June 2014

Racine, county jobless rates down in past year

RACINE COUNTY — The overall county jobless rate and the city of Racine’s both declined by more than 1 percent from last May to this one, the state estimates. Wednesday the Department of Workforce Development released unemployment rate estimates showing the city of Racine at 9.7 percent. That was a 1.6 percent reduction since the previous May’s 11.3 percent.  However, Racine continued to hold the highest jobless rate among Wisconsin cities, with Beloit second at 8.9 percent... Read More

Developer lands tax credits for Machinery Row project

RACINE — A planned $65 million or more Downtown riverfront redevelopment can now go forward as planned, as the developers have secured $9 million in state historic tax credits.  Earlier this month Financial District Properties of Davenport, Iowa, announced a commercial-residential project on 20 acres in an area called Machinery Row. The area, north of Water Street and east of Marquette Street, encompasses all of Azarian Marina, 726 Water St., and two large former industrial buildings ... Read More

Union Grove announces effort to fill Downtown storefronts

UNION GROVE — This village will use new window clings to try to fill vacant downtown storefronts.  Racine County Economic Development Corp. announced the new initiative on Monday. RCEDC said it developed a program to advertise the availability of properties for sale or for rent in the downtown. Over the next few weeks, window clings will be installed in the front windows of vacant downtown properties; the goal is to fill them with new businesses and help attract buyers to buildin... Read More

Roundabout possible for State Street and North Memorial Drive

RACINE — Another roundabout could be in the cards for the city. ... Read More

Rochester Village Hall earns EnergySTAR rating

The Village of Rochester’s new 6,200-square-foot Village Hall at 300 W. Spring St. has become Racine County’s first US EPA EnergySTAR Rated Office Building, according to the EPA.  Opened in 2013 at a cost of $1.12 million, the building provides 40 percent more space for staff and residents, yet costs less to heat, cool and power. Even during one of the harshest winters on record, the village reduced annual energy cost by 33 percent per square foot in the first year of operation.... Read More

Machinery Row project would transform Root River site in Racine

Racine — Racine's waterfront redevelopment over the past few decades generally has occurred on its harbor, home to condos, a marina, a hotel, restaurants and a park near where the Root River flows into Lake Michigan. But a $65 million development proposal shifts that focus about a mile upriver, where older industrial properties mark much of the landscape. ... Read More

Festival Foods eyeing former Sentry location

MOUNT PLEASANT — Onalaska-based Festival Foods may take over the former Sentry Foods site with a full-size grocery store at 5740 Washington Ave.  Festival has filed a site plan with the Village of Mount Pleasant, and it goes to the Plan Commission on Wednesday. Festival Foods spokesman Nick Arlt confirmed Friday the company has interest in the site but said it has not completed lease negotiations with the property owner. ... Read More

Burlington food manufacturer to receive 10-year tax rebate

BURLINGTON — Echo Lake Foods will get a 70 percent property tax rebate for 10 years for rebuilding here after a devastating fire last year.  The deal ensures a total investment of about $18 million by Echo Lake Foods: a $14 million building plus $4 million in improvements such as manufacturing equipment.  The company also commits to employing at least 250 people within one year of finishing the building, by the terms of the agreement which goes to the City Council on Tuesday for ... Read More

BRP introduces brand-new generation of Evinrude engines

STURTEVANT — BRP this weekend introduced a new outboard engine line the company says cuts emissions while improving fuel efficiency and with more torque than other four-stroke engines.  BRP introduced its G-2 line of its Evinrude E-Tec outboard engines to BRP dealers and boat builders from around the world during a dealer conference that started Thursday in Milwaukee and ends today.  All Evinrude engines are made at BRP’s Evinrude world headquarters and manufacturing plant ... Read More

United Natural Foods center starts local shipping operation

STURTEVANT — After about five weeks of receiving products, on Monday United Natural Foods began shipping from its new, $32 million distribution center. UNFI’s 425,000-square-foot distribution center will serve the Chicago metropolitan area, all of Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and a bit of its southern edge, General Manager Chet Hicok said. Nearly everything about the new center and its operation is vast. ... Read More