Of Trails In Wisconsin During Ceremony For 2019 Rail-Trail Champion Awa
Legal troubles pile up for local food entrepreneur Jonny Hunter
Uline proposes $130 million investment in Kenosha
U.S. Gain Purchases Digesters at Two Wisconsin Dairy Farms
Disney+ streaming service plans sitcom set in Wisconsin
A Tight Job Market Insulates a Slowing Economy—and Perhaps Trump, Too
First new hotel in Door County in almost 20 years breaks ground in Sister Bay
Community, business leaders talk about future of Century City: Slideshow
Stevens Point roundtable focuses on workforce
Rockwell Automation leads list of best-managed public companies in Wisconsin
How high-speed trains were derailed
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OPINION: Wisconsin apprenticeship is an investment that pays

As a former banker, I`m always looking for the highest return on investment — whether that`s time, energy or money. And when it comes to investing in our state`s economy and the strength of our workforce, you`d be hard pressed to find a better return on investment than with apprenticeship.

Since it`s Apprenticeship Week, both nationally and proclaimed in Wisconsin by Gov. Tony Evers, this seems like the perfect opportunity to highlight the benefits of apprenticeship for both worker and employer....

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Ken Notes: I could not agree more! I will ask one more time for anyone to consider sponsorship of WisconsinApprentice.com, a website, newsletter, and database of resources highlighting opportunities and best practices it the areas of apprenticeship and job training. When I was doing this publication it was well read by the tech schools, secondary schools, and 100s of businesses interested in these programs not to mention every legislator in the state. We can also add podcasts to the system as I would be happy to interview those with "stories to tell".

If I can not find sponsors I would be happy to release the website to anyone willing to promise to keep it up to date. This is a resource and advocacy we need in the State. Text me at 608.334.2174 even if you don`t have any money but have a story or resource. I really believe in this program and hate to see it just sitting there. You can ever reply to this email and I will search my spam folder for the word "Apprentice"...

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Civic envy

Milwaukee has eclipsed Madison in two big ways

It’s probably the best putdown in the history of film.

In Casablanca, the slimy character Ugarte, played by Peter Lorre, asks, “You despise me don’t you, Rick?”

Humphrey Bogart, as the cynical nightclub owner, answers, “If I gave you any thought I probably would.”

That exchange always seemed to me to sum up the relationship between Wisconsin’s two largest cities. Madison and Milwaukee might despise each other, if they bothered to think about the other place at all.

Milwaukee looks south to Chicago. Madison compares itself favorably to places like Boulder, Colorado...

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Ken Notes: Must Read! Paul Jadin, the guest on my radio show, Development Matters, this week will defend the Madison community. But I have to agree we missed the boat on user friendly transit and are late to the party with a Public Market. I will ask Dave to come on soon to defend his position. Also I love his observation on what the MKE guy would do with the crackers!

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George Mason University Researchers Say Deal With Foxconn Could Reduce Economic Activity

A new study on government subsidies by George Mason University found Wisconsin’s deal with Foxconn will not work and could reduce economic activity in southeastern Wisconsin.

Researchers with the Virginia-based Mercatus Center at the university focused on the Foxconn deal because of its size and high profile.

In its study, "The Economics of a Targeted Economic Development Subsidy," George Mason researchers found targeted subsidies are more likely to diminish rather than enhance the economic prosperity of communities that offer them.   

Researchers based their study on $3.6 billion in state incentives — taking into account the $3 billion incentives package approved by the GOP-controlled state Legislature in 2017, and an additional $600 million in utility, road, training programs and economic development programs needed for the project...

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Ken Notes: Ouch. A lot has already been invested so lets not scare them away. Also much of the state investment is contingent on job creation.

I will restate my request for a new tax incentive for ALL growing companies large or small based on new employees earning over a certain amount. For Example, 2K tax credit for ten years for new employees making over 50K in salary and benefits. The credits goes away if the total employee count falls below the new number. If you need the money up front convince a bank you will maintain the new employee level. I also suggest we rewrite TIF laws to add that a specific project could receive a 10% incentive for brick and mortar growth with a signed development agreement guaranteeing value. We do this now by manipulating the "rules" now so why not create a statute to clear this up.

Putting a majority of our dollars in one basket (Foxconn) sent a message to many companies that adding one or two employees in Wisconsin does not matter when in fact we still have more people employed by small companies that large ones.

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Madison added 54,000 jobs over past decade driven by tech sector
The Madison area has experienced strong job growth during the past decade, driven by gains in the technology sector, according to a new report.

Between 2008 and 2018, Madison added 54,000 jobs overall, or about 16% growth, according to the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum.

The report reflects a shift in Madison and across the state toward jobs with higher wages and underscores the effect Madison’s highly educated workforce has on attracting job growth...

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SCS - At the forefront of sustainable environmental solutions for over 40 years and ...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News

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Wisconsin Receives Over $1M To Help People With Disabilities Get Affordable Housing

Wisconsin will get more than $1 million to provide affordable housing to people with disabilities, officials announced Monday at a press conference in Madison.

Five housing authorities across the state will get a total of 180 extra vouchers for Section 8 — a federal rent-assistance program.

The Dane County Housing Authority will get the most vouchers, at 60. The Madison Community Development Authority, as well as the housing authorities of Eau Claire, Racine and Chippewa counties, will split the rest...

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Ken Notes: While I am not a huge fan of Section 8 housing, the idea of focusing on disabilities makes this a little more palatable.

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Madison Urban Design Commission to review plans for Archipelago Village offices, parking garage

Curt Brink, the developer behind Hotel Indigo on the 900 block of East Washington, is now seeking to develop other properties on the block, including a five-story office building at the corner of South Paterson and East Main streets and a parking structure in the middle of the block.

Brink and architects from Potter Lawson will make an informational presentation to the Urban Design Commission on Wednesday, Nov. 20. The proposal is part of Brink`s vision for the block, which he has named Archipelago Village....

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Ken Notes: I hope we get this one done.... East Wash is the new urban mecca in Wisconsin. Does anyone else wish the had added a BRT lane when the redid the street????

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Free Land in Duluth If You’ve Got a Good Plan for Affordable Housing
Emily Larson, the mayor of Duluth, Minnesota, gave her fourth State of the City address in April, right in the middle of what she called, per the transcript, “THE WORST POTHOLE SEASON IN HISTORY.” After acknowledging the Native inhabitants of the land around the city, which is two hours north of Minneapolis on the far western edge of Lake Superior, she touted progress that the city had made on fixing streets and reducing its own carbon emissions. And then she acknowledged that Duluth residents — particularly renters, more than half of whom are cost-burdened — are still struggling under a housing shortage. The problem wasn’t uniquely Duluthian, she said. The barriers to establishing more low-cost housing are present everywhere. Larson didn’t expect the city to figure out the grand solution, but it still had to push in the right direction.

“For me, housing is a math problem,” Larson said. “And somehow, we need to change the equation.”
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Ken Notes:Madison???

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Barriers to affordable housing explored at summit in La Crosse

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - The need for affordable housing and how it`s impacting the community was the focus of a summit in La Crosse.

The hope is to educate local government and business leaders on the barriers to affordable housing and how they may hurt the community.

In 2017, the 7 Rivers Alliance identified the lack of affordable housing in the region as one of the three barriers to attracting and retaining a workforce...   ...more

Ken Notes: I have been proposing a statewide conference on this. We need to get builders and developers to help with this issue. We also need to acquire land as communities or private entity, like Habitat for Humanities, so that the development can be controlled to include low cost apartments and homes.

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Preliminary designs for new Dane County jail tower complete

Preliminary designs for the exterior of Dane County’s new downtown jail show a building with terracotta panels broken up by glass to allow for daylight to reach the interior.

The brick red color on the new eight-story tower will match the Public Safety Building, 115 W. Doty St., and stands out from the surrounding neutral-toned buildings like the Dane County Courthouse.

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Ken Notes: Wow this is ambitious, I just have to ask, What cold we get for 148 Million on a greenfield site outside the city???

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Developer offers revised final piece for $80 million Union Corners project

After hearing neighborhood concerns, a developer has new plans for the cornerstone final piece of the multi-phase, $80 million Union Corners project at the corner of East Washington Avenue and Milwaukee Street.

Gorman & Co. is proposing a $24 million, five-story mixed-use building — called The Nexus — with 15,400 square feet of retail space facing East Washington Avenue topped by 75 market-rate apartments facing both streets. The revised plans show 80 underground parking spaces for residents and 114 surface parking spots behind the structure...   ...more

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Dairyland Power Cooperative
We will power our communities and empower cooperative members
to improve the quality of their lives.
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The Green New Deal as Economic Development

It can create millions of jobs. It can compensate old-economy workers who lose theirs. It can rebuild America.

Of all the campaign slogans that helped Democrats win formerly Republican-held offices in the 2018 midterm elections, the only memorable one—that of Gretchen Whitmer, who was elected governor of Michigan—was perhaps the bluntest: Fix the damn roads.
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Once thought to be contaminated, Janesville riverfront site given the all-clear for development

JANESVILLE, Wis. - A property along the Rock River near downtown Janesville is ready for development, according to the city`s economic development director, Gale Price. 

Price said the site, which is the former home of the Rock County Jail and an automotive workshop, was thought to have contaminated soil.

"We were worried about things like PCBs or PFAS (per-and polyfluoralkyl substances)," Price said. "That stuff that takes an incredibly long time to clean up."

But Price said the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has found the site has only a small issue with very minor contaminants...

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Ken Notes: Good news... Economic re-development is so much better that finding a farm field somewhere. This is where we can really get more bang for our buck when it comes to grants, TIF, and tax incentives...

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Matt Wachter to lead city`s Planning, Community and Economic Development Department

Following a national search, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway on Wednesday named Matt Wachter to lead the city’s influential Planning, Community and Economic Development Department.

Wachter, who currently manages the city’s Office of Real Estate Services, was chosen from a field of 28 candidates and three finalists that also included Justice Castaneda, executive director of nonprofit Common Wealth Development, and Eric Shaw, an adviser in community planning and capacity building for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

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Ken Notes: Hey Matt CONGRATS! and when can you be a guest on Development Matters!

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Weed dispensary set to open just across Wisconsin-Illinois state line; what police want you to know

SOUTH BELOIT, Ill. - A marijuana dispensary is set to open near the beginning of the new year in South Beloit, Illinois. 

The move comes after Illinois lawmakers approved a bill to legalize recreational marijuana statewide.

South Beloit Mayor Ted Rehl said he sees the move as a chance for economic growth.

"Our thought process is purely economic development," Rehl said. "(The owners) approached us. For us, we never even entertained the thought of saying no."

Yet, while marijuana will be legal in Illinois, law enforcement officers are reminding people it still won`t be in Wisconsin. 

"We all recognize there will be Wisconsin residents that will go down to Illinois and are going to purchase marijuana down there," said Rock County Sheriff Troy Knudson...

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Ken Notes: No doubt there will be a robust Patrol business in Wisconsin searching cars coming back into the state which is interesting because I do not know of any Illinois officers looking for Spotted Cow coming into their state. I have been talking about destination retail, this is definitely going to make the list. I wonder if Illinois will place "Open for Busniss" signs on the border???

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$47.5M apartment purchase in Fitchburg continues Weidner`s Wisconsin growth

Weidner Apartment Homes continues to expand its presence in Wisconsin with the recent $47.55 million purchase of 285 apartments in Fitchburg from Fiduciary Real Estate Development Inc. 

Based in the Seattle area, Weidner over the past two years has been buying a portfolio of Wisconsin apartments, including more than 1,100 and counting in the Milwaukee area. Its latest acquisition is the The Vue at Pinnacle Park, at 1300 Post Road in Fitchburg....

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Ken Notes: That is north of 160K per unit, we are going to make it just too expensive to live in or near Madison...

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Dane County revisiting cost estimates for Alliant Energy Center`s Exhibition Hall expansion

Financial estimates from an engineering firm overseeing the redevelopment of the Alliant Energy Center campus indicate the cost of expanding Exhibition Hall could be approximately $130 million.

A master plan released in December 2018 estimated that the cost of expanding Exhibition Hall at $91 million. That plan also estimated the full cost of the first phase of redevelopment to be $109 million, which has now increased to $177 million, according to Strang, Inc. ..

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Ken Notes: My concern is not to price ourselves out of the market for the events we currently have there...

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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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...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News

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Gener8tor invests $400K in Wisconsin startups born from its inaugural Accelerator Studio

Wisconsin startup accelerator gener8tor recently announced the four companies that were born from its inaugural Accelerator Studio, a program designed to build startups from scratch using only Wisconsin-based entrepreneurs.

The companies were created during the four-month program that began in August, when entrepreneurs worked with members of gener8tor to develop a unique product or service.

Each startup received a $100,000 investment from gener8tor as part of the program and will pitch their company to the public on Dec. 17 during gener8tor’s Premier Night in Milwaukee...

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Ken Notes: Read this! We are spending billions on Foxconn, when for far less we might grow the next EPIC, HD, Kohls, Forte, Kohler, Lands End, Johnson Controls, Menards, Trek, Culvers, Schneider, Oshkosh Truck, Schreiber Foods, Carmex, AmFam, NWMutual... And that`s just off the top of my head...

Why not offer a corporate tax credit for new jobs that pay more than say 50K, We do this now for dozens of companies but we pick and choose the winners. Let the market determine who wins and then help these companies grow.

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Evers signs bill ending 5-county Miller Park tax

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers has signed a bill ending a five-county tax that was instituted in 1996 to pay for construction of Miller Park in Milwaukee.

The 0.1% sales tax has been in effect in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha and Racine counties. About $600 million has been collected the past 23 years to pay for construction and interest costs at the stadium that’s home to the Brewers and opened in 2001....

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States Turn to Programs, Legislation to Boost Conservation Funding
Wisconsin`s wetlands are in trouble. Soil experts have estimated that the state once held about 10 million acres of the habitat, which supports 75% of local wildlife, but human development has reduced that area by roughly half. Last year, Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a construction-friendly bill that removed state protections on some 1 million acres, and in September, the Trump administration rolled back Clean Water Act protections, a move the state`s Secretary of Natural Resources said could threaten rare plant life, important fish species and drinking water quality...

See Also:

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Ken Notes: I strongly support the efforts to place our wetlands and forests in public trusts or private land conservancies. What if we took the current wetland offset program and exponentially increase the ratio. Also I would encourage individual and corporate landowners to consider donations to one of these entities. I can not think of a better memorial than leaving nature to generations to come. Wisconsin did make the top ten list of States With the Best Natural Environment at number ten. Lets see if we can move up the list.

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11-23-19 – Development Matters
Phil Sveum - Coldwell Banker Success

11-23-19 – Development Matters – Hour 1

Phil Sveum - Coldwell Banker Success calls host Ken Harwood to discuss the Terravessa development in Fitchburg, smart code zoning, the cost of housing relative to real estate development and ideas to reduce cost....
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Notes:Great interview... Great project!

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Wisconsin Dells developer eyes hotel, conference center next to Ikea in Oak Creek

A hotel and conference center development could be in the works on land Northwestern Mutual controls south of the Ikea store in Oak Creek.

Oak Creek’s Common Council on Tuesday will consider a development agreement with an affiliate of Wisconsin Dells hotel operator Stand Rock Hospitality for that land. Separately, city officials have studied the potential for a new conference center on a portion of the vacant property between Drexel Avenue and the Ikea store.

A source familiar with the discussions confirmed an event center would be part of the newest proposal....

See Also:

Wilderness Resorts Developer Plans 2 Hotels Near Oak Creek IKEA

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Ken Notes: Destination is the the new face of retail.

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Truckstar set to break ground on expansion

Truckstar Collision Center has cleared its final hurdles with the Village of Deerfield, allowing it to soon break ground on a nearly $3 million expansion project.

On Nov. 25, the Deerfield Village Board gave unanimous, conditional approval to a financial package for Truckstar involving Hometown Bank. The conditions related to finalization of language by the village attorney. At a subsequent, Dec. 2 meeting, Village President Greg Frutiger announced that the financing had been signed with the bank...

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Fitchburg restaurant Quivey`s Grove goes up for sale

Quivey’s Grove, the restaurant housed in two historic buildings in Fitchburg, celebrates its 40th anniversary next year.

This week, owners Deirdre Garton and Craig Kuenning are putting it up for sale.

“Craig and I are both 70 and above, that’s basically it,” said Garton, an attorney whose late husband, Joseph W. Garton, founded Quivey’s Grove in 1980. “We’re ready to retire, call it a day.”...

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Ken Notes: Always one of my favorites...

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The Gialamas Company







 “Founded in 1976 by George and Candy Gialamas, The Gialamas Company specializes in Class A Commercial Real Estate. Old Sauk Trails Park, is one of the most prestigious business parks in Wisconsin; containing numerous office buildings supplemented by restaurants, hotels, financial institutions, a childcare facility and a walking/jogging trail system....
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Milwaukee`s Homeless Encampment Is Ending To Make Room For Development

Residents Were Served An Eviction Notice In October, But Some Are Hesitant To Leave

Under one of Milwaukee`s major interstates and near high-traffic exit ramps, dozens of the city`s homeless residents have created dwellings out of tents and tarps, held down with rocks and other objects.

The encampment, know as "Tent City," is coming to an end. State transportation officials have asked residents to leave. But recently, more than 20 tents were still there covered in snow.

Tent City has been a part of Milwaukee for at least two years. There have been up to 80 people of different ages and races living there at times, and nonprofit organizations and others provide services like meals, showers, toiletries, bus passes and even money.

Michael Pyritz, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation southeast region communications manager, said there`s one big problem with that....

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Ken Notes: Imagine these same people building a micro village to wonderful architectural standards, well insulated, densely populated, with running water and sewer. Spend no more than 10K per unit which is enough (I can send you a materials list). Let them develop community rules and require that they maintain the site, inspected regularly. The units would be built using the Habitat model, so sweat equity, ownership, and experts working alongside to ensure quality structures. The economic outlay would most likely cost LESS that the tent communities cost now.

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MillerCoors Jobs Could Be In Milwaukee By June, But Exact Number Still Unclear

State, Company Offer No New Details On How Many Positions, Tax Credits

The parent company of MillerCoors is planning to move office jobs from Denver to Milwaukee by June 2020 as they continue to find ways to compete in the changing brewing industry.

Local, state and company officials gave a brief update on Molson Coors` plans Monday during a press conference at the Miller brewery in Milwaukee.

They offered no new information, however, on the exact number of jobs coming to Milwaukee, or how much the state would be providing in tax incentives to bring those jobs to the city.

See Also:

‘Great benefits:’ Molson Coors says it will soon bring hundreds of jobs to Milwaukee

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Ken Notes: Again I liked Missy Hughes comments in the article...

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Southwest Wisconsin faces `perfect storm` of housing development challenges

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The chief executive of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority says rural sections of the state are facing a “perfect storm” of challenges that impede housing development.

“We have rents that are not supporting debt,” said Joaquin Altoro. “Sometimes, developers are not flocking to communities to develop them. Finding labor to build has been tough.”

But the obstacles are not insurmountable, he said, and within the next year, state officials aim to develop a buffet of resources to assist municipalities that face the problem.

Altoro joined more than 50 elected officials, financial advisors, housing developers and economic development leaders at a public listening session Monday at Platteville Public Library, one of several visits he is making across the state.

WHEDA provided millions of dollars in tax credits for two major Platteville developments...

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Ken Notes: The only solution will be to create smaller less expensive units. Right now developers are finding the profit margins are far greater in larger apartments and homes.

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Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Releases Latest Research On Net Economic Impact Of Trails In Wisconsin During Ceremony For 2019 Rail-Trail Champion Awa

MILWAUKEE, Dec. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In the city that is the center point of the Route of Badger, southeastern Wisconsin`s 700-mile landmark regional trail network and a Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) TrailNation™ project, RTC today released the latest data about the health and economic benefits that trails deliver to the state.

A state-based analysis of RTC`s report, Active Transportation Transforms America, found that the net economic impact of trails and active transportation annually in Wisconsin is as much as $1.5 billion, including direct trail user spending of $686 million and health costs avoided of $833 million.....

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Ken Notes: No doubt the trails are great for the state, I do get nervios when I see the numbers because they are often manufactured to tell a better story... i.e. health costs avoided of $833 million...

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Salvation Army moves one step closer to proposed downtown Madison campus

The Salvation Army moved one step closer this week to its goal of transforming the area located at 630 E. Washington Ave. from being a standalone, drop-in shelter for women and families into a larger campus that includes affordable housing and services.

On Monday night, the Madison Finance Committee approved $500,000 from the city’s Affordable Housing Fund to help pay for a proposed 44-unit apartment building that would be on the portion of the campus located along East Mifflin Street...

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CUNA Mutual Group to tear down circular Mineral Point Road building

Madison-based CUNA Mutual Group hopes to tear down its well-known circular building on the West Side and replace it with an up-to-date building about four times the size.

CUNA Mutual would replace the building at 5810 Mineral Point Road, near Whitney Way, with a five-story, 230,000-square-foot building. The new facility would house a customer center, dining center, an auditorium, meeting spaces of various sizes and underground parking.

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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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InSinkerator`s Wisconsin Office Enables Research and Design
The world’s largest manufacturer of garbage disposals and instant hot water dispensers wanted a modern, state-of-the-art work environment that would optimize productivity and help attract and retain employees.

The 87,000-sq-ft building was created to house 175 engineers and staff on more than 11 acres in the suddenly hot manufacturing town of Mount Pleasant, Wis. It was designed with unobstructed views of the lab testing facilities from nearly every part of the structure. Acoustic ceiling baffles were installed for noise and vibration control...

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Ken Notes: Mount Pleasant has a great story to tell... In fact call me, I have a radio show and you can share your secrets with the rest of us...

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Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association Welcomes Governor Tony Evers for an Exclusive Facility Tour
Companies that adopt sustainable and conscious business practices are the industry’s jumpstarters for change. However, until these companies earn the attention of state government, not much is likely to change industry-wide. A member of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA), Eau Galle Cheese Factory, is engaging local government in order to address challenges and opportunities present in the dairy industry. This past Friday, Eau Galle hosted Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to its production facility for an exclusive tour and discussion...   ...more

Ken Notes: Cheese is a great industry for the state, I remain concerned that we are loosing a substantial number of smaller farms each year yet are milking more cows than ever due to CAFO`s.

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Madison Finance Committee gives nod to Milwaukee developer for Truman Olson site

Milwaukee-based developer Brandon Rule’s proposal to build a grocery store and rental housing at the vacant Truman Olson site on South Park Street gained approval from Madison’s Finance Committee Monday.

The proposal, recommended by city staff over three other projects, moves on to the City Council for final approval consideration Dec. 3.

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Legal troubles pile up for local food entrepreneur Jonny Hunter

Lawsuits and back taxes haunt Underground ventures

The September closing of Forequarter, Underground Food Collective’s flagship restaurant, appears to be the tip of the iceberg.

This week, Underground Butcher, the collective’s deli and butcher shop on Williamson Street, announced on Instagram that it would be closing permanently on Dec. 15.

Additionally, Jonny Hunter, co-founder and public face of Underground Food Collective, is mired in a number of legal battles with investors, state regulators and suppliers.

Hunter is currently a defendant in several lawsuits involving the Underground Food Collective — a vernacular, umbrella name that encompasses several LLCs, including Underground Catering LLC, Badger Meats LLC, Middlewest Restaurant LLC and Underground Kitchen and Delicatessen LLC...

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Ken Notes: He had a very cool idea but seems to have oversold the ventures. This may be an opportunity for an established company to take over because there were some great ideas here. Foodfight???

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Uline proposes $130 million investment in Kenosha

KENOSHA, Wis — Uline wants to construct two more buildings in the Kenosha area that would cost about $130 million, our news partners at the Wisconsin Business Journal reported.

If the plan goes through, Uline would increase it`s number of employees from 700 to 1,050 in the property west of Interstate 94...   ...more

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Jenifer Street Market owner vows to fight for store with neighborhood support

About 50 near east-side residents gathered at the Goodman Community Center on Thursday night to get an update on the fate of a beloved neighborhood business, the Jenifer Street Market. 

“There’s a lot of things going around out there that are stories that are somewhat damaging to the store. I’ve heard stories that we’re closing at the end of the year and I want you all to know that’s not true,” Steve McKenzie, owner of the Jenifer Street Market, told those gathered for a meeting of the Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara (SASY) Neighborhood Association.

“I still have a lease. They’re going to have to honor it,” he said. “And again we’re going to do everything we can to make sure we’re there and we’re also asking for your help in that area. We are doing everything we can to try to buy the property.” ...

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Ken Notes:Was always one of my favorite places to shop when I lived downtown...

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IPR (Integrated Public Resources) / McMahon Associates


As an affiliate of McMahon Associates, Inc., IPR provides Public/Private Partnership (P3) opportunities for a vast array of projects in small to medium-sized communities, as well as offering Municipal Administrator Services to local governments on an as-needed basis... and... A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News   ...more

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U.S. Gain Purchases Digesters at Two Wisconsin Dairy Farms

APPLETON, Wis., Dec. 02 /CSRwire/ - U.S. Gain®, a leader in development, procurement and distribution of renewable natural gas (RNG) announces the purchase of anerobic digesters at two Wisconsin dairy farms, S&S Jerseyland Dairy LLC and Dallmann East River Dairy LLC, to expedite RNG development for the transportation and energy markets.

U.S. Gain is currently coordinating installation of biogas clean-up equipment at both dairy farms to strip the impurities from the biogas, so it can be injected into the natural gas pipeline system. Next, U.S. Gain will pursue RNG certification through both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) so they can distribute through private natural gas fueling stations, their own GAIN Clean Fuel® network and other non-transportation outlets....

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Ken Notes: I ran this story in WDNGreen but it bears repeating, we should do this on more CAFO`s across the state.

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Greenfield Development Might Be `Too Close` To Neighbors

GREENFIELD, WI — According to Greenfield Plan Commission documents, developer James Heffernan submitted an application to build 88 apartment units within 11 buildings on a 12-and-a-half acre plot of land in Greenfield.

The project would be located on a roughly 12-acre plot of land located between W. Holmes Ave. and W. Edgerton Ave. with S. 124th Street to the West. Whitnall Middle School is located due east of the project site. The site, notably, is sandwiched between a block`s worth of single-family homes...    ...more

Ken Notes: This is the catch 22 when property values require significant density to offset the development costs. Downtown pricing brings downtown density....

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Danville releases photos to show Mill`s potential: rock climbing, zip-line, restaurants
DANVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- An architecture company have been working with Danville`s Office of Economic Development to figure out how the White Mill Building could be used in the future.

In an effort to rehabilitate the vacant 650,000 square-foot building, Architectural Partners developed a fly-through animation in order to best demonstrate the full potential of the White Mill....

A Wisconsin based developer, the Alexander Company is currently looking at the building....

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Ken Notes: WOW, talk about adaptive reuse! The video is fun...

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A Ringling secret remains in Baraboo

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) — Joe Colossa is eager to show off the Al. Ringling Mansion.

Its four floors and 40 rooms have seven fireplaces, 14 chandeliers and 67 original stained-glass windows.

A cabinet holds a full tea and china set from the Ringlings, cue sticks used by the famed circus family to play snooker still hang in the billiard room, and furniture from Ringling homes around the country are on display. There’s a roll-top desk used by Charles Ringling, Alf T. Ringling’s dining-room table and an old sewing box that was turned into a ticket box when Al., as a child, decided to set up his own circus with a few of his brothers....

....To aid in the construction of the brew pub, the city of Baraboo has received a $54,700 Community Development Investment Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

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Ken Notes: Al beer - I can`t wait!

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Disney+ streaming service plans sitcom set in Wisconsin

APPLETON (WKOW) -- Disney`s streaming service, Disney+, is developing a comedy set in Northeast Wisconsin.

Our Green Bay affiliate, WBAY, reports the series titled "The Biggest Star in Appleton" will feature Kristen Chenoweth. Chenoweth is an Emmy and Tony-award winning star.

Deadline reports will play a Wisconsin mom, wife and waitress who discovers small-town stardom in the community theater. She feels threatened when a struggling New York chorus girl moves to town.

WBAY said there`s no timeline for the series premiere and there`s also no guarantee the series will air on Disney`s streaming service.

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Ken Notes: This is funny because I used to watch William Defoe do plays in Appleton and Milwaukee thought he was great.

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Thank you!
Since it is Thanksgiving I wanted to take a second to thank my sponsors who make WisconsinDevelopment.com Possible.


Also welcome Kraus-Anderson, The first new sponsor for 2020.

My Current Sponsors are:

These companies are making a difference!
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Ken Notes: Please remember sponsors may not agree with everything I say but they support the conversation that will help keep Wisconsin pursuing the development projects and growth that makes us strong...

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MadREP News
Stay up to date by reading our MadREP Report, a bi-monthly newsletter that features regional economic development news, events and opportunities.


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Proposed Millennial Task Force Would Work To Limit Milwaukee `Brain Drain`

When Caroline Comstock graduated four years ago with a business degree from Marquette University, she was offered a good paying job at a Milwaukee-based company, and a lower-paying internship in Chicago.

She chose the internship.

Comstock is one of the hundreds of millennials that leave Milwaukee every year — and the city wants to form a task force to investigate how to stop the so-called "brain drain."

A 2019 report by the Milwaukee Office of Workforce Development found the city and the state of Wisconsin are struggling to attract and retain young, educated workers.

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Madison poised for deal with developer on Judge Doyle Square

After failing with two other developers, Madison is poised to strike a deal with Stone House Development that could lead to a $40 million piece of the massive Judge Doyle Square project Downtown moving forward on June 1.

The city is pursuing a redevelopment that would bring a hotel, apartments, commercial space and parking on blocks that hold the landmark Madison Municipal Building and aging Government East parking garage.

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One city’s small business scene continues to thrive

VIROQUA, Wis (WXOW) – As shoppers gear up for the start of the holiday season, area stores hope you’ll shop locally. With competition from online retailers, local stores must find new ways to appeal to customers.

City and state officials gathered in Viroqua to tour and promote the importance of small businesses.  All ahead of a traditional holiday event known as Small Business Saturday.

When it comes to small businesses, store owners in Viroqua know how it’s done. This, of course, with plenty of help from their supportive city hall.

Co-Owner of Kickapoo Coffee, Allison Sandbeck, appreciates the effort the city puts in to help these businesses succeed.

...The city started a pop-up shop program five years ago, and since then, 27 stores have opened their doors with a 72% success rate. State officials say those numbers are very promising, and that they want to use Viroqua as an example for other communities...

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Ken Notes: VIROQUA must have the magic sauce because it just keep growing. I love the pop-up program, Madison should try this...

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A Tight Job Market Insulates a Slowing Economy—and Perhaps Trump, Too

In Wisconsin, a key swing state, the president’s trade policies have hurt manufacturing and farming, but the unemployment rate remains low

ROSENDALE, Wis.—Nathan Wiese, a third-generation dairy farmer who is struggling to get by, says even if he has to close his family’s farm, he feels confident he could hire on as a truck driver and take home more money.

“If you want a job, you can get a job,” said Mr. Wiese, who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and plans to do so again. “I could probably get one in one day.”

Two...

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Economic Development Resources


Dane County ED





Got Moo-La?









APA WI

Madison Area Chambers -- New!

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Matalco Inc. has begun construction
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI—Aluminum-billet manufacturer Matalco Inc. has begun construction here on a new state-of-the-art plant. The $80 million project is expected to create 80 jobs over the next three years.The new 110,000-square-foot greenfield re-melt extrusion billet and slab manufacturing facility will produce more than 230 million pounds of aluminum billet per year.

“We welcome Matalco to Wisconsin and thank the company for its decision to expand its operations into our state,” says Tricia R. Braun, deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the state’s leading economic development organization...

...WEDC is supporting the project with up to $1.5 million in state income tax credits over the next three years, dependent on Matalco’s total investment and the number of jobs created. In addition to the 80 jobs expected to be created by Matalco, an economic modeling study estimates the project could indirectly generate 48 additional jobs in the region....
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Ken Notes: Interesting numbers, the per employee number is 18,750 not far from my proposal of 2K for ten year tax credit. The difference, any growing company could get my credit... I`m just saying... Anyway congrats...

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AT&T bringing 5G to Milwaukee, other cities, in first half of 2020

AT&T Inc. will include the Milwaukee metro in the group of cities that will receive its 5G cellular service by early 2020.

In the coming weeks, the Dallas-based company said it will roll out its 5G network in Indianapolis; Pittsburgh; Providence, Rhode Island; Rochester, New York; and San Diego market areas, but will launch in Milwaukee and several more markets in February 2020.

Other markets with the February launch include Boston; Las Vegas; New York City; San Francisco; Birmingham, Alabama; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Buffalo, New York; Louisville, Kentucky; and San Jose, California, according to a statement on Friday.

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Ken Notes: This is huge 5G is a game changer!!!

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First new hotel in Door County in almost 20 years breaks ground in Sister Bay

The Dörr Hotel, located at 2329 Mill Road, will be the first new hotel in Sister Bay in 17 years. The hotel developer Bayland Buildings Inc. broke ground on the new Door County hotel Dec. 3.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is supporting the Sister Bay hotel project with a $250,000 community development investment grant, according to a WEDC press release...

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Ken Notes: Wow this is surprising! It is a great place to visit. Of course it is a seasonal destination for many.

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Findorff - Character Community Craftsmanship
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Findorff, builders of Wisconsin`s finest projects...and ...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News

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AM Best Withdraws Credit Ratings of Wisconsin County Mutual Group Members
AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “bbb” of Community Insurance Corporation and Wisconsin County Mutual Insurance Corporation (both domiciled in Madison, WI), collectively referred to as the Wisconsin County Mutual Group (WCMG). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains negative. Concurrently, AM Best has withdrawn the ratings of WCMG at the company’s request to no longer participate in AM Best’s interactive rating process.

The ratings reflect WCMG’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strong, as well as its marginal operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM)...

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Ken Notes: This could be a huge problem for local governments it the state. A recession could do real harm here and successful lawsuits have hurt the company...

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Building Wisconsin jobs requires reimagining higher ed

As a mom, I remember sitting in the eighth-grade parents’ “Introduction to High School” presentation in our district. As Wisconsin’s former lieutenant governor, I remember the part about higher education options students could choose at the end of high school: university or traditional college, technical college or apprenticeship.

I was impressed. Not only had our school included technical college as a higher ed option, but apprenticeships, too. I felt our state government administration’s hard work evangelizing for recruits to the trades was finally paying off. But this week, which marks National Apprenticeship Week, reminds me that the job isn’t done yet.

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Ken Notes: Apprenticeship???

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Community, business leaders talk about future of Century City: Slideshow

Efforts are underway to bring more state and federal support to neighborhoods around Milwaukee’s Century City Business Park, where city officials are striving to attract more employers.

Joaquin Altoro, CEO of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, has several irons in the fire in that regard. He discussed them Wednesday during an event organized by the Wisconsin Policy Forum. That event focused on economic development efforts at the Century City Business Park at North 31st Street and West Capitol Drive...

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Ken Notes: Sort of like the who`s who in MKE...

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Stevens Point roundtable focuses on workforce

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WAOW)-- The Department of Worforce Development Secretary-designee hosted a roundtable Tuesday afternoon in Stevens Point.

Caleb Frostman along with Representative Katrina Shankland taking part in a discussion with more than 40 area local employers, workforce development, and representatives from area schools...

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Menasha Market opens new creative doors for the Fox Cities

A building that for many years went to the function of the community will now play host to its heart and spirit.

Menasha’s former City Hall is getting new life as a creative centerpiece in the Fox Cities. 

The community will get its first look at Menasha Market — One Forty Main during an opening celebration on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.  

It’ll serve as a place for creation, admiration, inspiration and some good, old fashioned commerce.

It’ll include a grocery and food court. Its first-floor space will feature an expansive year-round pop-up market. It’s a place for visitors to discover artists and bring home the works that speak to them. It’s a place for artists to reach a wider audience and draw some income from their efforts.

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JSD Professional Services
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JSD provides complete services in Planning & Development, Civil Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Water Resources, Landscape Architecture, Construction Services, Surveying & Mapping, and Environmental Services. Offices in Madison - Milwaukee - Kenosha - Fox Valley & Wausau.

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Rockwell Automation leads list of best-managed public companies in Wisconsin

Rockwell Automation Inc. is the most effectively managed public company in Wisconsin, according to the 2019 Drucker Institute Company Ranking, a premier measure of corporate effectiveness that`s compiled by the Drucker Institute, a unit of Claremont Graduate University.

The Drucker Institute grades U.S. companies whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq Stock Market based on the teachings of the late business guru Peter Drucker. Criteria include performance on financial strength, customer satisfaction, employee engagement and development, innovation and social responsibility...

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How high-speed trains were derailed

Listening to Derailed, Wisconsin Public Radio’s new podcast about the Milwaukee to Madison high-speed debacle, is a little like reliving junior high school or your divorce or the Packers in the Forrest Gregg era. It’s just as painful as those things, but it’s actually worth remembering what happened to the train because the story helps identify what’s at the heart of our current troubles in the state as well as nationally and even on the international stage. Fundamentally, this is a story about hurting everyone in the state just because rural folks were willing to take a small hit as long as the urban folks took a bigger hit...

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Ken Notes: Dave is on a roll! The train should have been presented as an economic development engine from day one. It was not and we lost out. But Dave what can we do moving forward!!! We do still need to improve the system in Wisconsin...

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Bethesda Opens New Development Studio In Madison, Wisconsin

Bethesda softworks opened up a brand new development studio this week as Roundhouse Studios has been founded in Madison, Wisconson. The studio has been put together with figureheads from Human Head Studios, with a collective braintrust that has worked on RPGs, shooters, action-adventure games, and more. Some of the games to their name are Prey, Dead Man’s HandRune, Rune II, Lost Within, Batman: Arkham Origins, and BioShock Infinite. No word yet on what the team will be working on as their first project, which we’re guessing will be a couple years down the road. Here’s a couple quotes from the press release...

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Doc`s Smokehouse is taking long-vacant Granite City space

A small Midwest barbecue restaurant chain with a focus on hickory-smoked meats, craft beer and bourbon plans to open in mid-December at West Towne Mall in the spot that`s been vacant since Granite City abruptly abandoned it two years ago.

Doc`s Smokehouse & Craft Bar founder Brent Brashier opened his first Doc`s restaurant in 2016 in Dyer, Indiana, a southeastern suburb of Chicago....

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Ken Notes: WDNews relies on the actual journalism provided by your local media outlets. Without these partners we can not bring you the unbiased news, leads and updates you need to thrive in Wisconsin. Support your local media...

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Kroger-Ocado Plan Customer Fulfillment Center In Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
The Kroger Co. and Ocado, one of the world`s largest online grocery retailers, plans to open a Customer Fulfillment Center in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.

The Pleasant Prairie CFC will measure 350,000 square feet and is expected to create up to 400 new jobs. The CFC will become operational 24 months after the site breaks ground and will serve customers in Wisconsin, northern Illinois and northwest Indiana.
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Tony Evers signs hemp bill into law, updates state program for farmers, growers and retailers

Gov. Tony Evers has signed into law a bill that aims to assist farmers, processors and retailers in the state’s rapidly expanding hemp industry.

The law, which Evers signed Tuesday, will bring the state’s hemp program more in line with the 2018 Farm Bill.

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Land and Space / Tom Daykin
Note: I changed the link here to Toms Twitter account. JS limits the number of articles I can read so I look at TD`s Twitter feed every week. I`ll Still include JS articles but after ten you need to subscribe.

I also updated the picture because, well Tom is getting old and development is taking it`s toll!!!

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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The Wisconsin Development Network
Our Current Publications:
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WisconsinApprentice
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Ken Harwood
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Editor [at] WisconsinDevelopment.com
608.334.2174
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WDN Notes...
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. 

Click Here To Subscribe or add Friends and Colleagues... WDN si Available free thanks to our SPONSORS...  Why I publish WDN...  WDGreen Environmental News From a Business Perspective!
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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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