WEDC invested $250,000 in the $1.8 million project to convert a long-vacant former BMO Harris Bank building into the Mount Horeb Innovation Center, located in the heart of downtown. The structure will ultimately serve as a hub for entrepreneurs and offer co-working space options with its meeting rooms and technological capabilities, but also allowed Duluth Trading Company to expand office operations in Mount Horeb in the near term, relocating 80 executive employees from its overcrowded Belleville location.
WEDC contributed $235,000 toward the $3 million downtown redevelopment project. The project allowed Ace Hardware to open in a converted warehouse, and created space for a new NAPA Auto Parts to open in the community while retaining five existing tenants and recruiting three new, smaller tenants, which benefit from improved space and visibility. The project created a combined 30 additional jobs.
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.
WEDC contributed $260,000 toward the $1.1 million conversion of a former City Hall/firehouse property in downtown Rice Lake into a multi-tenant commercial structure. Tenants will include a fitness center and 6,000 square feet of office space. At full occupancy, the building will house 30 employees in the heart of downtown Rice Lake.