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WEDC contributed $250,000 toward the $1.2 million cost of reopening the county’s only grocery store, seven years after the previous store closed due to the death of the owner. The store employs 10 full-time and 10 part-time workers, making it one of the top 10 employers in the county. Additional financing was needed to address costs associated with repairs after prolonged vacancy, as well as to address previous liens on the property.

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WEDC provided $1 million toward the $9.5 million first phase of the Central Wisconsin Applied Research and Business Park development. DMI Acquisitions LLC is the lead developer for the project, which will redevelop the former mill site.

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WEDC contributed $13,000 toward the $100,000 project to restore two iconic properties in downtown Omro: the Clock Tower and Masonic Temple. The project has created space for a historical museum and visitor center for the community, which is working to expand tourism efforts associated with Fox River traffic.

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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.

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