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.
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.
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.
The Broadway District sits on the west bank of the Fox River in Green Bay. As a riverfront location, the area has long been a center of commerce, whether for the fur trade, lumber, paper or, today, as a hive for small businesses and entrepreneurs. However, this transition was not without difficulty, as the 1980s saw the district become a high-crime area defined by disrepair and vacancy. In 1995, a group of persistent local merchants, neighbors and community leaders launched a Main Street organization to reclaim the street. Some early triumphs included a new streetscape, a partnership with local police, and creation of a supportive small business and live-work environment. As of 2009, the district had already achieved success, with the renovation of 91 properties and development of four new infill projects. Progress has continued since that time, with the addition of new residential opportunities and further reduction in storefront vacancies. The most notable change is the conversion of a former train depot and later an adjacent vegetable processing facility into the Titletown Brewery, restaurant, tap room and event center. Over its entire tenure, the district has had a net gain of 171 new businesses that employ more than 1,600 individuals, and has attracted just shy of $69 million in private investment to improve 167 buildings. With 45 statewide awards, the district is the ‘winningest’ community in the state, and is well-known for innovative adaptive reuse projects and regionally significant marketing and event initiatives that bring thousands to shop, dine and stroll during annual events such as the Winter Wine Walk and Wednesday and Saturday farmers’ markets.