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WEDC provided $534,000 toward the redevelopment of the 27-acre Royster-Clark site. The site was developed by Ruedebusch Development in partnership with Stonehouse Development, with new development including apartments aimed at low-income and disabled residents, commercial development and the construction of a library. Veridian Homes is also looking at developing 57 lots of single-family housing as a second phase of the project.

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WEDC contributed $249,455 toward a $3.2 million project to renovate and preserve the historic Al Ringling Theatre in downtown Baraboo. The project, completed in time for the theater’s 100th birthday, restored many of the building’s original fixtures, while also adding modern conveniences like updated restrooms and a bar. The theater regularly draws visitors from Madison and Milwaukee, and is responsible for driving foot traffic in the downtown area to support additional businesses. Other funding partners included the City of Baraboo, Jeffris Family Foundation and private contributions. The theater is in the process of expanding its staff by five to accommodate increased volume of activities and tours as a result of the project

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WEDC contributed $10,750 toward Watertown’s $50,000 downtown planning effort. Since completing this plan, Watertown has been able to attract a private investor to acquire and redevelop a downtown anchor that has been vacant for 15 years, and is also establishing a municipal loan fund to address upper-floor vacancy issues identified in the planning process. Planning is also under way for a library expansion, and the city is working to acquire properties and recruit a downtown hotel to meet additional identified demand.

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WEDC provided $250,000 toward the downtown gateway initiative, part of a $2.3 million plan to address floodplain issues and improve the gateway to downtown. The completion of this project has already resulted in $7.7 million in additional investment, including the development of the Cobblestone Hotel, SEH Headquarters office building, Chamber of Commerce offices, welcome center and a new brewery within one block of the riverfront. An additional local property owner is exploring a $2.2 million renovation of an adjacent property.

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