Development director proposes city-owned business accelerator

April 22, 2009

Wauwatosa's Common Council last night authorized staff to apply for a $2.8 million federal matching grant application that would be used to construct a business accelerator in the Burleigh Triangle, an area that city officials have wanted to see redeveloped for several years.

A business accelerator is a facility where entreprenuers can transform their ideas for technical innovations into actual products without having to invest a lot of money.

Community Development Director Nancy Welch has been working on a business plan, which would require the triangle - 70 acres bordered by Burleigh Street, U.S. Highway 45 and Currie Park - to be deemed a tax-incremental funding district. Taxes on the increase in value of the TIF district area pay off municipal bonds used to finance the redevelopment.

Welch foresees constructing the building on about six acres just south of the tip of the triangle off Highway 45, and she has been in talks with property owners about a long-term land lease. She has also received letters of interest from some potential tenants.

The project would allow Wauwatosa to become a player in the global marketplace while specifically targeting a problem area of land within the city, Welch said.

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