Company site selectors have their eye on the Madison Region
Excerpted from Wisconsin State Journal
By Judy Newman
It’s not just Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn that is considering opening operations in the Madison area.
In the first 10 months of this year, 38 companies have been interested enough in the possibility of setting up shop in this area that they have asked the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) to find potential sites in the eight-county region to suit their needs.
That’s up nearly 50 percent from 26 site searches MadREP fielded in all of 2016, which was a sharp jump from the five to 10 searches a year before that.
“It’s not just an upturn. I would call it an explosion,” said Michael Gay, MadREP senior vice president of economic development.
In the last year and a half, the area has won several projects. The Little Potato Co., of Canada, chose a DeForest site last year for its $20 million U.S. base and packing facility. In June, Drexel Building Supply, of Campbellsport, decided to stay in state to build a lumberyard and showroom, in Columbus.
What’s sparking the sudden surge of interest in south-central Wisconsin?
“I think there’s no question the Madison region is on the national radar screen a lot more than it was a few years ago,” Jadin said. The area’s growing reputation as a technology hub and the strength of the University of Wisconsin are contributing to that, he said.
There’s also been a pointed effort by MadREP to reach out to site selectors, who are participating more and more in a company’s selection process, Jadin said. “We’re doing very, very direct marketing to site selectors,” he said.