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U.S. Venture’s development agreement with city of Appleton amended


Plans move forward to build company’s headquarters on the bluff site

Appleton, Wis. (August 15, 2018) – An amended development agreement between the city of Appleton and U.S. Venture Inc. was approved by Appleton’s Common Council Wednesday night. Changes to the development agreement included removing One Lawrence Street, LLC as the developer of the city’s public parking structure.

This amendment was initiated by One Lawrence Street, LLC because the costs associated with securing private financing to construct the parking structure were excessive. Concerned that the city and its taxpayers would be burdened with higher interest rates and financing fees, One Lawrence Street, LLC requested that the city assume the responsibility to design and construct the city owned ramp project.

The original plan called for the city to purchase the 625-stall parking structure from the developer after construction—about an 18-month process—but the amended agreement now gives the city full control and ownership going forward.

“We understand the benefits of the city managing the parking ramp project,” said John Schmidt, CEO and president of U.S. Venture. “In order to facilitate this change and keep the project moving forward, we have agreed to increase the minimum assessed property value of our new headquarters from $49.5 to $54.5 million, which increases guaranteed tax revenue to the city.We also increased the number of parking passes we will purchase from the city from 300 to 400 each month.”

According to city leaders, the company’s new headquarters will be one of the largest investments in downtown Appleton in the city’s history.

“When you look at the tight labor market and what companies are doing to attract talent and stay competitive, U.S. Venture is setting an example by moving into an urban environment that offers a host of amenities for workers,” said Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna. “On top of that, bringing hundreds of people to work downtown will influence a greater market for small businesses.”

Founded 67 years ago in a house in Kimberly, Wisconsin, U.S. Venture has grown to become one of the largest privately-held businesses in the state and a leading distributor of products vehicles consume in the nation. The company’s current headquarters, located off of County Road CE in the Village of Kimberly, was designed and built in 2010 to house 280 employees and will be put up for sale.

“Early on in our site selection process, we weighed a handful of options that would accommodate the company’s steady growth,” Schmidt said. “While we have the space to expand on our current property, we chose to be downtown Appleton. The location will boost our accessibility to the nonprofits and community partners we engage with, and put team members in the heart of the action.”

An analysis completed by JobsEQ® estimates that a business similar in industry and size to U.S. Venture will generate an economic impact of $644 million annually, which includes payroll, taxes and capital expenditures, as well as the ripple effect of the surrounding businesses stepping up to support the company’s activities and operational growth.

“We believe our headquarters will add to the economic and creative vibrancy of the city as a whole,” Schmidt added. “U.S. Venture moving downtown Appleton is the right thing for the community and the right thing for the company long-term.”

The building is slated to be finished in early 2022.