Many businesses are heading north of the border


Learn more about:

It is an exciting time in southeastern Wisconsin.

Downtown Milwaukee is experiencing a renaissance, with a new arena and a streetcar line under construction, plus numerous office towers, apartment buildings and hotels that have been built recently, are planned, or are under construction.

The Milwaukee River.
Credit: Maredithe Meyer

But the hottest development area in the region is the I-94 corridor between Milwaukee and the Illinois state line. In that corridor, Inc. built massive fulfillment and distribution centers, Uline Inc. has doubled the size of its corporate headquarters, IKEA is building a new store and several companies from Illinois have relocated their operations in recent years. Kenosha County in particular has attracted several companies from Illinois, including Uline and Kenall Manufacturing Co.

- Advertisement -

Last year, the Rosemont, Illinois-based subsidiary of German gummy bear maker Haribo announced plans to build a 500,000-square-foot facility in Pleasant Prairie that will bring up to 400 jobs.

But the biggest project in the I-94 corridor between Milwaukee and Illinois is expected to begin soon. Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group plans to build a $10 billion, 22 million-square-foot liquid-crystal display panel manufacturing complex in Mount Pleasant that could eventually employ 13,000. In addition, the Foxconn complex is expected to attract numerous companies in its supply chain, which will create even more jobs in the southeastern Wisconsin region.

State and local government officials have been aggressive in recent years working to attract businesses to southeastern Wisconsin. Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature have pushed a pro-business agenda that included the passage of right-to-work legislation.

Southeastern Wisconsin offers the best of both worlds

- Advertisement -

The state’s public-private economic development agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., has provided numerous incentive packages to attract businesses. The state is providing $3 billion to Foxconn, by far the largest incentive package ever offered by the state. The WEDC provided another $114 million in incentives for 49 other business attraction, retention or expansion projects in 2017.

Meanwhile, the State of Illinois is struggling to deal with a severe pension crisis. The state has increased income taxes as officials try to solve the financial problems.

Some business leaders in Illinois are choosing to move their companies or expand them into Wisconsin. Some have done so seeking a more favorable business environment. Some struggled to find available locations in the Chicago area to expand and found massive amounts of available real estate in Wisconsin. Real estate and other costs also tend to be lower in Wisconsin, providing another advantage north of the border.

- Advertisement -

Companies that have moved to southeastern Wisconsin have noticed that the region has many key amenities, including numerous sports, arts and cultural attractions; General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, serving 49 nonstop destinations; Port Milwaukee; improved freeways – with no tolls; a quality education system; well-regarded hospitals; and plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment options. At the same time, southeastern Wisconsin is just a short drive away from the Chicago area, so access to all of its amenities and resources is well within reach. Southeastern Wisconsin offers the best of both worlds.

The purpose of this publication is to show why so many businesses have chosen to make the move to southeastern Wisconsin and to provide information to leaders that are thinking about moving their company north of the border.

Wisconsin is much more than just a land of beer and cheese. Southeastern Wisconsin is a thriving region with a lot to offer you and your company. We hope you will take some time to read this special report and learn all about what’s going on north of the border.

Sign up for the BizTimes email newsletter

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

What's New


Sponsored Content

Get the Latest Updates on the RNC in Milwaukee

Stay up-to-date with our free email newsletter

Keep up with the issues, companies and people that matter most to business in the Milwaukee metro area.

By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy.

No, thank you.
BizTimes Milwaukee