Haribo could bring giant gummy bears to I-94 corridor

Village considering sign exceptions for tourism

Examples of the possible building elevations included in plans Haribo submitted to Pleasant Prairie.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:52 pm

It has been more than a year since German gummy bear maker Haribo announced it would build its first U.S. production facility in Pleasant Prairie. While the company has finalized an incentive package with the state and a land deal with the village, details about what exactly the company will build have been slower to emerge.

That’s started to change over the last few weeks. BizTimes reported last week that the company’s plans included an area dubbed Haribo Park that would include a retail shop, fitness area, kindergarten and museum. The report also revealed the company chose Pleasant Prairie over seven sites in Illinois.

Haribo included visibility from and proximity to the interstate as factors in its decision making. The Pleasant Prairie site, located just off Interstate 94 and south of Highway C, scored well on those factors. The potential value of the visibility from the interstate became even clearer this week as the Pleasant Prairie planning commission considered comprehensive plans for the site.

Documents included in the plans show a number of potential signage options for the eastern elevation of the production building facing I-94.

Examples of the possible building elevations included in plans Haribo submitted to Pleasant Prairie.

One option shows a 48-foot tall and 30-foot wide version of the company’s golden bear logo along with the word “HARIBO” in 48-foot tall red letters spanning over 185 feet. Other options show gummy bears of varying sizes stretching the length of the production building with the similar size versions of the company name.

Another option shown suggests shrinking the word “HARIBO” to 36 feet tall and adding the words “Pleasant Prairie” in 10-foot tall letters underneath. The giant gummy bears are not pictured on that option.

Asked if the giant candies were still under consideration, Thomas Shircel, interim village administrator, said the proposed signage was being considered as part of a planned unit devilment.

“A PUD allows for exceptions to the village ordinance requirements. In this case the exceptions are based upon community benefits, such as tourism.”

Haribo has explored other creative signage options for its Pleasant Prairie campus. According to Public Service Commission documents, the company considered putting its logo or name on a water tower in the Prairie Highlands Corporate Park where its campus will be located.

When PSC officials inquired about how costs related to the advertising would be handled, the village responded that it would be proceeding with a standard painting scheme and advertising was no longer being discussed.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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