Program Spotlight: New community development programs aimed at idle industrial site and downtown revitalization

WEDC has launched two new programs that target revitalization of communities through redevelopment of idle industrial sites and improvement of downtown areas. The Idle Industrial Sites Program and Community Development Investment Grant Program were approved by the WEDC Board as part of the organization’s FY 2014 operations plan.

“These programs will encourage the rehabilitation and preservation of communities throughout the state,” said Brenda Hicks-Sorensen, vice president of Economic and Community Development for WEDC.

WEDC’s Community Development division held meetings with community development leaders in August promoting these new programs and other resources from WEDC, including:

“Our entire portfolio of community development programs will help transform communities and eventually create new business development and job opportunities,” Hicks-Sorensen said.

Idle Industrial Site Redevelopment Program

The Idle Industrial Site Redevelopment Program offers grants of up to $1 million to Wisconsin communities for implementation of redevelopment plans for large industrial sites that have been idle, abandoned or underutilized for a period of at least five years.

WEDC will award $3 million annually in competitive grants. These are available to cities, villages, towns, redevelopment authorities, community development authorities or other government entities for idle industrial sites exceeding 10 acres in size where redevelopment is impeded due to existing site conditions.

The grants may be used for demolition, environmental remediation or site-specific improvements defined in the community’s redevelopment plan. The goal of the program is to advance the site to shovel-ready status or to enhance the site’s market attractiveness to encourage business growth.

Applications for this competitive program are due November 1, 2013.

Community Development Investment Grant Program

The Community Development Investment Program offers grants of up to $500,000 to Wisconsin communities for projects like in-fill development, blight removal, historic preservation, planning studies and public space development.

WEDC will provide up to $4.5 million annually to municipalities. Grant recipients must demonstrate significant, measurable benefits in job opportunities, property values and/or leveraged investment by local and private partners.

Applications are being accepted for this program on an ongoing basis.

WEDC Community Support

Contact a WEDC Community Account Manager at: /cams.

(October 2013)