Regional roundup

Posted on Feb 1, 2018 :: Regional Roundup
Jessica Thiel
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

» INTERSTATE 41 CORRIDOR

Brown, Calumet, Outagamie, Winnebago, Fond du Lac Counties

Town of Grand Chute gifts land for sports facility

The Town of Grand Chute approved a gift of 20 acres of land, valued at $1 million, to the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau for the development of an ice and hard-court indoor sports facility.

The Fox Cities Sports Facility, scheduled to open in fall 2019, will be funded through hotel room tax. The facility will focus on attracting sports teams from outside the Fox Cities, providing them with the opportunity to participate in tournaments and events.

The land is located near the northeast corner of the intersection of McCarthy Road and Greenville Drive, and the sports facility will be less than two miles from Interstate 41.

A study commissioned by the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau demonstrates this type of indoor sports facility will bring an estimated economic impact of $4.8 million in the first year, and will increase to $7.8 million by the fifth year. A final design of the facility will be announced in spring 2018.

The facility will be owned by the not-for-profit Fox Cities Sports Development Inc., a subsidiary of the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Hoffman will design, build new U.S. Venture HQ

U.S. Venture has selected Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction to design and manage construction of its new corporate headquarters in downtown Appleton. Estimated to cost at least $49.5 million, this will be the second time Hoffman has developed a new corporate headquarters for U.S. Venture.

Hoffman also will design and manage the construction of the city-owned parking structure located underneath the U.S. Venture headquarters on a portion of the Fox River bluff site, which previously was home to Fox Banquets/Rivertyme Catering.

The office space will be designed and built to accommodate about 780 associates initially, with the potential for future growth and expansion. The parking structure will include four levels with space for at least 625 vehicles.

The new U.S. Venture headquarters will replace the existing building in Kimberly that was designed and constructed by Hoffman in 2010. Construction of the parking structure portion of the project is expected to begin later in 2018, with construction of the corporate office to follow, with both facilities expected to be completed in 2021.

ATW to begin offering nonstop service to Denver

Appleton International Airport will begin nonstop United Express service to Denver starting June 8.

Travelers flying the new route will be able to connect to 85 cities in the western United States, Canada and Mexico, including 30 cities that previously required two connections when traveling from Appleton.

The new route will be operated by Air Wisconsin, a regional airline headquartered in Appleton, as United Express with a Bombardier CRJ-200 50-seat regional aircraft.

“When we talk to our community, whether it’s to business travelers or leisure travelers, Denver is always the top choice for a direct flight,” Abe Weber, airport director, said in a press release.

United Express will operate one daily flight between Appleton and Denver. The flight will depart Appleton at 8:35 a.m. and arrive in Denver at 10:05 a.m. The return flight departs Denver at 5:35 p.m. and arrives in Appleton at 8:49 p.m. Denver will be the ninth nonstop flight destination offered from Appleton International Airport.

Envision Greater FDL, visitors bureau to relocate

Envision Greater Fond du Lac Inc. and the Fond du Lac Area Convention and Visitors Bureau will relocate under one roof in downtown Fond du Lac. The transition into the new location, currently occupied by The Commonwealth Companies, is expected to be complete by spring 2018.

While the two organizations will remain independent entities, this move to the new location aims to strengthen collaborative objectives and more efficiently serve the greater Fond du Lac region’s communities and travelers.

In the meantime, Envision Greater Fond du Lac will continue to conduct business from both the Chamber office, 207 N. Main St., and Economic Development office, 116 N. Main St., and the Fond du Lac Area Convention and Visitors Bureau will continue at its location at 171 S. Pioneer Road.

» THE NORTHWOODS

Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

USDA grant aims to aid Northwoods entrepreneurs

With the support of a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Grant, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is accepting nominations and applications for an entrepreneurial support program.

The program, called GROW, is designed for businesses with nine employees or fewer and annual revenues under $1 million. It offers individual coaching sessions to business owners on topics including discovering and developing entrepreneurial talents, and writing a business plan.

GROW is available to businesses in Shawano, Florence, Oconto, Marinette and Kewaunee counties and is free of charge, aside from a $12 fee for the program’s online assessment tool. The program will be offered through June, and interested businesses should contact Michelle Madl-Soehren: [email protected]

» THE LAKESHORE

Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Investors Community Bank to purchase Manitowoc Co. HQ

Investors Community Bank has agreed to purchase the former Manitowoc Co. headquarters at 2400 S. 44th St. in Manitowoc and is planning on moving to the site at a future date.

“As ICB continues to grow, we are nearing capacity in our existing space. We are currently housed in two buildings at our Rapids Road location, so we wanted to look at larger facility options and remain in the community,” ICB CEO Tim Schneider said in a press release.

ICB is working on a facilities transition plan, and no timeline has been set for the move.

The Manitowoc Co. announced plans to relocate its corporate headquarters from Manitowoc to Milwaukee. Manitowoc has begun to transition headquarters employees, with the relocation expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter 2018 pending completion of the build-out.

Acuity logs record growth in many categories in 2017

Acuity Insurance set records for business growth across several categories in 2017. The company gained over $62 million in total written premium during the year, bringing its revenue to an all-time high of $1.44 billion as it enters 2018.

In 2017, Acuity broke the barrier of 300,000 policies in force for the first time in its 92-year history and reached an all-time high companywide new business written premium. In commercial lines, Acuity attained new high marks in quotes received, quote hit ratio, new business written premium, new policies issued and customer retention. In personal lines, the insurer achieved a 21st consecutive year of growth, setting a record for total written premium.

» WEST CENTRAL

Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

Waupaca Foundry, FVTC partner for degree program

Eight Waupaca Foundry employees earned associate degrees in quality engineering technology from Fox Valley Technical College as part of a certificate-to-degree pathway designed by the college’s Business & Industry Services team. The employees juggled full-time work, family commitments and school for nearly three years to gain a comprehensive education that matches foundry workplace objectives in leadership and process improvements.