WEDC provided $205,000 toward a $1.4 million project to completely renovate a vacant downtown property to help an existing business, The Coffee House at Chestnut & Pine, expand, while also adding space for a new bakery, a meeting space/event venue and a commercial kitchen, with a combined 10 additional employees. The renovated building has become an anchor for the growing downtown revitalization effort, spurring developer interest in a long-vacant parcel on the same block for an $800,000 investment to create co-working space. The coffeehouse itself is now the top ranked business in the City of Burlington and has been featured in multiple publications, driving additional tourism activity.
WEDC provided $417,250 toward $1.5 million in planned site improvements on the long-vacant Milk Page site. The project will allow the adjacent Merrill Equipment Company to expand, address environmental concerns, create additional commercial acreage within city limits, and connect downtown to a regional trail system along the river.
WEDC contributed $6,500 toward a $25,000 feasibility study to jumpstart the renovation of the 40,000-square-foot former courthouse facility in the center of Green Lake. Following the completion of the study, the nonprofit ownership group invested in upgrades to the facility, which is now home to 23 local tenants, including several entrepreneurs who make use of the certified commercial kitchen. In addition, the center hosts a number of community- and youth-oriented educational programs.
WEDC provided $243,000 toward a $2 million expansion of the regional grocery store. The expansion also created space for two additional businesses, generating 45 net new jobs. The retention of the grocery store downtown has allowed other projects to move forward, with a public-private Exploration Center project in planning phases and a Minnesota-based brewery considering relocation to the downtown area.