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News & Press: WEDC Corner

July 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017   (0 Comments)
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WEDC awards $2 million to communities for redevelopment efforts

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) awarded four Wisconsin communities with a total of $2 million in state grants to help redevelop abandoned industrial sites.  The cities of La Crosse and Manitowoc, the village of Waunakee, and Eau Claire County have each been awarded $500,000 under WEDC’s Idle Sites Redevelopment Program.

“The grants will play a key role in jump-starting redevelopment efforts that will have a significant economic impact in each community,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “Our $2 million investment will support projects expected to create hundreds of jobs and generate more than $60 million in capital investment.”

The Idle Sites Redevelopment Program, created in 2013, stimulates investment and job creation in idle, abandoned and underutilized manufacturing sites that cannot be redeveloped solely by the private sector due to their scale and complexity.


Snyder’s-Lance plans $7.8 million expansion of Baptista’s Bakery in Franklin

Baptista’s Bakery LLC, a subsidiary of Snyder’s-Lance Inc. and a leader in snack food innovation, is expanding its operations in Franklin to continue to meet the growing demand for its specialized products.

The company expects to create 125 jobs and invest $7.8 million in building renovations, machinery and equipment as part of the expansion currently underway at the Franklin Business Park.

WEDC is supporting the project by authorizing up to $300,000 in state income tax credits over the next three years. The actual amount of tax credits Baptista’s will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created during that time.

“The company has experienced tremendous growth over the last five years and has already doubled employment at its Franklin facility,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development corporation. “Baptista’s has already invested more than $100 million in its facility, and we are pleased to assist the company in the next phase of its growth.”


Black River Falls Industrial Park site earns state’s Certified In Wisconsin designation


WEDC has designated a portion of the Black River Falls Industrial Park as a Certified In Wisconsin® development-ready site. The 76-acre site at the park, located near I-94 in Jackson County, is the state’s 17th Certified Site. A Certified In Wisconsin designation gives site selectors and business owners confidence that building plans will not be held up by costly delays in permitting and approvals.

The certified site is located about 2.5 miles northeast of downtown Black River Falls and consists of four individual plots, two of which make up more than 90 percent of the total property. The site is conveniently located 1.3 miles northeast of I-94 and is about an hour away from both Eau Claire and La Crosse, which both offer access to regional airports and University of Wisconsin campuses.

The Certified In Wisconsin Program, launched in 2012, provides potential tenants with all the information needed to make quick decisions about whether that site is right for their needs, such as utility and transportation infrastructure, environmental assessments, quality of available labor force and more. WEDC is utilizing Deloitte Consulting to help evaluate sites that are determined to be ready for development and to meet certification requirements. WEDC markets each Certified Site through its Locate In Wisconsin website,

So far, there are 17 development projects completed or underway on 10 of the certified sites. Those projects, when complete, are expected to create more than 1,600 jobs and generate more than $315 million in capital investment.

In addition to Black River Falls, other Certified Sites are located in Beaver Dam, Beloit, Chippewa Falls, DeForest, Fitchburg, Green Bay, Howard, Janesville, Menomonie, Prescott, Stevens Point, Verona, West Bend, Westport, Whitewater and Wisconsin Rapids.

For more information about the Black River Falls Certified Site, visit or



$64 million Mills Fleet Farm expansion in Chippewa Falls receives WEDC support

WEDC is providing Mills Fleet Farm with a $1.5 million loan to support the company’s expansion in Chippewa Falls–a project expected to create 325 jobs.

Governor Scott Walker recently joined company officials and community leaders in a groundbreaking ceremony for the distribution center. The $64.8 million project at the Lake Wissota Business Park is expected to be complete in early 2018.

In addition to providing the loan, WEDC worked closely with the company and county and local officials to help identify the best site for the project. The 72-acre parcel ultimately selected by the company is one of 17 sites in WEDC’s Certified In Wisconsin® Program, which provides assurances that the property is development-ready.

“This project will provide an economic boost to Chippewa County, the region and the entire state,” said Barb LaMue, vice president of business and community development for WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “It is also a testament to the strength of our Certified In Wisconsin Program, which has attracted development projects expected to create more than 1,900 jobs and generate $379 million in capital investment.”

The City of Chippewa Falls will contribute $10 million in tax increment financing to the project–$7.3 million in a financing grant, $1.29 million for the land purchase, and $1.41 million for sewer, water, and storm water extensions.

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