Dec 7, 2011

Janesville eyeing $1.5 million lot to start business park

Excerpted from Janesville Gazette
by Jim Leute

Janesville appears to have more momentum than two other Wisconsin cities to land a medical isotope manufacturer and 100 or more high-paying jobs.

Greg Piefer, founder and chief executive officer of SHINE Medical Technologies, said Tuesday that his company has not committed to a site in Janesville, Stevens Point or Chippewa Falls for the $80 million start-up operation.

“But we’ve been working awfully hard with the city of Janesville to put together something that might put us there,” Piefer said.

At the moment, that “something” involves the city considering the purchase of 84 acres of farmland on the city’s south side. The city has an option to buy the land, but that option expires Dec. 31.

The city’s plan commission on Monday recommended that the city council buy the property, which is expected to cost about $1.5 million. The majority landowner is Art Donaldson, and Randy Hughes owns a small portion.

The council is expected to take up the issue as early as Monday.

Vic Grassman, the city’s economic development director, said SHINE and other companies have expressed an interest in the parcel, which sits just across Highway 51 from the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport.

Buying the property is consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan and the council’s industrial development policy because it would help retain existing businesses or attract new ones, Grassman said.

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