What's News in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
Biomedical Innovation Center
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On September 20, Village staff received notification from the offices of Senators Feingold and Kohl that the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded a $3.5 million grant to the Pleasant Prairie Community Development Authority (Authority) for the construction of a regional, biomedical innovation center. The Southeast Wisconsin Innovation Center has been proposed as a regional initiative to spur innovation and the growth of new biomedical companies. The end goal is the creation of additional professional-level employment opportunities within the regional community. Village President, John P. Steinbrink commented, “We would like to thank the Kenosha Area Business Alliance for their help in securing the funding for this project. We look forward to working with KABA, the EDA and the Universities of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Parkside to create new professional-level job opportunities within the regional community.” The Authority and KABA cooperatively prepared an in-depth proposal to create the Southeast Wisconsin Innovation Center.
Plans call for the construction of a LEED-certified, 40,352 square foot building to be built in what will be the 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, biomedical and biotechnology fields, in addition to space for administrative support services.
The project will offer startups a state-of-the-art facility at a reduced rent, along with shared business support services. “Once the businesses establish themselves, they would move to larger locations or facilities within the regional community,” explained Steinbrink. “The concept should not only provide additional jobs, but should help provide area business parks with potential high-quality occupants over coming years.” It is anticipated that the innovation center will create over 350 jobs and $24 million in private leveraged investments over the next ten years. It is unknown which specific businesses will be the first to occupy the Southeast Wisconsin Innovation Center.
Pleasant Prairie recently announced the receipt of a $70,000 State grant related to the project. In addition to the State and Federal grants, the Authority and KABA would both commit $2 million towards the success of the project. 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.