Room to grow

    Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:33 pm

    The spring thaws will find several new tenants filling up space in the industrial parks of Washington County.
    Helsan Development Co. LLC has completed its purchase of a 100-acre parcel in Richfield, where the site is being developed into a business and industrial park, according to Toby Cotter, town administrator of Richfield.
    One new building, a 55,000-square-foot distribution center for Minneapolis-based Wurth Adams, a fastener distributor, is under construction now at the site.
    Cotter said the rest of the project, which has been named the Endeavor Business Park, is still going through the zoning approval process.
    Dean Gunderson, president of Helsan Development, said his company will resume work to complete roads through the property once the frost has melted in spring. He said the roads should be completed by June.
    Cotter said the project is the right fit for Richfield.
    "It’s a very interesting development for the town. We have some unique properties and vacant land along Highways 41 and 45, and they meet in Richfield," Cotter said. "The community has been working and waiting for the right development to come along for these locations. What Mr. Gunderson is proposing is very appropriate for this location. It’s not going to pollute, and it’s not going to employ hundreds of people."
    Gunderson said the park, when completed, will contain about 16 lots. Helsan is hoping to attract a mix of restaurants, retail and light industrial users to the site.
    Cotter said DBI also has options to purchase several other adjacent pieces of land if the Endeavor Business Park fills up quickly. He said a new park-and-ride lot will likely be built inside the park.
    To the northwest of Richfield, The Innovation Center of Hartford business park continues to add more square feet. Werner Wolpert, executive director of the park, said he believes the park will add about 500,000 square feet of new space this year, mainly comprised of metal manufacturers.
    Signicast Corporation, a metal manufacturer, will add about 85,000 square feet to its facility in Hartford this year, Wolpert said. API, a local software manufacturer, is set to move into a new, 76,000-square-foot building constructed in the industrial park, Wolpert said.
    Outside of the park, the Harford area continues to grow its square footage of business space, Wolpert said.
    He pointed to the recent addition of 161,000 square feet at the Quad Graphics there, and metal fabricator Hepnfer Inc., which just completed a 76,000-square-foot facility. Wolpert also noted that Snow Wagon Inc. recently finished its new 630,000-square-foot manufacturing plant.
    Wolpert said Hartford has been able to continue to grow its business community because of its abundance of available land and labor supply.
    "We have wide-open spaces, and we have a business-friendly government," Wolpert said. "And I think most of the expansion occurs by retention methods. It’s less expensive to keep what you have and treat your existing manufacturers well. We’ve been lucky there, too."
    February 4, 2005, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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