MadREP Report: April 5, 2018
Former Oscar Mayer Site Readies for New Life

In the last edition of MadREP eNews, we documented how the demand for large office and manufacturing buildings in the region was far exceeding the supply currently available. One notable exception to this dilemma is the former Oscar Mayer site in Madison. In partnership with Rabin, the Reich Bros., LLC recently completed an equipment auction for the site and is beginning the transformation process from the Oscar Mayer plant to a new life as a robust, mixed use commercial business center. This spring, work will commence to separately meter all utilities and prepare the various spaces for reuse and leasing by early summer 2018. The site offers a variety of industrial and office options that are readily occupiable and modern
The facilities include: 
  • Cold storage or dry warehouse facilities with clear heights over 30 ft, 22 dock doors, ESFR and ample truck docks. (Totaling over 95,000 SQFT.)
  • Warehouse/manufacturing space with cold storage capabilities, has both grade and dock loading with clear heights over 25 ft. (Totaling over 60,000 SQFT.)
  • Manufacturing space with both grade and dock loading, clear heights over 25 ft. (Totaling 80,000 SQFT.)
  • Corporate office towers. Centrally located on the main fiber ring that transverses Madison and with significant power, this building is primed for office users but can support data intensive operations. (Totaling 280,000 SQFT, but divisible to 10,000 SQFT or larger spaces.)
  • A small, 60,000 square foot warehouse facility. This is a clear span building designed to accommodate industrial users, and can be divisible for multiple tenants.
Additionally, the site (which is over 70 acres) can accommodate build to suits. With heavy power, water, sewer, fiber and easy access to public transportation the site is being primed for successful redevelopment.

MadREP continues to work with the city and owner to properly develop the site. Paul Jadin, president of MadREP, sits on the Mayor's Oscar Meyer Development Committee.

MadREP Announces New Marketing & Communications Director
MadREP is pleased to welcome  Jessica Reilly  to our team. Jessica brings with her a decade of healthcare marketing experience in startup, nonprofit and large corporate environments. Most recently, she was a member of the marketing team at SSM Health.

A native of Buffalo, New York, Jessica relocated to Madison five years ago to join family already residing in the area. She established deep roots in the community through her involvement with the Middleton Chamber of Commerce and Connect Madison. 

She now serves on the board of the Rodney Scheel House Foundation and is active in the nonprofit, Reach-A-Child. 
In her free time, she   enjoys cooking and spending time with her dog.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship:  
A new addition to the Madison area bike scene as Wheel & Sprocket opens in Middleton 
Wheel & Sprocket, a Milwaukee area-based company founded in 1973, has opened its ninth store but its first in Dane County. The shop, at 6641 University Ave. in Middleton, is in the space that for years was home to Middleton Cycle. In November, Dan Fass, whose father Bob Fass founded Middleton Cycle in 1972, sold his inventory and assets to Wheel & Sprocket but retained ownership of the building.

Labor Reduction:   
Toys R Us plans its demise: Madison stores to close in May

Nine Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores in Wisconsin will close on May 14, ending the jobs of 326 employees statewide - including 64 in Madison - the toy company said late Thursday as it began to detail plans to wind down its entire U.S. operation.
In Madison, the 40 employees at the Toys R Us store at 7309 West Towne Way and 24 employees at Babies R Us, 2161 Zeier Road, will be out of work, according to notices filed with the state of Wisconsin.  "This is a profoundly sad day for us as well as the millions of kids and families who we have served for the past 70 years," Dave Brandon, chairman and CEO, said in a statement Thursday.
All of the company's 735 stores across the U.S., including Puerto Rico, will be closed, the statement said. About 30,000 people will lose their jobs.

Real Estate Development: 
Apartments envisioned at Horicon School Site
District Administrator Rich Appel said the district would have options for Van Brunt if it no longer needed the building for educational purposes. "We have had multiple companies contact us, tour, and express interest in repurposing the school into one and two-bedroom studio apartments," Appel said. "The property to the east of the school can be potentially developed into single-family homes." The district would maintain ownership of the gym and locker rooms at Van Brunt. The facility may be used as a third gym for sports activities, practices and junior high games or tournaments; the gym could be used for city recreation programming; and future options could be explored for adult recreation/community use. 
  Read More 

Innovation & Entrepreneurship:
Doyenne Group Debuts Startup Accelerator
There's a new business accelerator in town, and it takes a more long-term approach toward mentoring entrepreneurs.  The Doyenne Group , formed in 2012 to help women start businesses, has stitched together several of its programs to create an accelerator designed to build skills over a full year.  That's different from the main accelerators in Madison: gener8tor, with programs that run from seven to 12 weeks, and Madworks, a 10-week business booster.

  Read More 

New Business Development: 
Economic Opportunity Zones Likely
The City of Whitewater soon might have a new tool in promoting economic development within the community.  Governor Scott Walker has nominated two areas of the community to be named as Economic Opportunity Zones (EOZ). Created under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that Congress passed late last year, EOZs were signed into law by President Donald Trump. "This new EOZ program allows for private investments to be made, with significant tax benefits, in lower income communities like ours that need a boost to their economy," said Larry Kachel, chair of the Whitewater Community Development Authority (CDA).


Workforce Development:  
StartingBlock Takes Off
After some hiccups over the past few years, StartingBlock -- which has local, state and federal funding -- will make a major leap come this summer when it moves into one of the two high-rise buildings going up on East Washington Avenue. StartingBlock's home will be in the American Family Insurance project aptly known as the Spark...Miller Fienen said the entrepreneurial hub will cover 50,000 square feet over three floors and serve as a place for entrepreneurs, investors, advisors and community members to connect, share innovative ideas, and create next-generation businesses.
Business Expansion:
Daybreak's Cage-Free Expansion Opposed

A mother's asthma attack, a pet's death from lung cancer and life in a state of "lockdown" were attributed to Daybreak Foods' current chicken operation in the town of Lake Mills, according to various citizens who attended a Jefferson County public hearing Thursday.  Four representatives of Daybreak Foods, Inc. also attended the Jefferson County Planning and Zoning public hearing to answer questions about the company's proposal to convert its permit from 1.8 million chickens to 2.7 million birds, both layers and pullets, in its cage-free expansion.

New Business Development:
Waupun Truck Stop Open for Business

At least a portion of Heritage Ridge Travel Plaza, along Highway 151 at Highway 26, is now open.
The CITGO station and convenience mart opened Monday, although the adjacent Wild Goose Cafe is still being completed.  Heritage Ridge Travel Plaza includes an 8,500-square-foot convenience store, CITGO fuel bays and amenities for truckers, such as showers, laundry facilities and a lounge.  Among the planned truck stop offerings are "Top Tier" premium diesel fuel, a selection of Schaeffer's fuel additives, fresh "grab & go" sandwiches by Wild Goose CafĂ©, a CAT Scale open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Trendar fleet card services, ATM, fax, free Wi-Fi and more.

ExporTech 3-Session Training April 10, May 8, June 12

Forward- thinking Wisconsin companies are taking advantage of the explosive growth seen in other parts of the world. 

Today, 95% of consumers are outside the United States.  Develop a customized, action-oriented export expansion strategy with ExporTech.

 Graduates have achieved sales increases averaging $900k in 6-9 months after completing the program.

TALENT A.C.T. April 11, May 9, July 11

A 3-part Series on Talent for Technology Executives & Entrepreneurs Sponsored by
The QTI Group and University Research Park. 

A: Attracting & Retaining Talent - 3 Tips to Stand Out in 2018 

C: Company Culture in the Age of #MeToo 

T: Team-Building-
When to Hire and How to Grow Your Team

Innovation Network Lunch April 17

With at least seven new electric vehicles poised to hit the market in 2018 and one young U.S. company expecting to sell its 200,000th vehicle this year, the EV evolution is well under way.

Learn more from expert panelists at the Tuesday, April 17 Tech Council Innovation Network luncheon meeting in Madison.

The luncheon will be held at the Sheraton Hotel on Madison's John Nolen Drive.
Humus-Structured Compost Series - Part I  
April 19

This educational series staged indoors and out at the Fountain Prairie Farm between March and August, will offer learning and hands-on sustainability practices. We will explore and build a deeper understanding of the current state of agriculture by looking at history, philosophy, and science in order to introduce and implement the Controlled Heat Compost Method as a means to attain vital soil regeneration for the future of our farms, land and water, as well as our overall well being.

Spring Entrepreneurship Event - The In's and Out's of
Starting a Business 
April 26

All Current and Would Be Entrepreneurs and Inventors are Welcome!

Panel Discussion Featuring:  Rebekha Stelling (Bekha Kate's, Baraboo),  Thom & Khristine Pendleton (Spray-Clean!, Poynette) and  Todd Spencer (Penda, Portage).

Network with area entrepreneurs and get connected to business resources!

RSVP to 608-742-6161
Simple Steps to Reduce Manufacturing Energy Cost May 1

This meeting is geared for owners, executives, and key decision makers of small-mid size manufacturers engaged in select regionally common industries. This meeting will address key energy saving process technologies (see below) and includes an expert panel recruited by the
Industrial Energy Efficiency Working Group to assist with application, resource, and funding questions.

Thank you to BMO Harris Bank and to all of our investors.

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