WISPARK development attracts businesses to Kenosha

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One of the factors driving growth in Kenosha County has been the availability of high-quality industrial parks for businesses to locate in the area. Jerry Franke, vice president of WISPARK Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wisconsin Energy Corp., sees a strong market for developers in the Kenosha area.
WISPARK recently completed development of the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center with an attached Chancery Restaurant. Until its opening in January, Kenosha did not have a full-service, business-class hotel. It is a 120-room hotel that can accommodate meetings of up to 500 people.
WISPARK is also the developer of LakeView Corporate Park, a 1,500-acre mixed-use real estate development located in Pleasant Prairie, west of Kenosha. It is on Interstate 94 within one mile of the Illinois/Wisconsin border. The development includes a 1,344-acre business park, a 170-acre office park and a 425-acre nature conservancy area on the Des Plaines River floodplain. Its transportation linkages include two railways and proximity to the interstate highway system.
Of the 54 companies in the park so far, more than half of them are from Illinois.
“Our attraction to Illinois businesses is that we have lower priced land – less than half the cost of competitors in Illinois,” Franke says.
LakeView still has approximately 600 more acres to develop, and is geared toward manufacturing, unlike some industrial parks that want offices and light industry.
“We insist on quality buildings, which appreciate in value,” Franke says. “When businesses are located in a positive setting, with green space and pleasant surroundings, it helps them sell their products and services to their customers. The building speaks volumes about a business, and LakeView speaks high quality.”
LakeView Corporate Park received an outstanding compliment when the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks gave it the Award of Excellence for commercial real estate in 1996.
“This was an award to the Chicago chapter honoring a Kenosha industrial park,” Franke says. “It was the ultimate compliment that we were recognized for our positive attributes.”
WISPARK is also the developer of the Business Park of Kenosha, a 140-acre municipal industrial park on state Highway 158, less than one mile east of I-94. Those 2- to 15-acre lots are zoned for heavy industry, with full service utilities. The Business Park of Kenosha is developed as a public/private partnership between WISPARK, Kenosha Area Business Alliance and the City of Kenosha.
“We work closely with industrial brokers in Chicago and Milwaukee to attract people to our locations,” Franke says. “Our great location, good working relationship with the community, and low costs are attracting businesses from all over to locate in Kenosha.”
April 1998 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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