City receives $1 million state grant for Century City

A $1 million state grant, announced by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, will provide the final piece of funding needed to prepare the Century City site in Milwaukee for development.

The Century City property is part of the former A.O. Smith and Tower Automotive complex west of Hopkins Street between Capitol Drive and West Townsend Street on Milwaukee’s north side.

City officials have been working for years on a $40 million project to prepare the site for new development, similar to previous city efforts to clean up and attract industrial development in the Menomonee Valley.

The $40 million project is being funded by $16 million in tax incremental financing (TIF), $10 million from the city’s capital expense budget, new markets tax credits and various federal and state grants, including the $1 million grant announced last week by Walker, said Department of City Development spokesman Jeff Fleming.

The state grant is an example of the many partnerships necessary to redevelop the Century City site, Fleming said.

Significant demolition and environmental remediation work has already been done at the site. The next step will be to install infrastructure, including streets and stormwater management systems, Fleming said.

The Century City site has three existing buildings and 60 acres of land that will be available for development. Businesses that want to move to the site can start purchasing land parcels next year, Fleming said.

“The land will be available for businesses that create jobs,” he said.

The state grant announced by Walker is part of $5.1 million in grants announced under a new state program, the Idle Industrial Sites Redevelopment Program, designed to help spur redevelopment of abandoned industrial sites in the state.

“These grants will help stimulate investment and job creation on manufacturing sites that have been idle or underutilized for years,” Walker said. “This will help make those sites more attractive to developers, site selectors and businesses, and should not only bring more jobs to these areas, but also boost investment throughout the community.”

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