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Community2019-02-05T14:41:57-05:00

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

The Milwaukee Redevelopment Authority received $1 million from the Idle Industrial Sites Program for the $5.7 million development of a 20-acre parcel as part of Century City Business Park. Projects supported included enhancements to the Century City Greenway and Gateway Infrastructure Project. The needed improvements include high-capacity power generation and connectivity and environmental cleanup. Completion of quality infrastructure will help establish Century City as a state-of-the-art business park for advanced manufacturing.

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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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WEDC contributed $200,000 towards a $5.6 million project to convert a contaminated 2.5-acre riverfront site into 33 units of affordable housing. The project also received TIF financing from the city, which also spent $192,000 to acquire several parcels to assemble the site. Former uses included automotive and manufacturing. Remediation included the removal and disposal of 1,694 tons of soil contaminated with arsenic, lead, benzene and PAHS, and the introduction of backfill and an asphalt cap on portions of the property.

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WEDC invested $17,500 toward the $140,000 Park East Marketing Plan, which was unveiled in June 2014. These marketing materials were used as part of two additional RFPs to secure developers for all remaining parcels of the Park East Corridor. Proposed projects on these remaining sites represent $447 million in total development, including 1.5 million square feet of residential, office and retail space, an NBA practice facility and public space. These uses are anticipated to bring 3,700 jobs to the corridor.

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COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT GRANTS AWARDED
$0
MILLION
IN TOTAL AWARDS
$0
MILLION
IN LEVERAGED INVESTMENT GENERATED
$0
LEVERAGED FOR EVERY $1 WEDC INVESTED
0
KEY STRATEGIC PARTNERS FUNDED
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

“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