Groundbreaking ceremony at United Natural Foods Inc. distribution center in Prescott.
ast turnaround times, low risk projects and quick approvals — these demands are now the new normal for development projects nationwide–demands that are met by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC) Certified In Wisconsin Program. Through the program, Wisconsin is creating consistent standards for certification of industrial sites. A Certified In Wisconsin site is deemed development-ready. It has the key reviews, documentations and assessments most commonly required for industrial uses to get businesses up and running faster and more efficiently.
WEDC worked with Deloitte Consulting to create consistent standards for industrial site certification throughout the state. The thorough review process produces detailed documentation about a site’s price, availability, utilities, access and environmental standing-information that allows investors to make informed decisions on sites that have already been reviewed and approved.
Confidence In Wisconsin
Development-ready certification in Wisconsin allows for fast-track construction for major relocation or expansion projects. In addition, favorable, stable conditions spur cooperation and collaboration with project stakeholders. In all, the Certified In Wisconsin Program creates confidence and allows for greater speed to market for companies located here.
What Does Certification Look Like In Wisconsin?
General surroundings fit for industrial activity
Site not located on or adjacent to flood plain
No known archeological/historical impediments to immediate industrial development
No known impediments to immediate development related to endangered species
Certified In Wisconsin Success
Since its inception in May 2012, 13 sites received certification and were deemed as “development ready.” In fact, four Wisconsin sites have already seen major development projects or have projects underway.
Service Cold Storage, a company that provides refrigerated facilities to industries, broke ground in the East Park Commerce Center, a certified business park in Stevens Point. The $19 million warehouse now serves as a refrigerated warehouse facility.
In addition, United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) is building a $38 million distribution center in the Eagle Ridge Business Park in Prescott — a project expected to create up to 314 new jobs over three years. The company conducted a multistate search and selected the Certified In Wisconsin site to build its second facility in the state. UNFI’s Group President Sean Griffin explained, “We feel the site is the optimal location for us to better service our customers and increase our operational efficiencies while reducing our costs and emissions.”
J. Michael Mullis, the Tennessee-based national project location specialist who worked with UNFI throughout the selection process, called the Certified in Wisconsin Program “one of the best state-level programs in the U.S.”
“The fact that the Prescott site had been through the program was one reason that our project team selected the Prescott site,” said Mullis, president and CEO of J. M. Mullis, Inc.
Recently, Chicago Fittings Corporation, a specialty-fitting manufacturer, announced plans to move and build a new 30,000-square-foot building in Beloit’s Gateway Business Park — another one of Wisconsin’s Certified Sites. The Illinois company plans to spend about $2.36 million on the new facility and hopes to break ground early next year. WEDC is providing the company with state tax credits of up to $175,000 for the next four years.
Joseph Tarquini, president of Chicago Fittings, noted a variety of incentives that Wisconsin offered compared to Illinois. “Comparing state by state there were tax incentives and job credit rebate programs that set Wisconsin and Illinois apart,” he said, adding the state also offers the manufacturing and agriculture tax credit.
When Promega Corp., a major Madison-area biotechnology company, decided it was time to expand, it selected a Certified in Wisconsin Site in the Fitchburg Technology Park as the site for a $30-million manufacturing facility.
Carl Ruedebusch, president and CEO of Ruedebusch Development & Construction Inc., said the Certified in Wisconsin Program “has been invaluable as we continue to develop the property.”
“With the certification, we are able to respond to requests for proposal, broker inquiries, and property questions quickly and effectively,” he said.
What Others Are Saying About Certified In Wisconsin
“This is one of the best new programs that the state has started through WEDC. This is a big step for the state to help the Village of Howard move forward with its economic development strategy.”
— Paul Everett, Howard Village Administrator
“The Certified in Wisconsin Program is one of the best state-level programs in the U.S. The State of Wisconsin, through WEDC and the local economic development network, is ready to do business.”
— J. Michael Mullis, Tennessee-based project location specialist with J.M. Mullis, Inc.
Learn More About Certified In Wisconsin
For more information, visit WEDC’s site selection resource, LocateInWisconsin.com. The website provides complete access to each Certified Site’s unique landing page, which features the full site certification documentation.