Construction and renovation work for the Global Water Center II building will likely begin by late spring or early summer, according to Meghan Jensen, The Water Council’s director of marketing and membership.
A development group including The Water Center purchased a five-story, 46,000-square-foot warehouse at 326-332 Florida St. last summer to create more room near the first Global Water Center building at 247 W. Freshwater Way. The building was acquired for $950,000 and will require several million in upgrades. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is providing a $750,000 grant for the project.
Jensen said tenants are secured for about 35 to 40 percent of the space in the new building. She declined to name those tenants.
There will be prototyping space in the building and it will also have a co-working area to allow companies or individuals to rent space for a week, a month or some other length of time.
The hope is for the building to be ready in about 10 to 12 months.
The Water Council, which currently has 184 members, and the Global Water Center have continued to expand and there is limited space in the Freshwater Way building.
The International Water Association announced plans this week to open its North American offices at the Global Water Center. The Water Council also committed to putting 75 startups through its BREW accelerator over the next five years. Those companies receive space in the Global Water Center buildings as part of the program.
Jensen said The Water Council is also hosting French engineering firm Helio Pur Technologies at the GWC for a year and another French company is considering a similar arrangement.
While the Freshwater Way building is essentially full, Jensen said it is possible to find space by moving desks and rearranging some things.
She said a team from The Water Council is going to Germany in June for IFAT, a water, sewage, waste and raw materials trade fair. The goal is to find and recruit small and medium size water technology firms to come to the Global Water Center.
She said the hope is that the proposed 81,000-square-foot Water Tech One building, which is planned by General Capital Group in the nearby Reed Street Yards, will be complete by the time the second Global Water Center building is full.