Dollar General invests $75 million in Janesville

Success Stories | Madison Region Economic Partnership (MADREP)

The future Dollar General distribution center will create 552 jobs in Janesville.

It’s been a challenging road for Janesville since the Great Recession, marked by the closure of a GM assembly plant in 2009 and, most recently, John Deere moving its warehousing and light manufacturing operations out of Janesville to Horicon. There was, however, a very bright spot for Janesville in 2015 – the announcement by Dollar General that it plans to construct a $75-million, one-million-square-foot distribution center there that will need 552 workers – nearly one percent of Janesville’s population.

The future Dollar General distribution center will create 552 jobs in Janesville.
The future Dollar General distribution center will create 552 jobs in Janesville.

Dollar General is a Fortune 200 company that operates more than 12,000 stores in 43 states. The company is excited to get its Janesville facility up and running. When opened, it will be an integral part of the company’s retail sales distribution network in the Midwest, complete with a truck maintenance facility and dispatch center. Dollar General has undertaken an aggressive building schedule as well, with occupancy targeted by the end of 2016 and full operations by July 2017.

Iowa and Illinois were in the running for this project; it took quick action by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) to get Dollar General’s attention and compete for the high-value project. WEDC assembled a team of local, county and state representatives to present Dollar General with what proved to be the winning proposal. Critical to the success of the pitch was providing a location that met all the company’s requirements, including a quick construction turnaround. Janesville’s Highway 11 Business Park met those needs, including ready access to major four-lane transportation lines.

“WEDC’s certified site program was essential in demonstrating that the Janesville site was shovel-ready, which was a significant issue for Dollar General because time was of the essence,” stated Gale Price, director of economic development for the city of Janesville. “It was also necessary to modify the County Trunk Highway G improvements adjoining the development site from two lanes to four.”

The project evolved into a partnership among Dollar General, Alliant Energy/Wisconsin Power and Light, the Janesville Economic Development Office, the Rock County Development Alliance, WEDC, and the state Department of Transportation. WEDC will award $5.5 million in potential tax credits to Dollar General through 2019. Janesville plans to provide a total of $11.5 million in tax incremental financing development agreements as well.”

The Economic Development division of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation also helped the city of Janesville secure a Transportation Economic Assistance grant for reimbursement of half the improvement costs up to $1 million, based upon the job creation by Dollar General,” said Price.

Janesville landed this economic-development project because WEDC and local and county representatives quickly identified the needs of Dollar General and produced an incentive package that ultimately drew Dollar General’s commitment to Wisconsin. In addition to the direct economic benefits Janesville and the surrounding area will enjoy from Dollar General’s investment, WEDC estimates that more than 1,000 jobs will be positively impacted by the new facility within five years.

“This important project was a true collaboration that would not have happened without all the partners working together as a team,” said Price.

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