August 2013

Technology industry gathers in Madison to collaborate, explore

Madison — On a humid August day, a new generation of computer coders, software designers and entrepreneurs gathered at the Forward Technology Conference to discuss working with partners, seeking angel investors and mentors, and finding new customers.  "Amazing how empty the coffee shops on the (Capitol) square are when @Fwdtech is happening down at the student union," tweeted Tiffany Green, a Madison computer code writer. ... Read More

Echo Lake Foods to stay in Burlington

BURLINGTON — Echo Lake Foods is set to rebuild in the City of Burlington, thanks to an agreement that officials said Wednesday would reinstate all jobs lost after a fire ravaged the plant in January.  The company originally said it planned to rebuild here after an eight-alarm fire last winter partially destroyed the egg plant, located at 33102 S. Honey Lake Road. As of Wednesday, “all the paperwork has now fallen into place,” said City of Burlington Mayor Robert Miller. ... Read More

Bill would allow ‘crowdfunding’ of Wisconsin businesses

MADISON — It’s not Kickstarter, state Rep. David Craig cautions, but the popular online crowdfunding platform is a starting point to explain his latest legislative proposal.  Like Kickstarter, the Town of Vernon Republican’s idea relies in part on the Internet to generate funding for Wisconsin business. But instead of getting a T-shirt or signed album — like on Kickstarter — investors under Craig’s model get company shares. ... Read More

Construction on the rise

RACINE — City construction is on the rise.  Construction in the city so far this year has already hit more than $50 million, more than double the amount reported for the same period last year.  “People are building more, remodeling more,” said Racine’s Chief Building Inspector Kenneth Plaski.  The City of Racine is not seeing new home building increases similar to other areas in the county, but commercial and residential remodeling is up, he said. ... Read More

THE BOTTOM LINE: Hitters Baseball heading to former Raymond Heights

Last year at this time, people were playing par-three golf at Raymond Heights Golf Course.  By next spring, activity there will have gone from “Fore!” to fielding and fastballs. Hitters Baseball Academy, now at 4726 6 Mile Road, is leaving its current digs and headed to the former Raymond Heights — which is now Raymond Industrial Park. ... Read More

After several years of coaxing, German firm PTF Pfuller plans to expand in Racine County

RACINE COUNTY — After more than two years of cultivation by economic development groups, a German manufacturer will plant its first American seed in Racine County soil.  The story of how and why PTF Pfuller chose this area for its U.S. foothold illustrates how southeastern Wisconsin economic development organizations now pursue European companies.  In the decision announced Thursday, PTF said it plans to start with just one salesperson, likely working from home at first with admi... Read More

German company opening first U.S. operation here

RACINE COUNTY — A German manufacturer has committed to opening an American branch here that it expects to grow into a manufacturing operation within five years.  Racine County Economic Development Corp. and the Milwaukee 7 jointly announced the decision by PTF Pfuller of Stollberg, Germany, a company with 18 million euros in annual revenue, or about $23.5 million. ... Read More

Echo Lake Foods to rebuild here

Echo Lake Foods has reached an agreement with local officials to rebuild much of its production facility lost in a massive January fire, according to company and Racine County officials. “Current building plans are with the state (for review) as we speak,” Jerry Warntjes, Echo Lake’s general manager and vice president, said Tuesday. The goal of the agreement, officials said, is to return the Burlington plant, at 33102 S. ... Read More

Developing Racine: Brownfield redevelopment programs vital to communities

The public is usually aware of the economic development efforts in a community that are related to the recruitment of new companies and the expansion of existing employers. However, they are not generally aware of the brownfield redevelopment programs that assist in returning sites to productive reuse for business development.  Brownfield redevelopment consists of the acquisition of older industrial sites that have experienced some type of soil or groundwater contamination. ... Read More

48 Burlington apartments to be built on cleanup site

BURLINGTON — Bear Development of Kenosha is about to begin building the first of two 24-unit apartment buildings here, an approximately $8 million project in total.  On Tuesday evening, the Burlington Plan Commission unanimously recommended approval of the project at 132-200 S. Bridge St.  Bear Development President S.R. Mills said Wednesday that the first 24 units will cost more than $4 million, with considerable front-loading of costs because of site remediation work. The total... Read More