WEST BEND -
Investing more than
$570,000 in two low-interest loans and an economic development
grant, West Bend will help three businesses complete plans to
expand in the city, bringing more than 50 jobs.
The Common Council approved the loans and grant Monday night
without opposition to assist Regal Ware Worldwide, GrandCare
Systems LLC and MD Design & Automation Inc. MD Design is moving
from Menomonee Falls into a facility now under construction in
the River Road Industrial Park.
In addition, Regal Ware and MD Design are receiving matching
lowinterest loans of $400,000 and $150,000 from Economic
Development Washington County, Executive Director Christian
Terms of the loan proposals remain in negotiation and are
expected to be finalized by the end of July.
The two loans, totaling $800,000 from the city and county, will
be used by Regal Ware as it invests $5.1 million to add a
robotics finishing system in its production plant at 1100
Schmidt Road, City Administrator T.J. Justice said.
Regal Ware will add 27 employees to its workforce of 186 in West
Bend over the next two years, Justice said.
“The low-interest loans that we have been offered will allow us
to invest in new, highly technical equipment which will allow us
to improve our efficiencies, expand our production capacity and
improve competitiveness with foreign producers,” Regal Ware’s
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Tracy Pearson
West Bend and the EDWC also approved a pair of $150,000 loans to
help MD Design to complete its planned move into the city.
“Once we decided that we couldn’t expand any further at our
current (Menomonee Falls) site, West Bend stood out as a central
location for our workforce and close proximity to many of our
customers,” MD Design President Mike Daul said.
A tool and die company, MD Design is investing $1.3 million to
construct a 15,000-square-foot office-manufacturing-warehouse
facility in the River Road Industrial Park, Justice said. The
company will relocate its 13 employees and plans to add two
“While there remains work
to be done in bringing these deals to fruition, EDWC is
pleased to be able to partner with the city of West Bend to
secure projects of this caliber,” Tscheschlok said. “These
projects demonstrate that Washington County can get deals
done to accelerate business growth while providing
pace-setting leadership in Wisconsin for collaboration
between the county and local communities.”
GrandCare will receive a $20,500 grant
from the city to help it move into a 6,404square-foot unit
in the Kreilkamp Building, formerly the Ziegler Building,
215 N. Main St. in downtown West Bend, which will allow the
firm to double its workforce to 28.
Tim Kreilkamp, who co-owns the building
with a brother and sister, also announced that four other
organizations have signed leases for space there: Client
First Investment Management Inc., United Way of Washington
County, Volunteer Center of Washington County and the
Downtown West Bend Association.
The DWBA had been in the building since
2012 on a month-by-month basis. Client First, United Way and
the Volunteer Center are moving into the Kreilkamp Building
from other downtown West Bend sites.
The five tenants will occupy about
20,000 square feet in the building, Kreilkamp said, which
has another 30,000 square feet available.
“West Bend has made the right
investments to prepare for the activity that we are
currently experiencing,” Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said. “We
have sites available that are certified by the state as
shovel-ready, meaning that development may occur rapidly on
these sites as the key approvals, documentations and
assessments most commonly required for industrial uses are
already in place.”
All Common Council votes authorizing the
financial deals were unanimous, although Alderman Ed
Duquaine recused himself from the discussions and votes
involving MD Design because his masonry company is a
contractor for that construction project.
Sadownikow also recused himself from the
discussions on MD Design for the same reason and from the
discussions on the GrandCare deal, because he has had done
business with the Kreilkamp family, he said.
With the sale of 5 acres to MD Design,
the 64-acre River Road Industrial Park is essentially
filled, Justice said.
West Bend mulls legal action
The West Bend Common Council went behind
closed doors Monday night to discuss possible legal options
to deal with a troublesome property on the north side of the
A year ago, city officials were on the
verge of demolishing the deteriorating industrial building
at 2100 Northwestern Ave. until owner John Bagley convinced
them he would be able to renovate the property to bring it
up to modern building codes.
“It’s been a significant investment of
time and resources for the city,” Sadownikow said of City
Hall’s relationship with the property. “I’m looking forward
to seeing how the staff recommends we move forward.”
Justice said the city was under pressure from the Wisconsin
Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental
Protection Agency to do something about the property, which
is on the Milwaukee River and has contaminated soils.