U.S. Venture Inc. is moving to downtown Appleton.
The distributor of petroleum and renewable energy products, lubricants, and tires and parts for the automotive industry has announced its plans to build a new corporate headquarters on a portion of the Fox River bluff site in downtown Appleton.
The Appleton Common Council voted Tuesday night to approve a development agreement with U.S. Venture that will move the project forward. Company officials and city leaders say the new office is expected to become a keystone that transforms downtown into a new center for business, residences and attractions. The facility will be located on a site previously occupied by Fox Banquets/Rivertyme Catering.
U.S. Venture’s current headquarters — off County Road CE on the east side of Appleton — was designed and built in 2010 to house 280 employees, but today approximately 335 team members work between the corporate building and an offsite location. The company’s growth trajectory predicts corporate employment will exceed 500 within the next five years, which prompted the exploration of a new, larger office.
“Our workforce has experienced significant growth in the last five years, so we started to review the way in which we can accommodate that success,” John Schmidt, CEO and president of U.S. Venture, said in a press release. “A downtown setting will offer our team members the opportunity to be front and center in the city and deepen their connections to our community. We are committed to building it right and making it a positive development for Appleton, which is on the cusp of great change.”
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is supporting the project by awarding U.S. Venture with up to $20 million in performance-based state income tax credits over the next seven years. The company can earn the Enterprise Zone Tax Credits based upon several criteria, including the actual number of jobs created and retained.
In addition to the jobs expected to be created by U.S. Venture, an economic modeling study conducted by WEDC estimates the project could indirectly generate more than 200 additional jobs in the region — up to $6 million in state income tax revenue over a five-year period.
U.S. Venture has hired Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction Inc. to oversee the architecture, design and construction management, which is in the beginning stages. The property will be a part of the city of Appleton’s TIF district 11, which includes redevelopment of the entire bluff.
Initial projections show that the new building — a $50 million investment — will be constructed to hold approximately 780 employees and include underground parking. The site, which is expected to be built in three years, would also allow for U.S. Venture to expand as needed in the future.