By Shereen Siewert
A Wausau company is planning a $6.5 million expansion to consolidate three scattered warehouse locations into a single site, a plan that includes a request for $500,000 in tax incremental financing from the city.
Wausau’s Economic Development Committee on Oct. 6 unanimously approved the proposal from Westside Warehousing, a 23-year-old company that purchased land west of its current facility to make way for the expansion. The company is the largest dry good warehousing operation in central Wisconsin.
The project plans include an enclosed rail line transfer station, among the fist in central Wisconsin, which would enable the company to convey product from rail cars to semi tractor trailers more efficiently during inclement weather.
If developed as proposed, the property is expected to generate an estimated $172,000 in annual tax revenue based on the city’s 2019 tax rate, according to city documents. The expansion would be located at 835 S. 66th Ave., Wausau and will comprise more than 270,000 square feet.
The developer agreement, under consideration Tuesday by the Finance Committee, calls for construction of a new industrial facility with a minimum cumulative construction value of $5.5 million to be completed by Dec. 31, 2021. The city would provide 75 percent of complete and full increment of the new construction annually for five years, up to $500,000.
The new facility would represent a major hike in assessed value for Westside, which reports a current value of $950,000 and annual property taxes of roughly $25,000. The company expects to augment its current staff of six full-time and three part-time employees as well, adding two to three jobs over the next two years with salaries in the $15- to $20-per-hour range, according to the group’s proposal.
The Finance Committee will review the proposal during their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.