The Beaver Dam Commerce Park is the latest site to be certified as ready for development by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC’s) Certified In Wisconsin® Program.
Governor Tony Evers announced the certification during an event at the site in August. “Our 72-county development strategy is aimed at making sure that communities throughout the state are able to grow and flourish,” he said. “The Certified In Wisconsin Program streamlines the site selection process for both businesses and local governments.”
The commerce park is conveniently located in proximity to three metropolitan markets—Madison, Milwaukee and Fond du Lac. Situated along U.S. Highway 151 at Hemlock Road and county highways A and W, it is one of Wisconsin’s largest available industrial sites.
The prime location offers exceptional access to the state’s vast and skilled workforce, with an available labor pool of more than 223,000 workers within a 45-minute drive radius. Business located in the park can reach more than half of the U.S. population within one day’s truck delivery time and 75% within two days. The Beaver Dam Commerce Park, which includes 350 acres of developable land, of which 280 is certified as development-ready, offers scalable opportunities for users of all sizes.
The Certified In Wisconsin Program plays a key role in helping communities throughout the state attract new companies by providing independent certification that a wide range of concerns have been evaluated—such as environmental and geological factors, transportation access, utility and infrastructure capacity, zoning and property rights—and that a site is ready for industrial development.
“The Certified In Wisconsin Program provides businesses looking to locate in a community assurances that a site has already received critical local approvals,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “We are pleased to add the Beaver Dam Commerce Park to the list of industrial sites that are ready for relocating and expanding businesses.”
Alliant Energy holds option on the properties that make up the Beaver Dam Commerce Park. Once development begins, the company will transfer the options to the Beaver Dam Area Development Corp., which will execute the purchase of the land and the development of the site. The land is currently in the town of Trenton, but it will ultimately be annexed into the City of Beaver Dam.
“We’re excited that Alliant Energy’s Beaver Dam Commerce Park is Wisconsin’s newest Certified Site, and we welcome the increased attention it will bring from new and expanding businesses,” said David de Leon, president of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin energy company. “Now that our park is a Certified Site, we’ll have another important tool to market the park and bring future jobs and investment to the Beaver Dam area.”
Beaver Dam Mayor Rebecca Glewen thanked Alliant Energy “for realizing the great opportunities that Beaver Dam and our region bring to potential new businesses and residents.
“Beaver Dam has focused on creating a community that appeals to the urban workforce, offering a low crime rate, great schools, theater, arts and music, as well as varied opportunities for outdoor recreation,” Glewen said. “We are confident that Beaver Dam will be a great option not only for new business development but for recruiting skilled workers, as individuals from Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago and beyond look for attractive, affordable options to live, work and play.”
Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said the Beaver Dam Commerce Park’s Certified Site status “will be crucial to helping our community share in the state’s success,” and thanked WEDC for helping “as Beaver Dam works to attract more family-supporting jobs.”
“The announcement made today is a critical component in the transformation of Beaver Dam Commerce Park,” said state Rep. Mark Born. “I have no doubt that this development will attract business and workforce into our area, making Beaver Dam an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”
WEDC introduced the Certified In Wisconsin® Program in 2012 to help spur development of commercial properties throughout the state. Working with WEDC, communities can obtain site certification for properties at a much lower cost than they would pay to pursue the “development-ready” designation on their own through an independent consultant.
WEDC works with Deloitte Consulting to evaluate sites to determine if they are ready for development and meet certification requirements. By certifying that these sites meet common basic requirements for development, WEDC provides assurances for potential companies eager to get their projects completed quickly, and in the process makes Wisconsin more competitive when it comes to attracting new projects.
Once a site is certified, a potential developer has all the standard information generally needed to make a quick decision about whether that site is right for a project’s needs, such as utility and transportation infrastructure, environmental assessments, quality of nearby labor force and much more.
Wisconsin has 21 certified sites, with 29 development projects completed or underway that are expected to create more than 2,600 jobs and generate more than $472 million in capital investment.