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

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This Weeks Articles...

  1. WILL intends lawsuit against City of Madison over bird-safe glass ordinance
  2. Stella & Chewy’s to expand Oak Creek facility, add 245 jobs
  3. WisDOT announces $1.7 million to support Komatsu facility in Milwaukee
  4. Dane County committees continue review of jail contract changes
  5. Failed Partnerships And Vacant Buildings: Foxconn`s Wisconsin Commitment Remains At A Standstill
  6. UW Campuses Identify $5 Billion New Construction, Renovation Needs
  7. A $668 Million Initiative to Expand Broadband Availability to Unserved Wisconsin Homes and Small Businesses
  8. City Council OKs plan for hotel on Monument Square to open in June 2022
  9. Milwaukee is updating its downtown plan. Here`s a look at the 2010 plan`s proposed project sites -- and what`s happened since.
  10. 2 Wisconsin projects win Wood Design Awards
  11. Wisconsin has newfound clout in Congress in an area critical to the state`s economy: Agriculture
  12. Epic Systems employees battle management for more diversity and equity initiatives
  13. Gov. Evers, DCF: Announce Plan to Support Early Care and Education Providers, Partners, and Wisconsin Families
  14. Camping World Holdings Expands with New SuperCenter in Wisconsin
  15. Kraft Heinz pilots recycled plastic packaging for roofs
  16. Lumber prices hit record high, driving up construction prices in Wisconsin, around U.S.
  17. Developer plans 46 single-family homes and a clubhouse for the property surrounding Pewaukee`s St. Mary`s Church

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WILL intends lawsuit against City of Madison over bird-safe glass ordinance

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A conservative law group has filed a notice of claim Wednesday against the City of Madison regarding their bird-safe glass ordinance.

The Wisconsin Institute for Liberty and Law (WILL) argues that the city’s mandatory ordinance “undermines and violates” the state’s uniform building code, according to a news release.

WILL explained that by filing the notice of claim, it warns a lawsuit is coming against the City and that there is a 120-day timeline before it can begin.

The Madison Common Council adopted the ordinance in August of 2020, which mandates that all exterior construction and development activity for buildings over 10,000 square feet, skyways, and other glass features, must meet new “bird-safe glass treatment requirements.”...

See Also:

 Can Bird-Safe Glass Ever Become An Industry Standard?

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Ken Notes: Like Low E in the past, bird friendly glass will become the standard and costs will come down. Unlike Low E there is no cash benefit to installing it. I included a BISNOW article that talks about the details. My guess is that developers would be much less resistant if a small property tax credit were attached to the mandate...

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Stella & Chewy’s to expand Oak Creek facility, add 245 jobs

OAK CREEK — Premium dog food company Stella & Chewy’s LLC is planning a $67.7 million project that will expand its facility in Oak Creek and is expected to create 245 jobs during the next three years.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has authorized up to $2 million in state income tax credits over the next three years to support the expansion.

The actual amount of tax credits Stella & Chewy’s will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created, according to Wednesday’s announcement...

See Also:

Oak Creek`s Stella & Chewy`s To Get Tax Credits For Expansion

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Ken Notes: WEDC is in at about 8K per job. I like this number and it is in tax credits not up front investment which I also like, no jobs no credits.

I still wish we had a global policy for every new job at an established pay and benefits level. As it stands, we give select new and expanding companies credits, but others offering the same jobs and benefits get nothing. In my thinking a new job is a new job regardless if it is one or one hundred...

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WisDOT announces $1.7 million to support Komatsu facility in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE — The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) announced the new Milwaukee manufacturing facility and headquarters of Komatsu Mining Corp. will be supported by two Transportation Economic Assistance (TEA) grants totaling in $1.7 million.

One grant supports the construction of a railroad spur to provide rail access to Komatsu’s new facility in Milwaukee’s Harbor District. The second grant supports the reconstruction of a section of Kinnickinnic Ave. to allow trucks to access the Komatsu site.

In addition to the TEA grants, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has authorized Komatsu to receive up to $59.5 million in state tax credits.

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Ken Notes: Poor reporting here, the TEA grant is for a Rail Spur and new road construction to move equipment at the facility. Also they received TIF incentives for the project and there are projected 1,300 new jobs with the project, this means the state is offering 45K per job in tax credits. Again I am not a fan of the difference in amounts of credits available. 45K here 8K there and 0 for most new jobs -- this does not make sense to me...

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Dane County committees continue review of jail contract changes

Two Dane County committees will continue to discuss changes to a contract with a consultant on the $148 million jail redevelopment project that would add over $700,000 in fees.

The county`s Public Works & Transportation and Personnel & Finance committees previously recommended approval of two contract change orders and plan to continue discussion in a closed session Thursday at 5 p.m...   ...more

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Failed Partnerships And Vacant Buildings: Foxconn`s Wisconsin Commitment Remains At A Standstill

Foxconn`s Latest Plan Is A Partnership With Fisker Inc. To Manufacture Electric Vehicles

In late February, Foxconn executives announced plans to begin manufacturing electric vehicles for California-based start-up Fisker Inc.

Both companies said the collaboration will "revolutionize the automotive industry." They compared their work to the scientific discoveries of Isaac Newton. And hinted they could even manufacture the cars here in Wisconsin. 

The partnership announcement is the latest for the Taiwanese mega-manufacturer. It follows a string of high-profile announcements that have been abandoned by Foxconn or that have severely underperformed the company`s promises....

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Ken Notes: We can only hope that Fisker materializes into something but this is not on the fast track....

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UW Campuses Identify $5 Billion New Construction, Renovation Needs

UW System Administrator Says 185 Projects Requested By Campuses; Capital Budget Request Only Includes 28

University of Wisconsin System campuses submitted $5 billion worth in new building construction and renovation project requests to system leaders ahead of the 2021-2023 state budget process, but the plans might face resistance in the state Capitol.

Gov. Tony Evers has proposed $1 billion in new borrowing that includes a pared-down list of UW projects, but Republican leaders in the state Legislature have indicated that this is too much spending on construction.

During a briefing with reporters on Tuesday, Alex Roe, UW System senior associate vice president for capital planning and budget, said her office received 185 building and renovation requests from the state`s 13 universities and branch campuses...
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Ken Notes: I am a huge fan of the UW System and it`s contribution to the State and our economy. I wish we could develop a way of measuring the "value" of new projects and or develop more public private partnerships for projects. My favorite examples in Madison are the Morgridge Institute for Research and the University Research Park...

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A $668 Million Initiative to Expand Broadband Availability to Unserved Wisconsin Homes and Small Businesses
Charter has announced plans to deliver gigabit high-speed broadband to approximately 143,000 unserved Wisconsin homes and small businesses, as estimated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). As part of this effort, more than $668 million will be invested in Wisconsin, which includes an expected private investment of at least $500 million by Charter and more than $168 million in support won by Charter in the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity (RDOF) auction. You can view a map of the Wisconsin expansion here. The effort is part of the company’s recently announced expected investment of approximately $5 billion — offset by $1.2 billion in RDOF support — to expand Charter`s network to what the FCC estimates to be more than 1 million homes and small businesses in lower-density, mostly rural communities across 24 states that do not have access to broadband service of at least 25/3 Mbps...
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City Council OKs plan for hotel on Monument Square to open in June 2022
RACINE — A $33 million proposal to turn the abandoned Zahn’s Department Store building into the Hotel Verdant is once again moving forward, despite some difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to amend the original agreement with The Main Attraction, LLC, that should allow the project to be brought to fruition. The council discussed the matter in closed session before voting to amend the agreement with the developer. Wisconsin law allows municipalities to meet in closed session for negotiations.

“It is an exciting proposal that we have before us,” Mayor Cory Mason said. “We have all talked about the Zahn’s building for decades and what would become of it.”...
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Milwaukee is updating its downtown plan. Here`s a look at the 2010 plan`s proposed project sites -- and what`s happened since.

Milwaukee is updating its downtown development plan — so this is a good time to review the past decade since the last plan was created.

That 2010 plan, like its 1999 predecessor, included several sites where city officials envisioned major developments.

Some of those sites now house downtown`s larger commercial projects — while a few continue to languish...

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2 Wisconsin projects win Wood Design Awards
WoodWorks – Wood Products Council has announced the winners of its 2021 Wood Design Awards, which  include two projects from Wisconsin.

The awards celebrate excellence in wood building design and spotlight its continued rise in popularity across the U.S. Awards are an opportunity to recognize building designers for their skill and ingenuity, and to showcase projects that demonstrate the attributes of wood....

...National Winners (from Wisconsin)

Multi-Family Wood Design: Timber Lofts | Milwaukee, WI

DEVELOPER/OWNER: 234 West Florida St.
ARCHITECT: Engberg Anderson Architects
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Pierce Engineers
CONTRACTOR: Catalyst Construction

Jury’s Choice: Freedom House Expansion | Green Bay, WI

DEVELOPER/OWNER: Freedom House Ministries Green Bay
ARCHITECT: Berners Schober
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: raSmith
CONTRACTOR: Immel Construction
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Wisconsin has newfound clout in Congress in an area critical to the state`s economy: Agriculture
WASHINGTON – Wisconsin has lost decades of congressional seniority in recent years with the retirement of one veteran lawmaker after another.  

But despite that, it’s experiencing newfound congressional clout in an area of huge importance to the state: agriculture.  

Democrat Tammy Baldwin became chair in mid-February of the Senate subcommittee that oversees federal spending on food and farm programs...
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Ken Notes: I would love to see a focus on small Wisconsin farms, but ot may be too late...

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Epic Systems employees battle management for more diversity and equity initiatives
Epic Systems Corp., Dane County’s largest private sector employer, has quashed several employee efforts to promote a welcoming environment for employees of color, according to multiple employees.

The Verona-based electronic health records giant told employees to stop holding discussion groups relating to diversity, equity and inclusion during company time; stopped hosting what employees called a popular training session on identifying white privilege; and removed an employee from equity-related projects after the company said it detracted from her assigned duties....
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Ken Notes: EPIC may be among the most diverse color blind companies I have ever seen. They also allow their employees a huge amount of input in all aspects of the management and goals for the company. This can present a challenge when employees can become more focused on these issues than the mission at hand. This style of management becomes more difficult when your billion dollar campus sits empty as people work from home. I can not imagine trying to herd this group of the best and brightest, some who may not fully understand that in the end EPIC is a business...

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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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Gov. Evers, DCF: Announce Plan to Support Early Care and Education Providers, Partners, and Wisconsin Families
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers and Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Emilie Amundson signaled their intent to submit a plan with the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) to use the additional Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) award Wisconsin received.

Congress allocated additional funds for childcare to states through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. Wisconsin received roughly $148.8 million in CCDBG funds to offset the continued impact of the pandemic on costs associated with providing early care and education. The proposed plan will be submitted through the §16.54 process and reviewed by JFC before funds can reach early care and education providers and partners.   ...more

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Economic Development Resources









Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority

nwrpc.com
momentumwest.org
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grownorth.org
prosperitysouthwest.com
centergy.net
madisonregion.org
thenewnorth.com
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Camping World Holdings Expands with New SuperCenter in Wisconsin
Camping World Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CWH) (“Camping World”), America’s Recreation Dealer, today announced the opening of its newest SuperCenter in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

“We remain focused on expanding our footprint and gaining market share,” said Marcus Lemonis, CEO and Chairman of Camping World Holdings. “Our inventory teams have done an excellent job planning for the spring season and we have a wide assortment of RV and outdoor products readily available for the consumer.”

Camping World Holdings, the nation’s largest network of RV and outdoor lifestyle centric locations, currently owns and operates over 170 SuperCenters nationwide and a comprehensive ecommerce platform, specializing in RV sales and service, RV parts and accessories, outdoor lifestyle products and its entire portfolio of Good Sam products and services. From new strategic acquisitions, new store development and facility upgrades, the Company’s network will continue to expand and evolve while serving its customers` outdoor, RV and camping needs. The company has five locations in Wisconsin...
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Kraft Heinz pilots recycled plastic packaging for roofs
If this test works and the recycled material is as good as the conventional roofing, it could be a game changer for Kraft Heinz. It`s not clear how much flexible packaging the CPG company uses for its products annually. According to statistics on Kraft Heinz`s website, about 30% of its packaging as of 2019 fell into the non-recyclable category, including flexible plastic films or rigid plastic containers.

The company has several sustainability goals, including making 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025. To reach that goal, the brand is testing a recyclable and compostable paper cup for Macaroni & Cheese in the U.S., and in Europe plans to make its Heinz Ketchup bottles with recyclable food-grade PET plastic...

Dive Brief:

  • Kraft Heinz has installed new roofs made of recycled plastic packaging on manufacturing facilities in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and Holland, Michigan.

  • The food processing giant installed the recycled roofing boards in late 2020 and will monitor the recycled material`s performance versus conventional building materials with an eye to standardizing its use if the test goes well.

  • The recycled roof boards are 4 feet by 8 feet, and 94% of each board is made from post-consumer plastic and fiber. The company didn`t indicate how much of its factories` roofs have been covered in the recycled boards, but it`s certainly being put to the test. Beaver Dam saw a foot of snow in February, while Holland received more than 2 feet, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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Lumber prices hit record high, driving up construction prices in Wisconsin, around U.S.

Lumber prices are nearly four times the amount they were a year ago

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Homeowners and businesses across our area are feeling the pinch of lumber shortages.

In recent months, surveys have found that a little more than half of homeowners have made home improvements.

And Wisconsin, like many other places. the price lumber is at record levels, setting a new record this past Friday.
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Developer plans 46 single-family homes and a clubhouse for the property surrounding Pewaukee`s St. Mary`s Church

The village of Pewaukee has chosen a developer for the property surrounding St. Mary`s Church at 449 W. Wisconsin Ave.

At the Feb. 18 village board meeting, Sussex-based Cornerstone Development was picked to build 46 single-family homes and a clubhouse on the site.

"The board was very astute to the fact that the residents in that area really wanted a single-family residential area," said Village President Jeff Knutson. "Some of the proposals were single-family and two of them were multifamily. ... What (Cornerstone) offered as far as some of the extra money to offset costs for tearing buildings down and putting in sewer and water line, the board was very excited and interested in that."...

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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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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...

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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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"Our goal is to present a positive view of economic development in the State of Wisconsin”, Ken Harwood, Editor and Publisher.

WisconsinDevelopment is a positive look at economic development and commercial projects across the state. In WDNGreen we highlight pro-environmental developments and issues that make economic sense.

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Ken Harwood
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