WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAU) -- Wisconsin Rapids officials hope “13” is their lucky number. That’s because Wisconsin Rapids is the thirteenth community to receive “Certified in Wisconsin” status for an industrial development site through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
The 51 acre parcel is in the city’s East Commerce Center just off 48th south of Highway 54.
Mayor Zach Vruwink says the city does have a potential developer for the site, but negotiations are still underway. “We are in discussions with at least one company for all or part of the site right now. We’re not prepared and they’re not prepared to make any formal announcement on that at this point, but it goes to show that the work and the due diligence required to get the designation does require a lot of time and a lot of effort.”
WEDC Director Reed Hall says they certify the sites by making sure all of the big issues are taken care of, like having utilities and transportation options to the site, and that there are no environmental issues to contend with. That makes the certified sites shovel ready, and easier for his staff to market worldwide. “They will look at sites, and it’s very easy for them to look on computer screens. They want a full description, so we will be advertising this site and the other twelve sites on our website and to site selectors, real estate developers around the United States, and actually this goes internationally.”
Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch says the certified sites program is just one tool to help Wisconsin grow and add jobs. “We’ve seen significant development around the state, and part of it is our site selected program, our Certified Site program, but another part is some of the smart decisions that Wisconsin has made with an eye on economic development. Things that we’re able to uniquely assure business owners that other states necessarily can’t.” Kleefisch says tax incentives, a business friendly climate, low workers compensation and a self-funded state pension fund help give prospective new businesses more confidence in moving to Wisconsin.
The first construction for a Certified in Wisconsin site is underway now in Stevens Point. Service Cold Storage is building a 19 million dollar, 157,000 square foot cold storage unit on the city’s east side.