CHIPPEWA FALLS — A $6 million project planned for the Lake Wissota Business Park in Chippewa Falls took a major step forward Tuesday.
The Chippewa Falls City Council voted in closed session to approve a developer’s agreement with a logistics supply company, said Charlie Walker, Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation executive director.
“It’s a great win for the community,” Walker said. “The city shows again they are pro-business and wanting to maintain high-paying jobs in the community.”
Walker first announced “Project 1212” in March. However, the business’s name has still not been made public. Walker said the developer’s agreement will go before the Chippewa County Economic Development Committee on Thursday. Once the measure is approved by that committee, details of the project, including the company’s name, will be released, Walker explained.
Mayor Greg Hoffman declined to comment after the meeting, saying the council’s discussion was done in closed session.
The company is looking at constructing a 125,000-square-foot facility, costing $6 million, and would employ 30 to 40 workers, Walker said. While the plans have taken nearly six months to complete, Walker said the proposal is largely the same one that came forward in March. The total acres needed for the facility also are considered a secret. The building would be near the Mills Fleet Farm distribution center in the business park. It is designed for possible future expansion.
In recent years, the business park has added the $69 million Mills Fleet Farm distribution center and Star Blends, an animal feed processing plant. Last November, construction began on a $6 million OakLeaf Clinics medical center, and Nordson Extrusion Dies Industries is building a new, 140,000-square-foot, $18 million facility in the business park that is expected to open later this fall.
Because of the rapid growth in the park in the past few years, the county is now beginning to search for land to create another shovel-ready business park. The county allocated $90,000 in the 2018 budget to create a feasibility study, or strategic plan, on the possible location.
The 200-acre Lake Wissota Business Park was set up by the county board in March 2000, when they voted to borrow $1 million from the State Trust Fund to develop the park; the county paid off that debt in 2005. The city built a number of roads through the industrial area. Some of the first companies to move into the park include Chippewa River Industries and General Beer Northwest distributing company.