News From The New North (November 2010)

Posted on Jul 19, 2011 :: Up Front
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Highway 41 Corridor
Brown, Calumet, Outagamie, Winnebago, Fond du Lac Counties

Packers, Lambeau Field add $282 million to economy

The Green Bay Packers and the Lambeau Field renovation added $282 million to the region’s economy and supported 2,560 jobs, according to a study commissioned by the Green Bay/Brown County Professional Football Stadium District.

The report prepared by AECOM says total direct and indirect impacts also included $124.3 million in earnings and $15.2 million in tax revenue. Brown County shared in more than $89 million of the Packers’ approximately $228 million team and stadium expenses in 2009.

The stadium’s redeveloped atrium, complete with seven restaurants, and the Packers Pro Shop and Hall of Fame was completed in 2003. One-time costs from the project approached $203 million in spending, nearly $79 million in wages, and $5.8 million in tax revenue, according to the report.

Green Bay incubator adds six tenants

The Advance Business Center in Green Bay continues to grow by adding six new tenants to its business incubation program.
The following businesses joined the center:
»Amerex Corp., which is headquartered in Alabama, has an office focusing on the testing and development of portable extinguishers and engineered suppression systems.
»AFF Research LLC offers consulting to companies in areas relating to diversity including the assistance with certification for minority and women owned businesses.
»Machinex Trading LLC is an authorized international distributor of used light and heavy machinery equipment and spare parts.
»John Kelly has opened Kelly Business Advisors LLC, which provides coaching consulting and success training to help owners create an accountable, systematized and profitable business.
»Banshee Brothers LLC has opened an office to handle marketing and business operations for the maker of tomato pies, meatless and dairy-less pizza created with a special sauce. Banshee Brothers is working with the Algoma Farm Market Kitchen to assist in the sauce production.
»Disability Rights of Wisconsin, a non-profit group serving as the designated protection and advocacy agency for people with disabilities in the state, has opened an office to help people who are having problems with their managed care.

Fond du Lac economic group wins honor

The International Economic Development Council has honored the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation with an Excellence in Economic Development Award for its work on keeping Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac.

The Fond du Lac Economic Development Corporation worked closely with city, county and state officials as well as Mercury Marine to keep local operations open, which eventually led to the company moving jobs to Fond du Lac from Stillwater, Okla.

The Excellence in Economic Awards Program annually recognizes the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials and the year’s most influential leaders. The program honors organizations and individuals in 28 categories for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

Eagle Flats construction could start next spring in Appleton

Developers of the Eagle Flats riverfront project hope to begin site demolition this year of the old Riverview Paper Co. and start on building two residential facilities next spring.

The plan includes the construction of two new residential buildings with 124 apartments and two commercial buildings with more than 16,000 square feet of office and retail space.

Plans call for riverfront amenities, including a landscaped riverwalk and park benches that will be accessible to the public. The two buildings that will launch the mixed-use Eagle Flats development were awarded more than $16 million in WHEDA tax credits in June.

One is a 70-unit senior housing project called River Walk Place that will be operated by the Appleton Housing Authority. The second is a 54-unit apartment complex called The Landing at Eagle Flats.

Developers announced that a third apartment complex and the two commercial projects will be scheduled for the end of Phase I, which is expected to evolve over the next several years.

“We see Eagle Flats as a real catalyst project that will lead to further riverfront development,” says Randy Stadtmueller of Stadtmueller & Associates, a partner in the project with Horizon Development Group.

Future phases of the Eagle Flats neighborhood development will include an additional 36 residential units and 60,000 square feet of commercial space. The group is also exploring various locations for a potential Fox River Welcome Center that would provide trail maps and Fox River heritage information to visitors.

Innovative Machining earns state funds for expansion

Innovative Machining Inc. in Neenah has received $2.09 million in state industrial revenue bonds to finance a plant expansion.

Formed in 1995, Innovative Machining provides machining and assembly services for the paper, personal care products and automotive industries. The company is expanding its production facility and will create 20 jobs in Neenah. The total project cost is $2.7 million.

Offered by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, industrial revenue bonds are bonds free of federal tax issued by local governments, and the proceeds are loaned to new or expanding businesses for development projects. The interest rate is generally below the current prime rate.

3D manufacturer sets up shop in Green Bay

Green Bay 3D, a manufacturer of three-dimensional tickets and press credentials for sporting events, is setting up shop in Green Bay.

The move will create an estimated 60 jobs.

The company will manufacture micro-optical material — plastic covering that helps provide the 3D effect — develop artwork and provide pre-press services. Printing services will be outsourced.
Derek Lord, Green Bay’s economic development director, says it will likely take the company about three months to complete its financing deals. The city is working with the company to find a building.

Better By the Bay nets nearly $40,000 to help promote area

Better By the Bay, the branding initiative for Northeastern Wisconsin, has $39,550 more to spend on its efforts.

The nonprofit organization said it received a Joint Effort Marketing grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism for destination marketing, which it will use to increase tourism to the region.
Julie Van Straten, co-chairwoman of Better By the Bay, says the money will go toward updating television spots, a Midwestern marketing campaign, hotel brochures, social media and website updates.

Launched in September 2008, Better By the Bay leaders have been developing ways to measure the initiative’s progress, Van Straten said.

The goal is to generate $2 million in tourism spending next spring.

The Lakeshort
Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Repairs complete on Sturgeon Bay canal

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, recently wrapped up a $2.9 million project to repair the south part of the Sturgeon Bay Harbor and ship canal.

Crews removed a deteriorated timber pile wall, installed more than 2,000 feet of steel sheet piling with required anchor wall and installed a safety railing.

“This is an important project that improves critical navigational infrastructure. As an added benefit, it enhances a recreational area for residents who want to fish or just stroll and enjoy the scenery,” says Lt. Col. Michael Derosier, district engineer.

The project was funded by the economic stimulus package.

The Northwoods
Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

Cruisers Yachts debuts new showroom for dealers

Cruisers Yachts and Rampage Sport Fishing Yachts has a new 15,000-square-foot boat showroom at its Oconto manufacturing facility.

The space will be a boon to boat dealers, who have been hesitant to order five or six boats for their showrooms, since they will now be able to send customers to Cruisers’ facility to see all of the models available, says K.C. Stock, owner and CEO of KCS International, the parent company of Cruisers. Cruisers employs about 200 people at its facilities, down from its high of nearly 700 people a few years ago.

Wausaukee Composites moves ahead with expansion

Wausaukee Composites is receiving $1.5 million in grants from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce to expand its Cuba City plant and create 200 jobs.

Headquartered in Wausaukee in Marinette County, the company manufactures highly-engineered composite components for original equipment manufacturers.

The state funds will help build and equip a 34,000-square-foot addition to the Cuba City plant, where components for wind turbines will be made. The project is expected to cost more than $5 million to complete.

Earlier this year, the company announced a $1.9 million project to expand its facility in Owosso Charter Township, Mich.

“The Cuba City plant expansion will create additional wind turbine component manufacturing and assembly capacity, thereby allowing us to better serve our customers in the wind energy industry,” says David Lisle, president of Wausaukee Composites.

Longtime Marinette firm acquired by Texas company

Sally Beauty Holdings has purchased Marinette-based Aerial Co., a beauty products distribution firm, for $70 million. Aerial was founded in 1912 and employs more than 700 people, including more than 70 direct sales consultants. Aerial had 2009 sales of about $100 million. The company has a distribution center and headquarters in Marinette, a second distribution center in Lincoln, Neb., and 82 beauty supply stores in 11 Midwestern states.

Sally Beauty Holdings is based in Denton, Texas, and hasn’t said yet what changes may be coming for area employees. The actual purchase price for Aerial was about $79 million, but Sally Beauty Holdings officials said the company would gain about $9 million in future tax savings.

West Central
Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

Army awards $80 million contract to Schutt Industries

Schutt Industries of Clintonville received a five-year, $80 million United States Army Afghanistan/Iraqi Supplemental Acquisition Program contract for hooklift trucks, trailers and flat trucks. The company will likely need to add employees early next year to its engineering, quality and production departments to help handle the large order, says Schutt General Manager Terry Lamberies. Lamberies anticipates using three shifts in several departments to maximize the company’s 350,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

Shawano Medical Center, ThedaCare to integrate

Shawano Medical Center and the Appleton-based ThedaCare health system signed an agreement in early October to integrate. As part of the deal, ThedaCare has committed to planning and building a replacement hospital in Shawano. Both ThedaCare and the hospital will commit capital funds to the project. Planning will begin next year on the building project.

As previously announced, ThedaCare also will invest up to $2.8 million to install its electronic medical records system at Shawano Medical Center in 2011, integrating and linking hospital operations in real time with ThedaCare’s system-wide EMR, including ThedaCare Physicians-Shawano.

The deal will improve health care for patients in the Shawano area, says Dorothy Erdman, chief executive officer of Shawano Medical Center.

“It makes sense to come together. We can accomplish more by working together, and the clear winner will be the Shawano community,” she says.

Dean Gruner, MD, president and CEO of ThedaCare, says a strong hospital is important to the community and to the people who live there.

“We’ve always believed that 95 percent of the care most people need can and should be delivered within the local community,” Gruner says. “That is why we think it is important that the already great care delivered by those at Shawano Medical Center stays in Shawano.”

Shawano Medical Center is a 25-bed hospital. ThedaCare is the New North’s largest employer with about 5,400 workers.