A new program launched by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will assist communities looking to revitalize and develop industrial sites that have been abandoned or require extensive improvements. The Idle Industrial Site Redevelopment Program offers grants of up to $1 million to Wisconsin communities for implementation of redevelopment plans for large industrial sites that have been idle, abandoned, or underutilized for a period of at least five years.
"The revitalization of abandoned industrial sites throughout our state will create unique opportunities for economic growth and development," Governor Walker stated. "Communities surrounding these areas will benefit from the focused attention to get jobs and businesses up and running again."
"Redeveloped idle industrial sites can again become generators for economic development and an improved quality of life for the cities and communities where they are located," said Reed Hall, CEO and secretary of WEDC. "This new program is structured to further the marketability of sites that have been neglected, with preference given to sites that are located in high-density urban areas or in central business districts."
The new program was approved by the WEDC Board as part of the organization's FY 2014 operations plan. WEDC will award $3 million annually in competitive grants. These are available to cities, villages, towns, redevelopment authorities, community development authorities, or other government entities for idle industrial sites exceeding 10 acres in size where redevelopment is impeded due to existing site conditions.
The grants may be used for demolition, environmental remediation, or site-specific improvements defined in the community's redevelopment plan. The goal of the program is to advance the site to shovel-ready status or to enhance the site's market attractiveness to encourage business growth.
WEDC is holding information sessions around the state with community development leaders over the next two weeks to promote the organization's community development tools. Briefings will be held in Omro, Antigo, Algoma, West Allis, Madison, Platteville, Tomah, Chippewa Falls, and Hayward.
About Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing Wisconsin's business climate. WEDC nurtures business growth and job creation by providing resources, technical support and financial assistance to companies, partners and communities in Wisconsin. WEDC has four focus areas: business and industry development, economic and community development, entrepreneurship and innovation and international business development. Together with more than 600 regional and local business development partners, it represents a highly responsive and coordinated network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.