UP FRONT: Regional roundup – July 2013

Posted on Jul 1, 2013 :: Up Front
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

» Highway 41 Corridor

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


Downtown Appleton recruits Hoffman for master plan

The City of Appleton has selected Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction, Inc. to provide a facilities master plan for the downtown Washington Square area.

Hoffman’s planning efforts will focus on the development of a downtown campus in the Washington Square area that is adjacent to other facilities such as the City Center Building, Valley Transit and the Appleton Public Library.

“Our primary goal with the master planning project is to identify and capitalize on available downtown resources as they relate to the delivery of city services,” says Dean Gazza, the City of Appleton’s director of parks, recreation and facilities management.

Hoffman has worked with the city on several other efforts, including the development of upgrade solutions for the Valley Transit Maintenance facility and consultative services for the Appleton Parks & Recreation department.

“The downtown area has great potential, and it’s our responsibility to develop a plan that will make the most of that potential for the benefit of the community,” says Randy Bremhorst, Hoffman’s project principal. “This master plan will create a long-term guide for the city’s needs over the next several decades.”

The master planning efforts are expected to be completed by late summer 2013.


Con-way Freight to build major freight service center

Con-way Freight, a subsidiary of Con-way Inc., announced a major investment in the Fond du Lac community with plans to build a new, state-of-the-art, 96-door, 47,000-square-foot freight service center in the city.

The $8 million facility will provide daily local freight pickup and delivery services connecting the greater Fond du Lac metropolitan area with one-, two- and three-day service points in Con-way Freight’s nationwide network, as well as Mexico and Canada.

The company has selected a 21-acre property in Fond du Lac’s Fox Ridge Business Park for the new facility, and is working with Setzer Properties, LLC, as the developer.

The expanded operation in Fond du Lac is expected to employ 100 workers in jobs such as driver sales representatives, operations support, sales, customer service and administration. Con-way Freight currently employs 45 at its existing Fond du Lac location.

“The Con-way project is a wonderful addition to our business community and will be a leading-edge freight facility,” says Steve Jenkins, president of the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation (FCEDC). “The project is also another example of strong collaborations between FCEDC and other entities.” Jenkins credited the City of Fond du Lac and Community Development Director Wayne Rollin for spearheading the project.

Con-way Freight expects to close on the property next month. Following a ground-breaking ceremony, construction is planned to start in June and be completed in March 2014.


Calco producing agricultural equipment

As part of a new product development process that began in 2011, the C.A. Lawton Co., or Calco, completed qualification and is now in full production with its first major agricultural equipment manufacturing customer. Calco will have the flexibility to machine the casting produced in its foundry operation either onsite or in its centerline facility.

The development process began with a collaborative product design phase, which led to the production of a prototype tool at Calco. From the prototype tool, Calco produced castings that were machined complete for use in testing in 2012. The successful testing led to production tooling, the subsequent prove-out, and the eventual ramp-up to production, which began in early April.

“This is a significant piece of business for us because it so thoroughly utilizes our capabilities and touches on so many of our strategic priorities,” says Alex Lawton, CEO. “It’s in the agricultural market, it involved substantial collaboration around new product development, and it’s an integrated offering in that we provide castings, paint, and machining.”


» The Northwoods

Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

Florence County creating first TID

Florence County has completed steps locally to establish its first Tax Incremental Finance District. The TID is located in the Town of Florence and encompasses 652 acres. The proposed project list includes industrial park user expansion, industrial park infrastructure, an assisted living/senior housing development, an RV dump station along U.S. 2, motel/hotel expansion, downtown redevelopment, industrial park expansion, U.S. 2 commercial developments, and residential development. The decision to move forward with a development project will be based on whether the project will generate sufficient tax increment to pay for the costs incurred.

“Having a TID in place allows Florence County to competitively grow and attract new businesses needed by our residents and visitors,” says Wendy Gehlhoff, economic development director of Florence County. “We are looking forward to working with entrepreneurs and developers both locally and from outside our area to accomplish the projects in our plan that make financial sense for both parties.”


» The Lakeshore

Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties


Kewaunee Power Station to close; lays off workers

Kewaunee Power Station shut down permanently in May and most of the plant’s 632 workers with be laid off within the next year.

The plant is owned by Dominion Virginia Power. The decision to close the plant was “based purely on economics,” says David Heacock, president of Dominion Nuclear and chief nuclear officer of Dominion in a press release.

The plant was closed due to an inability to adequately grow profits in the Midwest region.

The plant laid off 202 workers on May 31, with 56 more layoffs occurring around June 30. More layoffs are expected in the coming months, with 46 more on July 31, another 31 between August and December and 298 on Sept. 30, 2014.

The plant will remain occupied by a staff of 50 maintenance workers and security staff who will maintain the plant as it is decommissioned.

According to federal regulations, Dominion has 60 years to decommission the plant.


Manitowoc cranes to enhance Ohio fleet

ALL Erection & Crane Rental of Ohio has purchased 30 Manitowoc cranes to add to its 34-branch fleet.

“We chose Manitowoc because it builds great cranes,” Michael L. Liptak, president of ALL, explains. “Manitowoc Crane care professionals are also a huge plus. They understand and love cranes, and provide excellent and timely support.”

Though several of the cranes will be sent to ALL’s 34 branches around the U.S., most of the new purchases will be sent to the company’s headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, to meet rising demand.

Included in the deal are 10 Manitowoc 2250 crawler cranes, 10 Grove RT650E rough-terrain cranes and 10 Grove RT540E rough-terrain cranes.

“Manitowoc’s 2250 crawler crane is designed to be mobile, stable and reliable,” says Liptak. “The crane is ideal for a wide variety of applications, from setting steel to placing heavy industrial components.”


» West Central

Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties


Board approves Shawano hospital construction

Shawano Medical Center’s Board of Directors unanimously approved plans for the construction of ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano. The new facility will replace the 82-year-old Shawano Medical Center and is expected to open in early 2015.

The estimated economic impact on the region includes about 650 additional jobs and more than $28 million in annual wages, with an estimated total impact of $87.5 million; $19.4 million representing new, annual activity in the community.

The project will also mean more tax revenue. The Shawano hospital project, along with additional developments, will generate $5.1 million in annual federal revenue and $2.7 million in state and local tax revenue.


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