WEDC contributed $20,000 toward an $80,000 planning project to provide a master plan for future downtown development and address connectivity issues within the community. The plan identified a need for $1.2 million in public investment, which would leverage $7.9 million in private investment in the form of property improvements and new development. Since the plan, the village has identified a number of village-owned parcels downtown with redevelopment potential, and is working to market them to developers. They have also addressed many of the access and parking constraints identified in the plan.
Welcomed into the Connect Communities program in 2014, La Farge has already made strides to formalize its downtown revitalization effort. Beginning with a strategic planning effort facilitated by the Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission, the community has also created a dedicated nonprofit entity (La Farge Area Progress Association); introduced streetscape elements including banners, holiday lighting and vacant window displays; created a local business brochure; and jumpstarted recreation planning activities. Located near multiple regional recreation attractions and suffering from an underutilized riverfront area in the wake of floodplain demolition, La Farge created a new 15-acre park, raising funds to install a fishing pier and disc golf course. The community is also leveraging local partnerships to support entrepreneurs, fill downtown vacancies and accommodate resident and visitor shopping and dining interests.
The vacant 27-acre Royster Clark property was assembled and targeted for a mixed-use development. Remediation costs for the former fertilizer manufacturing site were in excess of $4 million, including demolition of structures and extensive soil work. WEDC contributed $400,000 toward these costs. The project later received an additional $534,000 in Idle Sites Redevelopment Grant funding as part of the $50 million development phase.
WEDC contributed $147,438 toward a $5 million project to transition a vacant 7.5-acre brownfield into an 88,000-square-foot intergenerational care facility in inner-city Milwaukee. The site, vacant for more than two decades, included 27 separate parcels spanning two city blocks. Brownfields funds helped to contain and cap soils contaminated with PAH and other chemicals. The project also utilized PECFA funds for additional cleanup.