MERRILL – Weinbrenner Shoe Co. will expand into an abandoned industrial site, a move that is expected to create at least 50 jobs.

The expansion was made possible through a partnership between the city of Merrill, which is contributing a $300,000 development incentive, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., which is supporting the project with a $250,000 Idle Sites Redevelopment Grant, according to a news release from the WEDC.

The abandoned property, less than a mile from the company’s current facility, was the home of Hurd Window & Doors from 1982 to 2008. After seven years of vacancy, a few of the buildings on the lot were demolished, leaving the two remaining buildings. In 2017, Merrill Area Development Corp. took over control of the property and sold it to Weinbrenner for $300,000 in March 2021.

“We could’ve just gone in and cleaned it up, but what we really did was make sure, in converting this facility, that we did it with our employees in mind,” said Jeff Burns, president of Weinbrenner Shoe Co.. “Having the help from both Merrill and WEDC definitely helped us complete this vision— to provide a building that the city of Merrill could be proud of and our workers could be proud of.”

[Adapted from: Weinbrenner Shoe Co. to expand into abandoned Hurd windows property in Merrill, create at least 50 jobs May 9, Wausau Daily Herald]