Acuity, Rail Yard district win economic development awards

Posted on Sep 11, 2019 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive
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Posted by of Insight Publications

A prominent Sheboygan employer and a Green Bay development project won top honors Wednesday at the Community and Economic Development Awards (CEDA). Established by the Wisconsin Economic Development Association, the awards recognize businesses, projects and organizations that are making significant contributions to Wisconsin’s economy.

Acuity in Sheboygan received the CEDA Economic Driver Award for its commitment to long-term investment in its Wisconsin operations that have a significant economic impact while the Rail Yard Innovation District in Green Bay received the CEDA Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse Award.

Founded in 1925, Acuity provides individuals and businesses with insurance products in 28 states across the country. According to its nomination, the company is an integral part of the Sheboygan community and has a long history of charitable efforts, including donating more than $3 million to nonprofit organizations in 2019.

Acuity also recently completed a $250 million expansion of its Sheboygan headquarters, doubling the size of its total building space to more than 1.2 million square feet. By investing in the project, Acuity helped retain its local workforce and created new jobs that will ensure the company’s long-term economic impact in the area. During the past seven years, Acuity hired more than 1,000 people due to the company’s organic growth.

The Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse award honors innovative real estate redevelopment or reuse projects that have a positive impact on the community’s economy, including job growth and increased tax base.

The Rail Yard Innovation District in Green Bay won the Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse Award.

The Rail Yard Innovation District got its start with the restoration of the historic Larsen Canning Co. warehouse in Green Bay. That project in the downtown Broadway District attracted employers, investors and consumers, leading to further development. The Rail Yard Innovation District now includes multiple tech-forward, mixed-use buildings, which are home to 26 businesses, including a popular brewery. The $31 million project, which retained 190 jobs and created 100 new jobs, was financed with private investment secured by tax increment financing and state and federal tax credits.

In addition to Acuity and The Rail Yard, other CEDA winners included the Promega Corp. in Fitchburg, the River Prairie Project in Altoona, ROC Ventures in Milwaukee and Western Technical College in La Crosse.

WEDA is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to expanding Wisconsin’s economy.