Site in Caledonia pitched to large industrial tenant

Village, RCEDC officials trying to attract

Photo by DeBack Farms

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:56 pm

The Village of Caledonia is working with the Racine County Economic Development Corp. to attract a large tenant who could build up to a 1 million-square-foot industrial building near Highway K and Interstate 94.

At this point, village officials have only been briefed on the possibility of the project coming to fruition.

Site plan for the DeBack Farms Business Park northeast of I-94 and county Highway K in Caledonia.

The village board met in closed session Monday night to discuss the potential future development project.

They were told a building owner is looking at multiple sites throughout the Midwest and is interested in a parcel Milwaukee-based Wispark LLC is developing in the DeBack Farms Business Park development, said Jay Benkowski, a village board trustee.

The parcel the tenant is interested in is a site that can accommodate up to a 1 million-square-foot building, which would be similar in size to Amazon’s distribution center in Kenosha, Benkowski said.

A spokesperson for Wispark, the real estate development arm of Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group, would not comment on the project.

The village is working with the Racine County Economic Development Corp. to put together a tax incremental financing package to present to the potential tenant, Benkowski said. Representatives from RCEDC could not immediately be reached for comment.

“It remains to be seen who has the most advantageous site or package of incentives based upon our location and other attributes,” Benkowski said. “At this moment, it is wait and see. Unfortunately, in this day and age, municipalities are in the business of pre-buying jobs and pre-buying tax base.”

Wispark developed the 124-acre DeBack Farms Business Park last year.

Norco Manufacturing Corp., which manufactures airplane hangar and industrial door systems,was the first to commit to the business park. The company, broke ground on its 133,000-square-foot facility in August.

As Caledonia vies for this mystery tenant, the village and other municipalities are also waiting to see if any will be in the running for Foxconn Technology Group, the Taiwanese company that is considering Wisconsin along with other Midwestern states.

Benkowski said Caledonia has the land along I-94 for Foxconn, but Mount Pleasant might be better suited because Highway 20 is more developed.

“Kenosha does not have the land, but Mount Pleasant does and Caledonia does, so maybe we could put something together where Foxconn is located in both municipalities,” he said. “If Foxconn occurs, the additional support services that come with it would be a benefit for all of the surround municipalities.”

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