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News & Press: WEDC Corner

WEDC Corner, March 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014   (0 Comments)
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Expanded Historic Preservation Tax Credits a Big Hit

Titletown Brewing Co.
From Green Bay to Madison, from Ashland to Milwaukee, developers and owners of aging buildings all around the state are taking advantage of Wisconsin’s expanded Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program.
Governor Scott Walker in December signed into law a bill that increased the tax credit from 10 percent to 20
percent in a move that state officials say will encourage reinvestment in Wisconsin’s aging communities –particularly in downtown areas.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) implemented the program on Jan. 31, and in the first month alone, WEDC officials have approved awarding $5.3 million in tax credits to the developers of six projects. Millions more in credits are expected to be approved in the coming months.

Some of the projects receiving the credits include converting the old Milwaukee Paper Box Co. factory in Milwaukee into a six-story apartment complex; transforming a 96-year-old school in Madison into a 40-unit apartment complex; and rehabilitating the former Larsen Cannery buildings in Green Bay as part of an expansion of Titletown Brewing Co.

The tax credits are being used for all types of renovation projects involving commercial buildings with national or state historic status as well as for non-historic buildings constructed before 1936.

For more information on the Historic Preservation Tax Credits, visit the WEDC website.


United Natural Foods Inc. Says ‘Yes’ to Wisconsin—Again

After reviewing several options during a multistate search, United National Foods Inc. (UNFI), the leading distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods in North America, announced that it would be building a $37.8 million distribution center in the northwestern Wisconsin community of Prescott—a project expected to create up to 314 new jobs over three years.

The company’s announcement was a double dose of good news for Wisconsin as it came less than one year after UNFI decided to build a 425,000-square-foot distribution and warehouse facility in the opposite corner of the state—in the Village of Sturtevant in Racine County.

To attract UNFI to Pierce County, WEDC offered the company up to $3.5 million in state tax credits. In addition, the City of Prescott developed a $6 million incentive package that includes the land for the project, and Xcel Energy is assisting with power access, capacity and redundancy.


WEDC Launches Next Round of Certified in Wisconsin Program

One of the factors in UNFI’s decision to locate in Prescott was the property’s designation as one of 13 "Certified In Wisconsin”
development-ready sites. A site earns certification through WEDC by undergoing a thorough independent study that provides detailed documentation about a site’s price, availability, utilities, access and environmental standing—information that allows companies and site selectors to make informed decisions. Pre-certifying commercial and industrial sites not only enables company officials and site selectors to find the ideal location for a development, but also gives them the certainty to know they can begin building there immediately.

The program was launched in 2012, and WEDC is now accepting applications for the third year. The deadline to apply is April 14. Municipal officials or property owners seeking more information can visit or email  for information on how to participate. The website includes complete details on the program, including an archived webinar and a list of FAQs.

Updated Cost Comparison Tool Now Covers 49 States

How does Wisconsin stack up against other states in the country when it comes to corporate income taxes, property taxes, education level, quality of life and other key areas? WEDC’s updated Business Cost Comparison Tool provides comparative data in those areas and many more in a user-friendly format.  The tool, which previously enabled users to compare the Badger State to a dozen others, has just been expanded to enable comparisons between all lower 49 states (Sorry, Alaska!).

The tool is a great way for those working in the economic development field to compare Wisconsin to up to 12 other states at once with simply a few clicks of the mouse. After the comparisons are made, you can create an easy-to-read PDF report that can be shared with prospects. Project Gets Even Bigger

Just a few months after work got under way on a 1-million-square-foot Amazon. com distribution facility in Kenosha, the online retailer has already inked a deal to build a second facility on the same site.  Construction started in November on the first distribution center, a $141 million project that was WEDC’s biggest development deal in 2013.’s second facility is a 514,000-square-foot building with a $14 million price tag.  Altogether, the two buildings are expected to generate about 1,250 new jobs over the next three years. WEDC is supporting the project with up to $10.3 million in state tax credits.


Save the Date: Global Trade Venture to Singapore and Indonesia

WEDC’s Global Trade Ventures provide Wisconsin businesses with the unique opportunity to create and build international relationships in person. During these trips, business executives participate in customized in-person meetings with companies whose needs align with their export objectives.  As the host of the Global Trade Ventures, WEDC helps companies connect with international business opportunities by providing market intelligence and financial assistance.

Save the date now for the next Global Trade Venture to Singapore and Indonesia, scheduled Aug. 11-20.

The best way for businesses to get all the details on this trip, as well as other tips, insights and advice on exporting is to subscribe to WEDC’s quarterly InterConnect newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

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