The site includes several buildings that have been home to numerous companies since the early 1900s. The city plans to redevelop the entire 145-acre parcel in two phases. The WEDC grant is for the first phase, a 70-acre parcel on the south side of the site that was acquired by Ariens Co. in October.
Ariens plans to renovate the Farm Implement Building (also known as Plant 3) into a new research and development facility for the company. The research and development facility will support Ariens’ operations, engineering and supply chain operations.
The City of Brillion is supporting the renovation of Plant 3 with the construction of a new roadway and a bridge crossing, and the remaining structures on the site will be demolished. The first phase has a $10 million budget. Work is now underway and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
“We are very honored to receive this grant and are excited about the opportunities this grant gives to the City of Brillion and the Ariens Co. to redevelop the Brillion Iron Works property,” said Brillion Mayor Gary Deiter. “We are very fortunate to have the support of the Ariens Co. for this project. Without them, it would not have been possible.”
Officials expect phase one to be a catalyst for the second phase of the project, which is expected to consist of housing, commercial and retail development, as well as green space and a trail network along Spring and Mills creeks.
Brillion Iron Works was founded in 1890 as a manufacturer of hand and farm tools and moved to the current site at 200 Park Ave. in 1900, when a foundry was constructed there. Over the years, Brillion Iron Works changed ownership several times before closing for good in November 2016. In addition to the support from WEDC, the City of Brillion has committed to providing $3 million in tax incremental financing for the project.