What's News in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

Conceptual Plan Approved
CDA Approves Conceptual Plan for Regional Bio-Medical Innovation Center
Grant Application Pending with the U.S. Economic Development Administration

During an August 4 meeting, members of the Pleasant Prairie Community Development Authority approved a Conceptual Plan for a regional bio-medical innovation center that is holding the attention of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). At the direction of Village President, John Steinbrink, Village staff prepared an initial proposal to obtain funding from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce for the creation of a bio-medical incubator facility. The initial proposal was well received, and the State directed staff to the U.S. Economic Development Administration. As the concept progressed, the Village Community Development Authority staff, in partnership with the Kenosha Area Business Alliance (KABA), cooperatively prepared a more in-depth proposal to create the Southeast Wisconsin Innovation Center. The two entities have also jointly applied for grant funding through the EDA.

The proposed plan involves the construction of a 40,352 square foot, three-story building on .95 acres. The building would be the initial structure in the new Village Green Center, a downtown area currently in the design stage that is set at the demographic center of Pleasant Prairie, west of 39th Avenue between Springbrook Road and Highway 165. The floor plan includes office, laboratory and flexible research and development space for entrepreneurs and business startups in the life science, bio-medical and biotechnology fields. The floor plan will also offer administrative and support resource space. The Innovation Center will provide bio-medical entrepreneurs, who are in the process of developing new companies, a state-of-the-art facility in which to grow their business. Plans are for the Authority to own the building and for KABA to operate the Innovation Center. The potential also exists for collaborative projects between area universities and private industry.

The .95 acres of land on which the Innovation Center would be constructed is being donated to the Authority for the completion of the project by the Village Green developer, Land & Lakes Development Company. The EDA is currently evaluating the application for a $3.5 million grant to assist in the construction of the project. The latest grant-related request from the EDA, received on July 1, 2010, has indicated that Southeast Wisconsin Innovation Center merits “further consideration.” In addition to the possible $3.5 million in grant funding, the Village Community Development Authority and KABA would commit $2 million each towards the project, and the State of Wisconsin Department of Commerce has committed $70,000 to the project. Additional expenses beyond the $3.5 million would be funded locally through a Tax Increment District.

The Village plans to initiate the creation of a Tax Increment District to fund the Authority’s share of the expenses, in addition to other improvements for the Village Green Center. A market study for the Village Green Center and the potential impact of the Southeast Wisconsin Innovation Center is currently being performed. The Pleasant Prairie Community Development Authority held a public hearing related to the topic during their August 4 meeting. Upon the conclusion of the public hearing, the Conceptual Plan was approved. The Conceptual Plan for the Southeast Wisconsin Innovation Center will now go before the Plan Commission and Village Board for their consideration.

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