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The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee received $1 million from WEDC’s Idle Sites Redevelopment Program to assist in the redevelopment of Reed Street Yards, approximately 17 acres of vacant land that was formerly a rail yard and truck terminal. Specifically, the redevelopment authority is seeking to attract a water technology subsidiary of Rexnord Corp. from outside of Wisconsin to build a 65,000-square-foot facility, and General Capital is planning to build two 80,000-square-foot multi-tenant buildings marketed toward companies in the water cluster. The construction of these three buildings will have a catalytic impact on the development of the rest of Reed Street Yards and the growth of the water cluster in the greater Milwaukee region. Funding from the Idle Sites Redevelopment Program will be used to offset environmental remediation costs and site preparation costs associated with these three building sites.

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WEDC contributed $336,815 toward a $17 million project to clean and redevelop a 4.6-acre site in Grafton. A former lumberyard, printing company and auto repair site had resulted in various types of contamination including PAH, PCB, arsenic and PCE, requiring a mix of disposal and capping. The village worked for a decade to assemble the 13 properties and address remediation needs for the entire corridor. Following cleanup and an RFP, the village transferred property to a developer for 72 apartments and 10,000 square feet of commercial space. Anticipated future phases include additional retail, office and market-rate residential.

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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 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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