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





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Foxconn’s delays might finally give Wisconsin the upper hand

The company is falling behind hiring goals and not building what’s described in its contract

During the 2018 campaign, Wisconsin’s governor Tony Evers criticized the Foxconn project as a bad deal, but a done deal: the bill offering the Taiwanese tech giant up to $4.5 billion in subsidies had been passed into law, and the state and local governments had already acquired land and started building infrastructure for what was supposed to be an enormous manufacturing facility. For good measure, outgoing governor Scott Walker, who aggressively wooed Foxconn and repeatedly touted the project in his failed reelection bid, signed lame duck legislation limiting his successor’s ability to oversee it. With so much already in motion, Evers said it was too late to change the project and instead promised to make the Foxconn deal work as best he could for Wisconsin taxpayers...

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Ken Notes: I am not a fan of the Verge but we must to read it to see how they spin the Foxconn story.

I have a crystal ball (which is appropriate because the Foxconn CEO has a sea goddess named Mazu). My ball is telling me Foxconn is going to use the renegotiation, lawsuits, bad press and protests to throw its hands in the air and walk away.

The republicans will of course blame the Governor, the Governor will say it was a bad deal, and the communities will be left paying for infrastructure that won`t get used or paid for. This is of course the wrong approach and would be terrible for Wisconsin. This is a business project and requires business thinking. The Communities and State should be willing to work with Foxconn while holding them to property value and jobs directly proportional to the investment they actually make (when Verona did the EPIC deal, I was on the council at the time, we structured the whole thing as pay as you go). Universities, Tech Schools, and communities should encourage their new goals to discover new technologies they can manufacture in the State. We should all stay out of the courts and at the table.

Finally we should tell our own story and help Foxconn tell theirs. I did suggest Christian Schneider was a representative of the national media when he wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post. Actually he was a former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist and spokesperson for DOT under the Walker Administration. That said we are still not telling the whole story so I will give you all some talking points.

Foxconn came to build big screen TV`s and cut a way too good deal with the communities and State. The price and any potential for profits fell out of the marketplace (a 55in 4K is $329 Walmart). Foxconn decided to slow down and look for a more profitable market. They bought a bunch of property around the State and announced that they would be developing a research arm in Wisconsin. They significantly downsized their project and slowed down the building process as well. Foxconn founder and CEO Terry Gou is running for president of Taiwan and may be a little less focused on Wisconsin. He said he is running in the 2020 election because a sea goddess named Mazu told him to "step up" for the people of Taiwan -- I kid you not read the article.

The bottom line is Wisconsin may or MAY NOT be screwed, but if are politically motivated instead of negotiating in good faith on behalf of the Wisconsin people and continue to tell the WRONG story we are sure to be left with an empty development site and a bunch of properties across the state for sale.... And the funny thing is Foxconn may very find it`s profitable niche in Wisconsin as a commercial property investor...

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Habitat for Humanity Proposes 62-Acre Wisconsin Development

Habitat for Humanity of Dane County is proposing its largest project yet, a 62-acre development that would be built in phases in Sun Prairie.

Habitat for Humanity of Dane County is hoping to embark on its largest project yet — a 62-acre development in fast-growing Sun Prairie that will include some 48 Habitat homes spread among four phases along with homes sold by traditional, for-profit home builders.

But as with any other developer, the opportunities for such large single-family-home projects could grow scarce as land prices rise with the Madison-area population and elected officials put more emphasis on denser, multifamily housing that is better for the environment and more amenable to mass transit.

While the 31-year-old Christian-rooted nonprofit has built more homes as part of a single project before, never has it taken on as much land as it has in the proposed Sun Prairie project...

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Ken Notes: I would love to see a project of this magnitude in the Madison area. If we could develop areas with true mixed socioeconomic development we could create a Madison that companies and individuals would flock to. Imagine a neighborhood where the restaurant service worker and CEO share the same parks, schools, and amenities.

To my development/builder readers please consider pledging your support to this project. We can build a better world one neighborhood at a time. You may want to consider using smartcode as a zoning base, this wold make planning much easier.

Let me know how I can help!!!

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Former Oscar Mayer property gets another redevelopment boost

Finding a new use for 1.8 million square feet of space doesn’t happen overnight. But the former Oscar Mayer plant, while still largely vacant, is slowly coming back to life.

The 72-acre property still has a long way to go. But there are signs of progress and hope for the site to become a hub for commercial, office, light industrial, cold storage and retail use along with entrepreneurs who make and sell their products.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. announced Wednesday that the city of Madison is receiving a $250,000 state community development investment grant designed to support the renovation and restoration of one of the buildings on the site, a 58,000-square-foot building constructed in 1939.

See Also:

Wisconsin officials say Oscar Mayer site is poised to be economic engine for the north side

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Ken Notes: Now we just need the developer how has pirchased the property to get creative. Also a question why dosen`t the quote, "Finding a new use for 1.8 million square feet of space doesn’t happen overnight." Apply to Foxconn as well as OM...

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City Council approves task force to study future of Madison`s four public golf courses

The City Council on Tuesday approved a task force to evaluate the future of Madison’s four public golf courses.  

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway proposed the task force last month after the Golf Enterprise Fund reported a historic loss of $863,320 for 2018. At the time, Rhodes-Conway said she was frustrated and concerned with the size of the loss....

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Ken Notes: You do not need a task force, you need an RFP to allow private entities to lease the courses for $1.00 or more and then maintain, and manage them and take the risks and yes, if they do a good job reap the rewards. The city should not be golf business. Since the management companies need to invest capital, I would allow them to lease for multiple years.

You get to pick the plan you like, you have NO risk, the courses are maintained and open, and the land is preserved. I see investors, country clubs, hotel groups, restaurateurs, and neighborhood group all looking at this...

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Madison City Council picks Gebhardt Development for Judge Doyle Square project

The Madison City Council on Tuesday chose Gebhardt Development over two other bidders to build a mixed-use tower above a parking structure that is nearing completion as part of the Judge Doyle Square project.

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‘It’s like building a small Wisconsin town from below the ground up’: Westlawn Gardens comes to life

The 75-acre site where Wisconsin’s largest public housing development once stood is roaring back to life.

About 1,000 mixed-income housing units are emerging at the new Westlawn Gardens on Milwaukee’s northwest side.

“It’s like building a small Wisconsin town from below the ground up,” said Paul Williams, Choice Neighborhood Initiative coordinator for the city Housing Authority. “It’s not just buildings. The total project cost includes the entire infrastructure — sewers, sidewalks, streets, street lighting, advanced storm water management, community gardens, playgrounds and parks.”...

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Ken Notes: Very cool, we should take a trip over to Milwaukee and check this out.

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Wisconsin Assembly passes 5G technology regulation bill
The Wisconsin Assembly has passed a bill that would limit the regulation of 5G, or “small cell,” technology.

The bill approved Tuesday now heads to Gov. Tony Evers for his consideration. The Senate passed the bill 25-5 earlier this month.

The proposal would set up a statewide regulatory framework for 5G networks, which promise to deliver the sorts of wireless speeds that are needed by new technologies such as autonomous vehicles and the “Internet of things.” Rather than large cell towers, 5G networks often rely on so-called small-cell nodes, which are connected by fiber optic cables and placed on traffic lights and other public property.

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Ken Notes: We are missing the boat! We need to sit down with all providers and systems developers and create a trade off between urban deregulation and rural Wisconsin access. We have one chance to develop the grid we need to bring all of Wisconsin into bandwidth nirvana and we are blowing it. I sat on the committee that did this in the past (20+ years ago) to bring internet access to our schools, now we need to use 5G to bring it to our rural communities and homes....

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Wisconsin High Court Reinstates Most Lame-Duck Laws
The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled late Tuesday to reinstate most of the GOP-controlled Legislature’s lame-duck laws limiting the powers of the new Democratic governor and attorney general, handing another significant victory to conservatives in the Badger State...

...The laws gave the Legislature the authority to appoint board members and restrict the governor from appointing the chief executive to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, a public-private jobs agency formed during Walker’s tenure...

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Ken Notes: This will be interesting, since funding for many of the departments the conservatives want to control crosses the Governors desk. I predict this will not end well. While this is way to graphic for my wife, remember in a pissing contest there are no winners if everyone gets wet. I do apologize but I could not come up with a better visual...

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Foxconn pouring concrete for Mount Pleasant LCD screen plant

Foxconn Technology Group started pouring the concrete foundations for its first major manufacturing facility in Mount Pleasant. 

That building, set for completion in late 2020, will also be the first LCD screen fabrication facility of its type in North America. It will have nearly 1 million square feet of building space, and its concrete foundation work will last through the summer, Foxconn said Wednesday. The first pour this week includes 65,000 cubic yards of concrete.

“The installation of foundations and footings comes after months of careful planning and preparation, which demonstrates Foxconn’s concrete commitment to advanced manufacturing in Wisconsin,” said Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn founder Terry Gou....


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Ken Notes: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Mark Twain 1895....

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SmartCode version 9-2 - Linked fixed...
The Current version is at the link...

The original SmartCode was released by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) in 2003, after two decades of research and implementation. It has been continually updated with input from scores of practitioners from numerous disciplines. Since 2004, the model code has been completely open source and free of charge....

SmartCode is a unified land development ordinance template for planning and urban design. Originally developed by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, this open source program is a model form-based unified land development ordinance designed to create walkable neighborhoods across the full spectrum of human settlement, from the most rural to the most urban, incorporating a transect of character and intensity within each.

It folds zoning, subdivision regulations, urban design, and basic architectural standards into one compact document. Because the SmartCode enables community vision by coding specific outcomes that are desired in particular places, it is meant to be locally calibrated by professional planners, architects, and attorneys....



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Ken Notes: I included a link to this last week but it was broken -- this one works and I will keep it at the bottom of WDNews for a while as a resource.

If there is enough interest I can put together a seminar on this and bring in some experts to explain it. Fitchburg is using SmartCode for an new subdivision in the community.

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Wisconsin Republicans appear nowhere near a deal on road funding
Republicans who control the state Legislature appear nowhere near a deal on how to fund roads.  

That became clear Wednesday when 10 Senate Republicans rolled out a plan to give counties and towns — but not cities or villages — a one-time infusion of cash to help pay for roads. Other Senate Republicans have not embraced the plan so far and GOP leaders from both houses said the idea should be considered outside of budget deliberations that are underway...

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Ken Notes: Segregated funds (i.e. Gas tax, fees, tolls, % of income tax), Score all the roads to prioritize, work with local communities, and create a long term bipartisan plan. Dare to dream!!!

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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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Wisconsin`s Proposed Senate Bill Can Have Far-Reaching Implications for Wisconsin Municipalities Creating Tax Incremental Financing Districts

What is a Tax Incremental Financing District?...

What Are The Proposed Changes?

While there are many advantages to TIDs, there is concern that TIDs increase the tax burden on citizens within the community. Governor Tony Evers` proposed budget, introduced as 2019 Senate Bill 59 on March 1, 2019, attempts to address this concern by proposing three changes to future TIDs. Those changes are:

  1. Capping the developer allocation to 20% of the NIR (currently, there is no statutory limit to the amount of NIR that can be allocated to a developer),

  2. Requiring TID project plans to include "stress tests" to test the "TID`s finances and feasibility under different economic situations, including a slower pace of development and lower rate of property value growth than expected in the TID," and

  3. Allowing cities and villages to transfer TID money to its general fund if the "city or village erroneously report a higher value increment for its TID by an aggregate amount of at least $50 million."...

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Ken Notes: I have been advocating for simpler TIF rules with stronger guarantees especially for smaller communities. These changes are anything but that. The stress test specifically would be both difficult and expensive for cities to complete. Also how do you develop infrastructure for a project with no specific project on the boards. We need a simple TIF program for smaller cities to help expanding or new businesses with a development agreement based incentive that is bank financed up front.

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Foxconn says it won’t just make TVs in Wisconsin but will also build servers and other electronics
Key Points
  • Foxconn says it plans to manufacture new and different electronics at its Wisconsin factory, beyond the televisions and display panels it was originally designed to manufacture.

  • The comments show how the U.S.-China trade war is changing electronics manufacturers’ way of conducting business.

  • The factory isn’t open yet and isn’t scheduled to be operational until next year.

Foxconn said this week that it planned to make servers, networking products and automotive central controls at its factory in Wisconsin, according to a report in Nikkei.

The plant, which is not operational yet, was originally focused on next-generation LCD displays for televisions and other similar products....

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Ken Notes: And for the record they are still not exactly sure what they will build. Give then time before scaring them a way or giving them an excuse to leave!!!

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The development that would boot Essen Haus

A proposed development requiring demolition of Essen Haus and another building has neighbors and preservationists concerned. For the most part they’re not worried about what’s coming down. They worry about what might be going up.

“This is an area where it’s pretty safe to say that people want the project done,” says Bill Fruhling, senior planner with the city’s neighborhood planning, preservation and design section. “It’s not one of those ones where, ‘We don’t want any development there.’ But it has to be the right project. It’s getting all the pieces to fit.”

McGrath Property Group’s five-floor mixed use project, to be called The East End, would include 153 apartments, 220 parking spaces and 11,000 square-feet of commercial space. Essen Haus and an adjacent building, 514 and 518 E. Wilson St., respectively, would be demolished. The Come Back Inn, 508 E. Wilson, would be retained and refurbished. Hotel Ruby Marie, 524 E. Wilson, on the corner with South Blair Street, is not part of the project....

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Ken Notes: One of my favorite areas in Madison. lets get this right!

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Tech platform that cuts record-keeping time in childcare wins 2019 Business Plan Contest
A Stoughton-based “voice assistant” platform that provides hands-free documentation to child care centers took home the grand prize in the 17th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.

Patricia Wooldridge, Brent Brenner and others created GrowthChart Records to dramatically cut time and effort devoted to record-keeping by childcare providers, this increasing time devoted to actual care. Brenner presented for Growth Chart Tuesday during the 2019 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee.

“GrowthChart has created an innovative platform to save time for certified childcare centers that are often recording data by hand on paper, which ties up professionals who could be caring directly for kids,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “It’s a subscription model that helps childcare centers and parents alike.”...

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Ken Notes: There are many good stories here! Congrats to the winners!

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Wisconsin needs more kids to take computer science. Can a Microsoft program help make that happen?

Grace Vanden Heuvel takes math courses online just for fun. She also likes to play music, especially percussion — “anything I can hit, bang or make noise out of.” She`s even written a few of her own compositions.

But at age 15, she has one other important distinction. She did something many other students in Wisconsin won’t get a chance to do: She completed AP Computer Science...

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Ken Notes: On line may be the answer here. A programmer tends not to be a good teacher and a teacher is often not a good programmer. The ability to learn and work online tends to work well with the skill set you are teaching. Also the best programmers look everything up online anyway...

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Facing possible trade war, Foxconn says it may broaden range of products made at Wisconsin factory

As it prepares for a possible U.S.-China trade war, Foxconn Technology Group reportedly said this week that it may expand the range of products at the Wisconsin factory it has begun building.

The development came as Foxconn, which draws more than half its revenue from Apple Inc., signaled that it could move iPhone production outside China, its main manufacturing base...

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Ken Notes: Let`s not show this article to the President because I can see the spin not. "My tariffs are good for the Nation, Foxconn said so"...

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Foxconn Fails to Reach Hiring Goals in Wisconsin Development Deal

Foxconn has missed major hiring targets in its Wisconsin projects, which may slow or even halt the closely-watched deal, according to a report from The Verge.

Foxconn’s proposed projects in Wisconsin have faced setbacks from the beginning. Criticized as a political push by outgoing governor Scott Walker, it now falls to Governor Tony Evers to watch the effects of the $4.5 billion in subsidies.

The corporation missed its mandated target to employ 260 people by the end of 2018. According to Foxconn’s own year-end report, they employ 178 people, while a filing with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation at the end of 2018 showed 158 employees on the books. An investigative piece from The Verge in April found many Foxconn-owned offices and lots standing empty...

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Ken Notes: Remember this is a GOOD thing. Wisconsin is offering tax credits based on jobs, so if they staff for the work they have we are not paying them to hire needlessly.

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Largest logistics real estate development in Wisconsin unveiled in Kenosha County
Logistics Property Company, LLC (LPC) and its partners at FCL Builders (FCL) worked through the winter to unveil 94 Logistics Park. According to a news release, it is the largest logistics real estate development in Wisconsin.

LPC has 225 acres under control in Kenosha consisting of over 3.5 million buildable square feet. The project is in close proximity to a 1.5 million square foot Amazon fulfillment and sortation center and just six miles south of the $10 billion Foxconn manufacturing facility...



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Ken Notes: OK I would say even nicer things about this project, but they forgot my invitation to the Game of Thrones-themed unveiling, or open house with a cheese curd and bratwurst eating competition, where two winners were crowned HRH King and Queen of the Castle. And for the record "You don`t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could`ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am....

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Business community packs 2019 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee: Slideshow

Hundreds of members of Wisconsin`s entrepreneurial and economic development communities are converging on Milwaukee this week for the 17th annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs` Conference.

The two-day conference, which started Tuesday, continues Wednesday at Venue Forty Two in the Pabst Brewery neighborhood....

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New industrial development to open in Kenosha County
A new development in Kenosha County hopes to bring more business to southeast Wisconsin. 

"It gives companies that are in southeast Wisconsin the ability to stay in southeast Wisconsin, but also users who see the advantage of moving from Illinois to Wisconsin, a place to call home," Aaron Martell, Executive Vice President of Logistics Property Company. 

Logistics Property Company is building a 750,000 square-foot facility just west of I-94 in Kenosha. Officials say businesses can take advantage of being close to Chicago and have the opportunity to expand to other buildings on site...

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Ken Notes: It is interesting to watch Kenosha, Waukesha, the Madison Burbs, Brown county, La Crosse, and other communities quietly grow while controversy grab all the headlines...

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New Wisconsin angel group is lead investor in Pyran

Madison startup raising pre-seed round

Madison-based renewable chemical startup Pyran LLC has received a $120,000 investment from new angel investor group Wisconsin River Business Angels.

Established a couple of years ago and based in Plover, WRBA is a subsidiary of Midwest Wealth Ventures LLC. This is its second startup investment, having last year invested in Madison personal finance software firm CountAbout. It also recently invested in gener8tor Fund VII, said Leon Ostrowski, chairman of MWV.

Pyran makes a compound that can be used to make environmentally-friendly paint and plastic chemicals. The technology, which uses catalytic engineering to convert a feedstock derived from corncobs, was developed by University of Wisconsin student Kevin Barnett and his professor, George Huber, with a three-year, $3.3 million U.S. Department of Energy grant that concluded in April 2018. The company was formally established in 2017 as part of gener8tor’s gBETA program, said Barnett, president. It has also received a total of $675,000 in funding from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the SBIR program since inception...

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$30M rehab of former Reuss Federal office adds to West Wisconsin Avenue activity

The cobalt blue 310W office building on West Wisconsin Avenue is in the midst of a $30 million retooling that will update common areas, add a tenant lounge with a golf simulator and bring new retailers opening onto its ground floor plaza.

Some of that work has already begun as owner Time Equities Inc. of New York City seeks to fill about 400,000 square feet in the building. About $15 million of the rehab is slated for commons areas, and the remainder is to build out vacant spaces for new tenants, said Brad Gordon, director of acquisitions....

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Report ranks Wisconsin 7th in nation for economic well-being of children

A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks Wisconsin 7th in the country for economic well-being of children, but a state group called Kids Forward says that high ranking “masks significant racial and ethnic disparities.”

The report details improvement in a number of measures. Fewer children in the state are living in households with “heavy housing cost burdens,” and fewer children are living in homes where no parents are working.  

But the percentage of Wisconsin children without health insurance has been largely unchanged since 2010. While the state used to be ranked in the top five states for this measure, it’s now ranked 18th in the country...    ...more

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State Budget Committee Rejects Major Building Projects In Milwaukee, La Crosse

The state Legislature’s budget committee approved $1.9 billion for state construction projects Tuesday night, but two closely watched building proposals were denied funding.

Under Gov. Tony Evers’ capital budget plan, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse`s new Prairie Springs Science Center would have received $83 million for a second phase of construction, and in Milwaukee, a new state office building would have received $98.5 million...

Read this article and the comments...

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Ken Notes: Tough calls and politics is way to much in the middle. We need a Capital Budget based on priorities with a funding cap...

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Verona pantry redirects wasted food to worthy sources, from soup to nuts

The job looked simple enough. Scoop soup from a big white bucket into smaller plastic cartons. Pop on a lid, heat-seal each one. Slap on a label. Easy! I reached for the stack of cartons...

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Ken Notes: I have volunteered here and just want to mention the Kasieta`s are the most dedicated public servants I have ever met. They work with the providers and are there preparing the food plus they chair the board. They turned 85K into 450K meals. They treat volunteers like precious gifts and the people that eat there like welcome guest at a fine restaurant. Bob, Marcia Thank You. And if you are reading this drop them a note of thanks...

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 “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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Wisconsin`s Proposed Senate Bill Can Have Far-Reaching Implications for Wisconsin Municipalities Creating Tax Incremental Financing Districts

What is a Tax Incremental Financing District?...

What Are The Proposed Changes?

While there are many advantages to TIDs, there is concern that TIDs increase the tax burden on citizens within the community. Governor Tony Evers` proposed budget, introduced as 2019 Senate Bill 59 on March 1, 2019, attempts to address this concern by proposing three changes to future TIDs. Those changes are:

  1. Capping the developer allocation to 20% of the NIR (currently, there is no statutory limit to the amount of NIR that can be allocated to a developer),

  2. Requiring TID project plans to include "stress tests" to test the "TID`s finances and feasibility under different economic situations, including a slower pace of development and lower rate of property value growth than expected in the TID," and

  3. Allowing cities and villages to transfer TID money to its general fund if the "city or village erroneously report a higher value increment for its TID by an aggregate amount of at least $50 million."...

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Ken Notes: I have been advocating for simpler TID rules with stronger guarantees especially for smaller communities. These changes are anything but that. The stress test specifically would be both difficult and expensive for cities to complete. Also how do you develop infrastructure for a project with no specific project on the boards. We need a simple TIF program for smaller cities to help expanding or new businesses with a development agreement based incentive that is bank financed up front.

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Wisconsin`s Proposed Senate Bill Can Have Far-Reaching Implications for Wisconsin Municipalities Creating Tax Incremental Financing Districts

What is a Tax Incremental Financing District?...

What Are The Proposed Changes?

While there are many advantages to TIDs, there is concern that TIDs increase the tax burden on citizens within the community. Governor Tony Evers` proposed budget, introduced as 2019 Senate Bill 59 on March 1, 2019, attempts to address this concern by proposing three changes to future TIDs. Those changes are:

  1. Capping the developer allocation to 20% of the NIR (currently, there is no statutory limit to the amount of NIR that can be allocated to a developer),

  2. Requiring TID project plans to include "stress tests" to test the "TID`s finances and feasibility under different economic situations, including a slower pace of development and lower rate of property value growth than expected in the TID," and

  3. Allowing cities and villages to transfer TID money to its general fund if the "city or village erroneously report a higher value increment for its TID by an aggregate amount of at least $50 million."...

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Ken Notes: I have been advocating for simpler TID rules with stronger guarantees especially for smaller communities. These changes are anything but that. The stress test specifically would be both difficult and expensive for cities to complete. Also how do you develop infrastructure for a project with no specific project on the boards. We need a simple TIF program for smaller cities to help expanding or new businesses with a development agreement based incentive that is bank financed up front.

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Wisconsin becomes first state designated for military spouse services
Erin Lange has been away from her husband for about three years.  That means three years without a partner, and three years without a dad for her 10-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son...

...Wisconsin is now the only state in the country designated as a Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone.  That designation comes from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is focused on connecting military families with resources.  Here in Wisconsin, those outreach efforts mainly target National Guard and reserve members who have settled here...

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Ken Notes: Great read -- great idea!!!

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Wisconsin Firms Team on Madison Office Deal

Wisconsin-based companies Compass Properties and Vario Equity recently acquired two Class A office buildings located in Madison, WI’s American Center Business Park.

The 4600 American Pkwy. and 5133 West Terr. buildings were purchased from American Family Insurance in an off-market deal for approximately $19 million, according to Compass Properties President Tyler Noel. American Family Insurance had recently completed an extensive capital improvement program at both properties.

Vario Equity, a recently formed, Madison-based private equity firm that invests in Wisconsin-based real estate assets, is the lessor of the properties. Compass will provide property management and development services...

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With WARF, Wisconsin remains a patent powerhouse: BTN LiveBIG

In 1925, an enterprising University of Wisconsin professor by the name of Harry Steenbock decided to buck an unofficial tradition of leaving university-based inventions and discoveries unpatented. With $300 from his own pocket, Steenbock filed for and was granted a patent for his process of using UV radiation to enrich foodstuffs with Vitamin D.

Wanting to help his fellow faculty and staff researchers protect their own patentable work, Steenbock and Harry L. Russell, dean of the College of Agriculture, and Charles Sumner Slichter, dean of the Graduate School, worked to create an organization that could serve as a patent holder for university work. Named for the 6 alumni who sat on its inaugural board, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, or WARF, was born.

Since its inception, WARF has helped shepherd a number of valuable ideas through the rigorous patent process, giving rise to funding that has helped the University of Wisconsin remain a leading research university...

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Ken Notes: WARF is one of Wisconsin`s greatest assets. I would love to see initiatives to keep the ideas closer to home but would not dream of getting in the way of this powerful economic engine. I even get nervous writing about WARF because I fear the day the legislature gets involved.

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Green Bay Packaging`s $160 million tax-exempt bond request would use half of state program`s 2019 funds

GREEN BAY - A proposed financing package for Green Bay Packaging Inc.`s new mill would tap more than half of the money available this year through Wisconsin`s industrial revenue bond program.

Green Bay`s Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday approved the company`s request for the city to issue $160 million in industrial revenue bonds. If approved by the Green Bay City Council, the request would be considered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., which administers the $300 million federal bonding program. 

The request will go before the Council later this month for final approval...

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Ken Notes: Since an IRB is paid back we may need to look into working with the Feds to expand the program.

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Committee set to complete revisions to Evers budget
The Legislature’s Republican-controlled finance committee prepared Thursday to finish revisions to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ state budget by inserting a middle-class tax cut into the spending plan before shipping the document on to the full Senate and Assembly.

The committee has been tweaking Evers’ budget since May. The panel is scheduled to wrap up its work Thursday. The only area left to address is state taxes. Republican leaders have been talking about adding a $400 million tax cut for the middle class to the budget since Monday but haven’t released any details...

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Ken Notes: I wonder if they remember he has a veto pen that works one line at a time...

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Booming economy brings new challenges

Better transportation and housing options are needed if the local economy is to continue in its fast-paced growth mode.

That was theme of Monday’s “Navigating the New Economy: the Booming Border” economic forum at Kenosha’s Civil War Museum.

While Kenosha County and much of the southeastern sector of the state have grown, with more companies relocating across the Illinois border, creating more jobs, the next phase of the growth should feature more transportation and housing to fulfill the needs of the people who have come into the region, a panel of state and local experts said...

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Ken Notes: ... and we are totally ignoring the need for housing that is affordable (not affordable housing) for service workers and entry level employees...

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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
...A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News

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Wisconsin Sees Growing Interest In Wind Production
Declining Costs, Federal Incentives Driving Factors

Wisconsin and the nation are seeing increased interest around wind energy. The declining cost of wind production and utilities that are pledging to reduce carbon emissions are playing a role in wind developments. 

In the Twin Ports, wind turbine shipments are expected to be up after a lull last year, according to Jayson Hron with the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. He said they`ve already seen two shipments of tower components. 

"In addition, the blades are coming in soon," he said. "We`ve got our first shipment expected in early June."...

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Ken Notes: now we just need to increase our production grid density so we do not have renewable sprawl...

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Chippewa Valley Eyeing Private-Public Partnership For Passenger Rail

Partnership Seen As Better Way Than Waiting For Government Action

The Chippewa Valley is taking a different approach to bringing passenger rail service back after an almost 60-year absence. 

There hasn’t been passenger train service from Eau Claire to St. Paul, Minnesota, since July 1963. 

Now, the West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition, which has existed for 20 years in the Eau Claire area, is developing its own private-public partnership that could bring passenger rail service from St. Paul to Eau Claire in the next three to five years. 

"We’re taking a more non-traditional approach to getting this service started," Scott Rogers, coalition chair, said. "But we think that will make it more successful and make it last for the long term."...

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Ken Notes: I love this idea but when I sat on Thompson`s Rail Advisory Board, we were constantly reminded that unlike roads, the rails are not public. To be honest it may be the single greatest mistake made in American history. OK one of the greatest, and we are working on new ones daily...

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Development starts on 300,000-square-foot Zilber property in Janesville

Zilber Property Group announced the development of an approximately 300,000-square-foot speculative industrial building in Janesville, Wisconsin, to be known as Zilber Industrial 1 at Janesville.

The building is located on an 18-acre land site at the corner of Beloit Avenue and Highway 11 that ZPG acquired as part of the transaction associated with the adjacent 489,000-square-foot industrial building, which was subsequently leased to Generac Power Systems. Zilber Industrial 1 represents ZPG’s on-going investment in southcentral Wisconsin and its first industrial development project in that market...

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Ken Notes: The I90 Corridor could be the perfect tool for Wisconsin development.

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Farming land surrounded by solar
A tattered American flag waved in Roger Millard’s front lawn amid sprawling Walworth County farmland.

For 28 years, Millard, 67, has lived in the quaint, two-story home off North Road about 3 miles northwest of the village of Darien.

“I wanted to live in the country,” Millard said. “I’m a farm boy.”...

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Ken Notes: See what I mean...

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EDITORIAL Keep focus, open mind on future of Oscar Mayer site in Madison

Bringing to life the vast and mostly vacant Oscar Mayer site on Madison’s East Side must be a top priority for the city, with help from the state.

So it was good to see the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. stepping up last week with another grant. WEDC awarded $250,000 to help renovate and restore one of the many buildings at the sprawling site. Last summer, WEDC gave $500,000 to update natural gas and electricity systems...

...More than a third of the buildings are ready for tenants, according to the property owner. City officials and neighbors should keep their minds open to the possibilities.

Madison’s long love affair with Oscar Mayer may be over. But a new and promising chapter has begun...

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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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Drumlin bulldozed

On May 20, Wajid Jenkins witnessed something he hoped he’d never have to see, even though it had been years in the making. The Alexander Company began clearing 5 acres of land in Fitchburg, knocking down several trees, including some oaks that were about 200 years old.

It was the final death knell for the Drumlin Farm, where Jenkins had lived from 2002 to 2009, when he was evicted. The land was a unique forest and farm located in the middle of an urban area. Its residents had big dreams for it, hoping to expand the farm, create affordable cooperative housing and a public park.

Jenkins is sad about the project for many reasons, but seeing the trees knocked down was salt on the wound. “It was awful,” says Jenkins, who now lives in a nearby apartment complex. “They could have planned a development that could have incorporated those heritage trees into the plan. You can see examples of it all around town.”

On the site, Alexander will construct the $35 million Artisan Village, 169 units of affordable housing. The first units, available next spring, will be for people making 50 to 70 percent of the county median income, which amounts to $35,000-$49,000 for a single person, according to Matt Meier, the company’s vice president of real estate development.

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Ken Notes: these are tough decisions and when sold it is too late! I encourage every community to consider a Land Conservancy TODAY, if there is property worth saving work with businesses and investors to buy the land or at least get a right of first refusal on it.

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MLK Economic Development Corp. names new executive director

The Martin Luther King Economic Development Corp. has named Nicole Robbins as its new executive director.

Robbins succeeds Leo Ries, who has served as interim executive director since January 2016, following the passing of the organization’s longtime leader Welford Sanders.

“Nicole Robbins brings extensive expertise, a passion for community development, and a strong network of partners to her new role as the executive director of the Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation,” said Ben Johnson, chair of the MLKEDC board of directors. “The board of directors is pleased to have someone of her caliber to take the organization into the future.”...

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UWSP campuses provide "critical" economic impact to Central Wisconsin
Even though you may not work for the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point there is still a good chance your job or the job of someone close to you is impacted by the University`s presence.

That`s the result of a new economic impact study released by the school on Wednesday. Chancellor Bernie Patterson says it`s news everyone should be happy about.

"We are probably the number one driver in workforce development," said Patterson. "It`s a contribution to the region that is critical."...

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Ken Notes: I strongly agree that our Schools are a huge economic driver in the state. Now if we could address the economic impact of school to work transitions for non post secondary students we would return to our #1 status of education in the US...

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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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Meet the stadium builder who wants to revamp a slice of the South Loop
Wisconsin real estate developer Bob Dunn wants the state to finance part of a massive mixed-use project next to Soldier Field. Turns out he knows his way around some other state capitols, too.

When stadium developer Bob Dunn needs a reference, he can count on glowing endorsements from some big names in pro sports. People like Steve Tisch, chairman of the New York Giants, and Mark Murphy, president of the Green Bay Packers.

"He did a great job for us," Murphy says. "He was instrumental in the redevelopment of Lambeau Field."

But for Dunn right now, the opinions that matter most belong to big names in City Hall and Springfield. He needs to sell them on his biggest and riskiest deal yet: One Central, a massive mixed-use project next to Solider Field that could cost more than $20 billion and take more than two decades to build....   ...more

Ken Notes: He gets my vote!!! For the record I liked his Doyle Square project best as well....

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GOP rejects more oversight of economic development group
Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee have rejected a plan by Governor Evers and Democrats to put some more accountability and oversight in place at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

The measure would have required the agency to account for companies record at creating jobs after getting state funding. Representative Evan Goyke says it should be easy...

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Ken Notes: Really??? I have defended WEDC with some simple caveats, one being they better track their investments. Now the Republicans have loaded the funding veto gun and handed it to the Governor. We are all nuts and deserve what happens next...

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Exact Sciences tops Wisconsin job goals, owes no money to state

Wisconsin’s economic development agency has determined that Madison-based medical diagnostics firm Exact Sciences doesn’t have to repay tax credits because it created more jobs in Wisconsin than required.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. on June 11 told the president of Exact Sciences that based on new calculations for job creation, the company did not owe any tax credits...

See Also:

Full speed ahead at Exact Sciences: Building, hiring, developing new products

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Ken Notes: One of my favorite companies, I believe their creative approach to diagnostics will one day put Madison on the map....

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Economic Development Resources


Dane County ED





Got Moo-La?









APA WI

Madison Area Chambers -- New!

   ...more

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City of Delavan receives $250,000 state grant to redevelop new downtown apartment building
The City of Delavan is receiving a $250,000 state grant to help finance the redevelopment of the historic George W. Borg Corporation facility into a new mixed-use apartment building.

The Community Development Investment Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will support the renovation and adaptive reuse of an important historic building into the new Brass Works Apartments, located at 820 East Wisconsin Street in Delavan...

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Robinson Metal establishes operations in Manitowoc

MADISON, WI. June 6, 2019 – Robinson Metal, a custom metal fabricator, is establishing a manufacturing facility in Manitowoc—a $2.6 million project expected to create 94 jobs over the next three years.

“This investment by Robinson Metal solidifies the company’s continued commitment to Wisconsin and is a testament to the strength of our manufacturing industry,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the state’s lead economic development organization. “Robinson Metal is the latest example of the many Wisconsin companies that are expanding here because of our strong economy, business climate and dedicated workforce.”...

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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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With Farmers Taking On More Debt, Wisconsin Officials Warn Against Unregulated Lenders

Agriculture Officials Worry More Farmers Will Be Tempted By Quick Access Loans, Credit Cards

With farm debt expected to reach a record high this year, some Wisconsin agriculture officials worry more of the state’s farms will turn to unregulated lenders for this year’s operating loans.

Frank Friar is an economic development specialist at the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s Farm Center. He said the center receives calls every year from farmers who have taken out loans from companies that are not regulated by state or federal financial agencies.

"You read an ad in the paper that says, `Show this ad now and you can have $200,000 tomorrow morning.` Any ad that appears to be too good to be true, the old statement, is probably too good to be true," Friar said. "In some cases, they’re specifically targeting farmers if they’re in a farm publication. In other cases, they may be trying to connect with an everyday consumer that`s looking for credit."...

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La Crosse Workforce Development Center to host job fair

Workforce representatives and community employers are planning a mini Job Fair from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. June 20 at 2615 East Ave. S.

Participating employers include Kwik Trip, Crossmark, Bethany St. Joseph, Diggity Dog Day Care, Olsten Staffing, Fahrner Asphalt and Brite Way Cleaning...

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Arena`s Lake Louie Brewing acquired by Wisconsin Brewing Company

Fans of Lake Louie beers will now find more places to get a pint.

Verona base Wisconsin Brewing Company announced May 19 a deal had been finalized to acquire Arena based Lake Louie Brewing. The deal is the first purchase involving two brick and mortar breweries in Wisconsin since Miller acquired Leinenkugel in 1988.

Wisconsin Brewing Company President and CEO Carl Nolen said talks about the acquisition began two years ago. The value of the acquisition is being kept confidential.

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Good News for Sheboygan`s Job Economy
According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Sheboygan`s wages were the 2nd fastest growing in the state of Wisconsin. 

That`s according to the quarterly census of employment & wages.  Officials last month said the total wages produced in Sheboygan county increased by 16.7%, which is a number that includes both increases in employment as well as individual wages...

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Ken Notes: This is good news, wages are the real issue in this economy!

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Dem bill would create public funding for renewable energy startups

Democratic lawmakers in Wisconsin are pushing legislation to form a new state development authority designed to kick-start the state’s clean energy economy.

The bill, introduced last week by Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, would create a Wisconsin Renewable Energy Development Authority (WREDA), which would be authorized to issue grants and loans to state-based businesses or residents engaged in producing energy, fuels or other products from renewable resources...

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Ken Notes: They do not need an economic kick start they need to partner with the power companies and create a working grid.

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JSD Professional Services
   ...more
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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Madison and its anchor institutions can do more to build a healthy food system

It was disappointing to read the decision of UW Health to end contracts with some local growers and producers in Lindsay Christians’ recent Cap Times article, “UW Health shifts focus on local food, surprising farmers and producers.” UW Health is not only a medical treatment facility but also an anchor of community health and wealth in Dane County and southern Wisconsin.

Healthy food, grown sustainably on Wisconsin farms is preventative medicine, not just a budget item taking dollars away from important treatments. By leveraging a small part of its purchasing power, UW Health has been building a system that upholds community health, minimizes pollution of air and water that diminishes health, and improves economic well-being of our rural residents....

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Ken Notes: I hope they work this out, but in the end it is always a business decision or you will not be in business....

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Public Hearing Set For 87-Unit Housing Development Plans

Developer ModHome is proposing a $22 million housing development in southern Oak Creek.

OAK CREEK, WI -- A public hearing will be held Tuesday, June 18, as Oak Creek officials consider a developer`s plans to create an 87-home single-family residential condominium development along S. Howell Ave.

Citing the Amazon fulfillment center project currently under construction in Oak Creek and the $10 billion Foxconn electronics plant being built in Mount Pleasant, developer ModHome is proposing a $22 million housing development in southern Oak Creek...

See also:

New single-family modular, rentable homes proposal stalled by divided vote from Oak Creek officials

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Inspire Grow North Brings Students, Businesses Toward Careers

Grow North Regional Economic Development Corporation has joined with the state in an effort called Inspire Wisconsin, a way to connect businesses and the state`s K-12 system.

Grow North`s Executive Director Brittany Beyer says students in grades 6-12 develop a profile as to where they want to go in their career...

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Ken Notes: About time...

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Subscribe to you Local paper!

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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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Permit OK`d for downtown complex

MARINETTE — The Marinette Plan Commission moved forward on Wednesday to assist community action agency Newcap Inc. with a long-term plan to redevelop a set of empty lots along Main Street into a work force housing complex. After a public hearing, the commission voted in favor of a conditional use permit to allow Newcap to develop the land into multiple-family residences under its current zoning. 

The three empty parcels under discussion — the former “Colonial Building property” at 1529-1533 Main St., the former “Contamone LLC property” at 1531 Main St. and the former “Bay Area Medical Center parking lot property” at 1515 Main St. — were designated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as contaminated after years of industrial use. As such, the city cannot use the lots unless they undergo a costly decontamination process.

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Notes:

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Editorial: Freshwater is smart strategy
In addition to addressing one of the most important human health and environmental issues of our time, creation of the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin is a smart economic development strategy for the UW System and for the state...   ...more

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The 75-acre site where Wisconsin`s largest public housing development once stood is roaring back to life.

About 1,000 mixed-income housing units are emerging at the new Westlawn Gardens on Milwaukee`s northwest side.

"It`s like building a small Wisconsin town from below the ground up," said Paul Williams, Choice Neighborhood Initiative coordinator for the city Housing Authority. "It`s not just buildings. The total project cost includes the entire infrastructure — sewers, sidewalks, streets, street lighting, advanced storm water management, community gardens, playgrounds and parks."...

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Packers getting ready to move ahead on residential development in Titletown District

ASHWAUBENON – Workers on Wednesday blocked off Brookwood Drive in advance of the start of residential construction in the Green Bay Packers` Titletown District .

The Packers plan to build 70 to 90 townhouses along Brookwood Drive between Ron Wolf Way and Marlee Lane. A 150-unit apartment building and five-story office building are planned for the western end of the district along Marlee Lane.

A building permit was issued June 10 for construction of a 15- to 20-foot high podium on top of which the apartment and office buildings will be built. Parking will be under the podium. The project is valued at $28 million...

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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:
WDN
WDNGreen
WDNGreen.com     
WisconsinApprentice
DriftlessNotes

  CirexNews.com
MadisonNotes
    
Ken Harwood
Advocating for Wisconsin
Editor [at] WisconsinDevelopment.com
608.334.2174
   ...more

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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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