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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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WEDC contributed $6,225 in a Site Assessment Grant for the former Zander Creamery property, which had been vacant for more than a decade. The information from the assessment allowed for the successful redevelopment of the site, which was awarded an additional $288,130 in Brownfields Grant funding from WEDC for remediation costs (primarily cleanup of soil contaminated with arsenic, lead and petroleum) as part of the project. The final project resulted in a three-story, 45-unit apartment building, and represented $4.6 million in private investment, with additional city investment of $1.1 million.

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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.

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WEDC provided $534,000 toward the redevelopment of the 27-acre Royster-Clark site. The site was developed by Ruedebusch Development in partnership with Stonehouse Development, with new development including apartments aimed at low-income and disabled residents, commercial development and the construction of a library. Veridian Homes is also looking at developing 57 lots of single-family housing as a second phase of the project.

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