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Entries for April 2018

30

(Rock County, WI) According to the quarterly release of the Rock Ready Index, the economy of Janesville-Beloit MSA kicked-off the new year in a positive manner – as the momentum from 2017 definitely carried over into the beginning of 2018. Highlights from the Q1 report include the following:

For the seventh quarter in a row, the average annual Unemployment Rates for the County / State / U.S. remained below five percent. As a matter of fact, rates are approaching and/or hovering at historically low levels. This same trend exists in the staffing environment too, as regional job openings (again) reached over 30,000 for the seventh consecutive quarter. Although the majority of these postings consistently represent certain occupational categories, the overall hyper-competitive nature of the employment scene is universally creating challenges for non-and-for profit organizations alike. In response, collaborative offerings – such as the Rock Internship Program – are emerging as resources that employers can leverage to augment their recruitment / retention strategies.

Housing prices for Q1 2018 established a new benchmark, with an average sale price of $165,406. This is the highest quarterly average price point recorded by the County and it represents more than an 18% gain when compared to last year’s Q1 data. Despite the area’s uncooperative weather, which held back the arrival of spring conditions, more than 50 residential permits were issued countywide. 

The County’s Sales & Use Tax collections remained solid, effectively matching last year’s record setting pace of $3.2 Million dollars. Although the second quarter of the year historically lags somewhat behind, the latter half of the year definitely makes up that ground and much more. Therefore, there’s a strong chance that year-end collections for 2018 will reach closer toward reaching the $14 Million dollars mark. 

Industry sector diversification and variable project sizes were definitely well-represented in the Q1 2018 Economic Development Pipeline. Combined, these projects accounted for nearly 1.4 Million SF; over 700 full-time jobs; and about $163,000,000 Million dollars of new capital investment commitments. While these figures are different from last year’s aggressive start, there are ample development and investment opportunities stocking the pipeline. That’s why maintaining an adequate supply of available properties, representing existing product as well as land for new vertical development, creates a strategic advantage. Simply stated, more product equals more transactions. 

This quarter’s featured project is United Alloy, Inc. (UAI), which announced a large expansion at the company’s Janesville facility. During the last two decades, UAI has expanded several times and this current expansion – totaling over 100,000 SF – will be even more visible from the Interstate, as an elevated conveyor system will facilitate product movement from one UAI building into another.

The Rock Ready Index (RRI) is a quarterly economic development dashboard compiled and distributed by the Rock County Development Alliance. The RRI covers four topical areas: Workforce (Job Postings and Unemployment Rates), Real Estate (Residential, Commercial or Industrial) Trends, Sales (Tax Collection) Activities and a snapshot of the ED Pipeline's growth and/or investment opportunities. Each Index also includes a Project Profile section, which highlights project-specific news during a given quarter.

For additional information, visit www.RockCountyAlliance.com .

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29

(Janesville, WI) Jake Magee, Gazette

At the corner of Milwaukee and Franklin streets, Bill Sodemann’s business, Phone Plus, sits in the heart of an area anticipating $42 million in public and private investment. City officials said the city’s investment in downtown has created a ripple effect, drawing investments from donors, public-private partnerships and even small business owners such as Sodemann.

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27

(Milton, WI) Badger Property Investments (BPI) will soon break ground on a 60,000 SF build-to-suit project in Milton's Crossroads Business Park. The building will be leased by SSI Technologies, Inc., a global leader in designing and manufacturing pressure, level and magnetic sensors, sensor-based monitoring systems, digital pressure gauges, digital level gauges and powdered-metal components for automotive and industrial applications. The project, which is slated for completion fall 2018, will address SSI's existing and emerging warehousing needs.

"This reaffirms our decision to create and market the Crossroads Business Park as a hub for new development in the city," said Al Hulick, Milton City Administrator. To facilitate the project, the city approved a Tax Increment Financing package.

Headquartered in Janesville, WI, SSI Technologies is a privately-held company that has expanded its operations multiple times, both domestically and internationally. Once complete, this new building will increase SSI's overall Janesville-Beloit MSA footprint to more than 400,000 SF. 

Bill Mears (Coldwell Banker Commercial McGuire Mears & Associates) provided brokerage services, while building design and engineering services were provided by Angus Young Associates. Gilbank Construction, Inc., which is celebrating 50 years in business, will be performing the project's construction services. 

For BPI, this building represents the fourth Rock County, WI industrial / warehousing investment in as many years.

According to James Otterstein, Rock County Economic Development Manager, "This project underscores the important roles that prepared, business-friendly and collaborative communities play with respect to fostering economic development and investment opportunities."

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25

(Evansville, WI) Ashley McCallum, Gazette

Downtown Evansville’s smile has been missing a tooth for a while, Dave Olsen of local investment firm Grove Partners said Tuesday. By the end of this year, that missing tooth—site of the former Night Owl Food and Spirits—will be filled by The Centennial, a three-story building with seven apartment units and two businesses.

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25

(Janesville, WI) Gazette Staff

SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital-Janesville has received the highest safety rating for the third consecutive year from the Leapfrog Group, according to a news release.

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24

(Janesville, WI) Hillary Gavan, Beloit Daily News

Rock County 5.0, Blackhawk Technical College and the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board are offering a new internship program to provide students with work experience and employers with future employees. For more information, employers and students can visit YourRockInternship.com .

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24

(Janesville, WI) Jake Magee, Gazette

Five years since opening its doors to entrepreneurs in 2013, the Janesville Innovation Center will be self-sufficient this year after the city stopped subsidizing it in 2017, the center’s operations manager told the Janesville City Council on Monday.

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21

(Janesville, WI) Neil Johnson, Gazette


Foremost Media CEO Jon Ballard said he can picture the future for a few incoming high school seniors he plans to host this summer under a new internship program.


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19

(Beloit, WI) Hillary Gavan, Beloit Daily News

Parents looking to keep their kids challenged this summer might want to consider sending them to one of CareerTek's many free academies. 

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18

(Beloit, WI) Austin Montgomery, Beloit Daily News

NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes is preparing to ramp up production following federal approval earlier this year, and on Tuesday the company put the U.S. and the international health care community on notice.

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11

(Janesville, WI) Neil Johnson, Gazette

This week, Gov. Scott Walker’s office announced the U.S. Department of the Treasury approved three federal census tracts in Janesville the state had recommended for designation as economic opportunity zones. Economic opportunity zones in Beloit include downtown and a heavily industrial tract northwest of Beloit’s downtown, according to Walker’s office.

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10

(Janesville, WI) Neil Johnson, Gazette

Gilbane-M+W Group, the Milwaukee firm Foxconn picked as the lead construction management group on the project, is pressing statewide to create a pipeline for companies to bid on jobs for a project that’s Wisconsin’s biggest by far.

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