What's News in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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During the first half of August, a final agreement was approved between the Wisconsin Department of Commerce and the Village of Pleasant Prairie Community Development Authority (Authority) authorizing a $70,000 economic development grant. The grant funds will be used to assist the Authority and the Kenosha Area Business Alliance (KABA) in the creation of a business plan for a regional, bio-medical innovation center. The innovation center has been proposed as the initial structure in the new Village Green Center, located west of 39th Avenue between Springbrook Road and Highway 165. The Authority, Plan Commission and Village Board approved a conceptual plan for the project earlier this month.
“The grant received from the State will allow us to bring in a consultant to assist in the creation of a detailed business plan for the effective management of the project,” explained Michael R. Pollocoff, Village Administrator and Executive Director of the Authority. “The plan is meant to assist KABA with the innovation center management as it provides a fertile environment in which to grow new, local bio-medical based businesses, with the end goal of creating high-paying, professional-level employment opportunities within the regional community.” It is unknown which specific businesses will be the first to occupy the Southeastern Wisconsin Innovation Center.
While the business plan is being developed, Pleasant Prairie will work to create a Tax Increment Financing District to fund the Authority’s portion of the project costs in order to keep the financial responsibility for the project off of the residential taxpayers and on the development itself. The Authority will develop a project plan and have a market study conducted in order to determine realistic expectations for the performance of the Village Green commercial development. The Authority is also awaiting word on a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, who described the project in July as meriting “further consideration.” The concept behind the project is to offer highly qualified, bio-medical entrepreneurs a lower cost location with shared business support services to help them grow a business that may someday provide the region with additional professional-level employment opportunities. The project is also intended to foster more cooperative partnerships between the business, educational and workforce training communities.