Certified In Wisconsin®, a Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) program, certifies shovel-ready sites throughout Wisconsin by establishing consistent standards of certification and expediting the construction process. The program helps provide confidence to companies looking to get up and running quickly by avoiding costly construction delays.
Wisconsin’s Certified Sites are development-ready properties that allow for faster project turnaround times with key reviews and assessments in place. For a property to become certified, WEDC works with Deloitte Consulting to validate and document critical site attributes, from price and availability to utilities, access and environmental standing — all necessary data for companies to make informed decisions and proceed with confidence.
Wisconsin currently has 15 Certified Sites. Since 2012, eight development projects have taken place on six Certified In Wisconsin sites, with a total capital investment estimated at $240 million.
One of the development projects includes a new U.S. headquarters for Alberta, Canada-based The Little Potato Company.
The company’s new 130,000-square-foot facility, to be built in the DeForest, Wis., Business Park in early 2017, comes with a $20 million investment and the promise of 129 full-time jobs.
The Little Potato Company, a family owned Canadian company that offers several proprietary varieties of Creamer potatoes sold in states throughout the U.S., considered multiple locations in the Northeast and Midwest before ultimately choosing Wisconsin for its first U.S. location. The decision was due, in large part, to major transportation and logistics networks and the availability of skilled workers in Wisconsin.
“By locating its U.S. headquarters in DeForest, The Little Potato Company leverages Wisconsin’s strong agricultural history and global leadership in advanced food processing, tapping exceptional educational resources and an unmatched supply chain,” said Mark Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “The attraction of The Little Potato Company’s headquarters to Wisconsin is particularly gratifying for both the number and the range of good jobs it will bring to Dane County and the surrounding area.”
As the program continues to attract businesses to the state, more Certified Sites are added each year, with two new sites in Hobart and Westport, Wis., joining the list in 2015.
“This certification sends a clear signal to site selectors and companies looking to build new facilities that the site is shovel-ready,” said Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch when announcing Westport’s addition to the program.
A Supportive Business Climate
The Certified In Wisconsin Program is one of many solutions Wisconsin has introduced to optimize its business climate. Like the companies that operate throughout the state, Wisconsin’s leaders understand the importance of careful budgeting and ongoing support. Wisconsin also recognizes the importance of manufacturing production to the state’s economy and offers a Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit that virtually eliminates the tax on income from manufacturing and agricultural activities. In addition, WEDC’s Business Development Tax Credit provides refundable tax credits to companies that expand in or relocate to Wisconsin.
More information about Wisconsin’s business development resources can be found at InWisconsin.com.
In Phoenix’s West Valley, a bustling commerce center home to internationally recognized corporate users has sprung up at the intersection of Interstate 10 and the newly completed Loop 303 freeways. The interchange has emerged as the gateway to one of the newest major development zones in the metro area, offering companies access to strategically located, shovel-ready sites.
Central to the emerging commercial business hub is PV|303, a 1,600-acre business park which sits at the confluence of Interstate 10 and Loop 303 in Goodyear, AZ. PV|303 is a master-planned business park designed to meet the growing demand for commercial and industrial opportunities in metro-Phoenix. At build-out the park will offer 20 million square feet of office, retail and industrial space.
“PV|303’s highly visible presence along the I-10 corridor truly makes it the interchange of business emerging in the West Valley,” says Sean Walters, COO of Sunbelt Holdings, who, along with Merit Partners, Inc. is co-developing PV|303. “The business park offers companies everything they are looking for: high profile location; shovel-ready sites; infrastructure; speculative industrial product; incentives; deep, highly-qualified labor pools; unmatched amenities; and — maybe most important — business-friendly policies at both the state and local levels.”
The park is strategically situated to serve Arizona and key markets in the western U.S. like the Ports of Long Beach; Los Angeles and San Diego, Calif.; El Paso, Texas; and Las Vegas, Nev. The Loop 303 provides a high-speed route into and out of the area, bypassing metro area traffic congestion, making it an ideal location for companies that transport large volumes of merchandise intra- and inter-state.
Additionally, a talented, deep and productive workforce lives in the immediate area, while freeways put Goodyear — and PV|303 — within an hour of all 3.8 million workers in greater Phoenix. In fact, CNBC ranked Arizona’s workforce higher than any other state in terms of training, quality and availability of workers while maintaining one of the lowest costs for labor in the nation. The city of Goodyear alone boasts a diverse population. More than 85 percent of heads of households are college-educated and 56 percent have college degrees. And the workforce is growing; with approximately 4.6 million people, greater Phoenix’s population is expected to nearly double in the next two decades.
PV|303 also benefits from approved Foreign Trade Zone (Magnet Site #277) status on portions of the master plan. This FTZ status provides special customs procedures to U.S. plants engaged in international trade-related activities, making it an attractive opportunity for major companies looking to locate in the metro-Phoenix area.
A business friendly environment is another boon to companies looking to expand or locate operations within the Valley of the Sun. Arizona boasts the lowest unemployment insurance tax in the nation, as well as its status as a right-to-work state. What’s more, the Greater Phoenix area offers fast-track permitting — 90 days or less throughout the region.
Major corporate users are already taking advantage of all PV|303 has to offer. The park is currently home to a 440,000-sq.-ft. SubZero manufacturing and distribution facility as well as a 720,000-sq.-ft. Dicks Sporting Goods’ western United States distribution center. SubZero has had such success with their facility, the company recently kicked off construction of a 250,000-sq.-ft. expansion of their existing footprint.
In summer 2015, REI, Inc. purchased 34 acres within the park. Shortly after, the internationally recognized recreation retailer began construction on a 400,000-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art omni-channel facility that will service the western U.S. The property was recently completed and will be fully operational by August 2016.
Most recently, Chicago-based First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. purchased a 74-acre land site within the PV|303 business park and plans to develop over one million square feet of state-of-the-art industrial product. This project is scheduled to break ground before summer 2016 and will attract major users actively looking in the market.
With continued growth and expansion across the metropolitan Phoenix market, the PV|303 Master Planned Business Park is poised to serve as the next great employment corridor in Arizona.
For more information about PV|303, visit http://www.PV303.com.
Peoria, Arizona, is in a unique position. It is a growing city with a thriving business community, a high quality workforce, a large portfolio of biomedical startups, dozens of premiere sites for investors and developers, and opportunities for public-private partnerships. Peoria is strategically developing its economy to compete for local, national and global business. With a supportive mayor and highly involved city council driving the economic development strategies, Peoria’s leaders are not only taking control of their future, they are creating it. Many cities struggle getting the full support of their mayors and council members because economic development is not a high priority. Many cities do not own property nor encourage public-private partnerships. Peoria has both, expediting the development process and making it easy to do business in Peoria.
With a high quality of life, many redevelopment opportunities, and targeted initiatives focused on bioscience entrepreneurship and workforce development, Peoria is a great place to live and work. Investors, developers, and end-users are encouraged to visit www.peoriaed.com/invest for Peoria’s real estate, business location, and biotechnology investment opportunities.