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Community 2018-02-08T18:43:49+00:00

PEOPLE BUILDING PLACES

Thriving communities fuel creativity and ambition. In Wisconsin, we invest in our communities to help both people and businesses grow, develop and contribute to our state’s economic vitality. From our industrial city centers to the tree-lined streets of our town squares, WEDC’s comprehensive community development programs and funding initiatives empower local officials to develop sustainable economic development strategies that increase prosperity while redevelopment programs provide financial assistance for activities that revitalize commercial districts. By providing community and business leaders access to this knowledge and support, we’ve helped them create stronger community cornerstones and build vibrant economic epicenters throughout Wisconsin.

WEDC PROGRAMS

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WEDC SUCCESS STORIES

WEDC contributed $2,400 toward the $25,000 planning effort to preserve and find a viable use for the only known Frank Lloyd Wright-designed warehouse structure. Since the plan, a group of citizens has formed a nonprofit to purchase the building and is raising funds to refurbish it. The building is now open for public tours and to host events, and has a first floor gift shop.

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Chippewa Falls Main Street was established in 1989, just one year after the formation of the statewide program. Chippewa Falls' Main Street Program has always been known for its abundance of dedicated volunteers and an engaged business community, and is no stranger to publicity. In addition to receiving the Great American Main Street Awards, Chippewa Falls was named by Time magazine as one of America's top 10 small towns to live in, was mentioned in Wisconsin’s State of the State address, and was named in 2000 as one of 12 national "Distinctive Destinations" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The city has been a strong partner in the effort, with multiple staff and elected officials serving on the organization’s board and committees. Together, the community and the Main Street organization have addressed numerous issues, including a 2005 highway bypass of downtown, catalyzing investment in wayfinding and marketing initiatives downtown. Beginning in 2014, the city embarked on a $10 million project to restore the waterfront, starting with a new visitors’ center at the gateway to downtown. Plans also include a new riverwalk and waterfront event space, and the city is in negotiations with developers of a proposed hotel on an infill site downtown. During its 26-year tenure, the program has seen $58 million in private investment and $43 million in public investment, including the previously mentioned riverfront improvements. The supportive business climate has facilitated 256 individual property improvement projects and sustained near 100 percent storefront occupancy along Bridge Street. Not surprisingly, Chippewa Falls Main Street has won 39 Wisconsin Main Street awards, with a particular emphasis on retail events and community engagement, most notably with the long-running Paint the Town event series. Also noteworthy is the district’s emphasis on high-quality marketing and design initiatives applied to everything from logos to collateral and streetscape elements.

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In 2016, WEDC awarded $500,000 to the Village of Kimberly to redevelop the long-vacant, 90-acre New Page Paper Mill site, located along the Fox River. Ultimately, the project will include a $12 million mixed-use neighborhood including 60,000 square feet of commercial space and 800 residential units.

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Waterloo received $800,000 in Idle Sites Redevelopment funding for redevelopment of a 20-acre vacant RR Donnelly industrial site in downtown Waterloo along the Maunesha River. The sitewill be home to a $17 million mixed-use development planned to include infill apartment redevelopment, a senior housing campus, manufacturing warehouse expansion and renovation of headquarters facilities for a tech hub and data center.

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INDIVIDUALS ATTENDED WEDC COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT TRAINING
0
VOLUNTEER HOURS BY WEDC COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PARTICIPANTS
$0
BUILDING FACADE RENDERINGS COMPLETED FREE-OF-CHARGE
0
BUILDINGS IMPROVED IN MAIN STREET AND CONNECT COMMUNITIES
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PEOPLE ATTENDED 617 EVENTS HOSTED BY MAIN STREET AND CONNECT COMMUNITIES
Source: WEDC FY17 Annual Report on Economic Development

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Information, tools, programs and partners fuel growth and new market opportunities.

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Our passion is supporting yours—through funding solutions, workspaces, mentoring and more.

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COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Revitalizing commercial districts and preserving our state’s history enriches public spaces and helps encourage business activity.

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INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT

Public-private partnerships investing in “Centers of Excellence” that drive research, startups and business attraction to advance Wisconsin’s competitive advantage.

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INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Experts here and abroad that help Wisconsin companies navigate exporting logistics to successfully expand their global reach.

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WEDC NEWS

What’s happening in Wisconsin? A lot. Check out the latest.

South Pointe Business Park in Sparta earns Certified In Wisconsin® designation

February 22, 2018|0 Comments

A portion of the South Pointe Business Park in Sparta has been designated as a Certified In Wisconsin® development-ready site by WEDC, a move that will help the city better compete for corporate expansion and attraction projects. Read More

Cultivating a business-friendly community

February 19, 2018|0 Comments

What does it mean to be business-friendly? If your community believes that it has a culture of saying yes to small businesses, what has been done to verify and credibly promote this culture? Read on to see how you can test this in your community. Read More

International Mold and Production relocating operations from Illinois to Wisconsin

February 16, 2018|0 Comments

International Mold and Production (IMAP), a leading supplier of custom plastic injection molds and parts, is relocating its operations from Illinois to Kenosha, and plans to create 25 jobs at its new headquarters. Read More

“This is one of the best new programs (Certified Sites) that the state has started through WEDC. This is a big step for the step to help the Village of Howard move forward with its economic development strategy.”

PAUL EVERETT • VILLAGE ADMINISTRATOR, VILLAGE OF HOWARD

“Because of the funding from WEDC through the CDI Grant, this grocery store and hardware store will help attract and retain homeowners and businesses, bring jobs, and spur further economic development projects that will revitalize this area.”

KELLY KLEIN • COORDINATOR, IRON COUNTY DEVELOPMENT ZONE

“On behalf of the City of La Crosse, we are very excited and honored by the recognition from WEDC for our local Main Street program,” said Mayor Tim Kabat. “Downtown Mainstreet Inc., its members and our community partners have helped to create a downtown that we are all proud of and we look forward to collaborating with WEDC and the state of Wisconsin to raise historic downtown La Crosse to new heights.”

TIM KABAT • MAYOR, CITY OF LACROSSE