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on the
move

In 2017, U.S. Venture announced plans to build a new corporate headquarters downtown Appleton. What excites us most about the move is making a positive impact on the downtown while more deeply integrating ourselves in the community.

caring for
community

Home is where the heart is, and U.S. Venture believes in giving back to the community we love. Moving into downtown Appleton is the best way to show our appreciation and loyalty to the city we call home. This move will bring more than 700 team members closer to the culture and amenities of downtown Appleton. And we can’t wait to work even more closely with our nonprofit partners!

deep
roots

U.S. Venture got its start in a two-bedroom family home in Kimberly in 1951. We soon outgrew our humble beginnings and moved into a larger (but still pretty small) office on Washington Street in Combined Locks. When we moved into our current building in 2010, it was hard to imagine outgrowing 60,000 square feet. But we’ve grown faster than we predicted, and one walk through our office building today will tell you we’re due for more space!

When we first started researching options for a new building, we were recruited by cities near and far—and some of those communities offered very attractive incentives. We had a responsibility to consider their offers, but our roots are in the Fox Cities. This is home. This is where we belong.

We’re focused on the work ahead and the future of downtown Appleton,

and we’re committed to building a positive work environment for our team members and making it a positive development for our community.

John Schmidt

President, CEO

current
building

Our current building in Kimberly is beautiful and has served us well. It just isn’t big enough. We plan to sell this building, and we’re looking forward to seeing what company makes it their new home. The Kimberly community has supported us through and through. We’re grateful to them and we’ll miss 425 Better Way.



financial
impact

There’s no question our move will have huge financial benefits for Appleton. Independent analysis conducted by JobsEQ estimated the move could generate $770 million in annual economic activity for the city.

U.S. Venture will pay the majority of the cost of the city’s new public ramp through increased property taxes and parking fees. It’s uncommon for private companies to collaborate and contribute to a city’s public ramp in this way. The ultimate goal of the project is for U.S. Venture and other parking user fees to pay for the entire ramp, so zero taxpayer dollars are used to pay for the city’s ramp.

common
questions

Still have questions about our big move and what it means for Appleton and U.S. Venture? See our FAQs.

  • Why is U.S. Venture building a new headquarters?

    U.S. Venture’s (USV) current headquarters was designed and built in 2010 to house 280 employees. Today, approximately 370 team members work between the corporate building and offsite locations. The company’s growth trajectory predicts corporate employment will exceed 500 within the next several years, which prompted the need to explore options for a new, larger office building.

  • What are the reasons USV chose downtown Appleton for the location of a new headquarters?

    The Appleton area has been an important part of our history and this allows us to have an even greater impact in Appleton; creating renewed vitality to the region along with significant economic benefits. The downtown location will offer USV team members the opportunity to be front and center in the city and more deeply integrate them with all aspects of the community, including the nonprofit sector.

  • Have you been approached by other communities to relocate?

    Yes, we’ve been approached by a number of communities offering incentives for USV to relocate to their cities. However, the heart and soul of our company is right here in the Appleton area and we wish to remain here. We’ve built strong relationships and support many initiatives with the community and want to continue building on that relationship.

  • Where will the new headquarters be located on the bluff site?

    The plan includes property owned by One Lawrence Street LLC, and includes a substantial portion of the former Michiels Fox Banquet Rivertyme Catering (11 Kimball Street), as well as a smaller portion of the former Trinity Lutheran Church (209 Allen Street). It also includes the parcel currently occupied by Mosaic Family Health clinic.

  • Why can’t U.S. Venture just stay where it is and add onto its current headquarters?

    Financially, that would be the fastest and easiest option. However, we view moving downtown as a great move, not only for our team members, but also for the community. We have deep ties to Appleton and want to see the city thrive. In addition to the tax benefits, and the benefits created by more than 450 employees located downtown, we feel this project will be the catalyst that will attract even more business to the area. It will also serve to attract new talent to the region.

  • What will be done with the old building?

    The current corporate headquarters will be listed for sale and we hope it will attract a company from outside the area to relocate here, creating even greater economic benefit.

  • When will U.S. Venture move in?

    As of August 2019, USV is targeting move-in for fall 2022.

  • Who will be located in the new headquarters?

    Everyone who currently works in our building today, as well as team members located in temporarily leased buildings. Approximately 450 to 500 team members will move into the new headquarters at the time of construction completion, with plans to grow to 700 team members.

  • Is it true that the city of Appleton’s cost for U.S. Venture’s project totals more than $76 million and might go higher?

    An article in the Post-Crescent on 9/23/19 stated that “the city will spend more than $76 million to entice U.S. Venture to move its headquarters from Kimberly to downtown Appleton.” That is misleading. To better understand it, below are the individual elements that comprise the amount:

    $34.8 million for the construction of a 642-stall underground city parking ramp that will be the foundation for USV’s headquarters. First, it’s important to note that the ramp is owned and will be operated by the city. The ramp will be a part of the city’s plan to address downtown parking needs. USV has agreed to rent 400 stalls, which guarantees revenue back to the parking utility to pay off the loan. Because the ramp is public, the community will also pay parking fees, which will be used to pay for the ramp. USV also agreed to pay $1,582,000 for the ramp to offset costs associated with design elements related to USV headquarters and to support construction of the ramp.

    $29 million for interest on borrowing for the ramp. While the absolute interest cost over 25 years is approximately $29 million, in today’s dollars that value is approximately $15 million based on an expected 3.5% interest rate that the city would be paying. This means that, if the city set aside approximately $15 million today in a very conservative growth fund, it would provide enough cash to meet all of the future interest payments of $29 million. The $34.8 million, plus all interest payments, will be paid by the parking utility through parking fees. Again, USV has guaranteed it will rent 400 stalls a month until the ramp is paid off in full to help the city make these payments.

    $8 million in support from the city. The funds are a part of TIF financing and are generated from the taxes USV will pay annually to the city, based on the assessed value of the new headquarters. The assessed value is estimated to be at a level at which taxes would be more than $1 million annually. This means that USV pays back the entire $8 million, including interest and principal, at no cost to taxpayers.

    $4.6 million for the acquisition and clearance of the Mosaic Family Health property. The land Mosaic is on is currently valued at $3.3 million, so $4.6 million includes demo and relocation of the clinic. USV is not involved in the relocation of Mosaic. Though USV benefits from receiving the land, the community also enjoys the benefits of a nonprofit medical center with new, state-of-the-art facilities.

    $378,000 for concrete and storm water work. The city’s Downtown Appleton Mobility Plan, published in 2016, identified the need for improved traffic operations in this area for the benefit of the community. Any costs that may be directly attributable to USV’s new headquarters will be paid by USV.

  • Has the city’s ramp project incurred costs due to design requests or changes in U.S. Venture’s building?

    The design firm, Hoffman and Associates, has taken great care to work with the city and USV to properly estimate the cost of the ramp. USV requested an employee-only elevator shaft that takes team members into the building, and is covering the entire cost of the elevator shaft as well as the surface materials and structural support of the terrace that sits atop of the ramp. USV is contributing a total of $1,582,000 to the city’s ramp project, and therefore the city is incurring no additional cost due to requests or changes.

    In addition to the many other benefits to the community and taxpayers of USV relocating its headquarters downtown, U.S. Venture will pay the majority of the cost of the city’s new public ramp through increased property taxes and parking fees. It’s uncommon for a private company to collaborate and contribute to a city’s public ramp in this way and has never happened in the city of Appleton to this extent. The ultimate goal of the project is to have the entire public ramp paid for by U.S. Venture and parking fees from other users so that zero taxpayer dollars are used to pay for the city’s ramp. The ramp is not U.S. Venture’s ramp; it will only be partially used by U.S. Venture team members (400 of 642 parking stalls) during regular business hours (7am-5pm) on weekdays.

  • How many spots will the parking ramp have total?

    The parking ramp will be built to hold 642 cars. USV has agreed to purchase 400 parking passes each month, with that money being used to pay the city’s loan for the ramp until the parking ramp is paid off.

  • If the city will own the ramp, and U.S. Venture will own the property on top of the ramp, what will the public have access to on the property?

    The public will have access to the ramp. In addition, USV understands the need and desire for outdoor public space and is designing an outdoor gathering space and work area for its team members that will also include a public outdoor area.

  • How does the city’s parking ramp construction timeline affect USV’s construction timeline?

    Construction of the city’s parking ramp will take approximately 14 to 18 months to complete. Once complete, USV will begin construction of its headquarters. Delays by the city to approve the ramp and begin construction could add additional expense to the overall cost of the ramp.

  • When will the city begin construction on the parking ramp?

    A formal date has not been set, but the city has communicated sometime during winter 2019/2020. A vote approving a financing option for the construction of the ramp by the Appleton Common Council is pending.

  • How much will the new headquarters cost?

    USV has agreed to a minimum assessed property value of $54.5 million, which is guaranteed tax revenue for the city of Appleton. The headquarters will be built in one of the city’s new tax incremental financing (TIF) districts and will receive $8 million from the city as part of that incentive. TIF districts support the growth of existing business, spur redevelopment of other sites, increase the tax base, and create and maintain vibrancy and vitality in the downtown area. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is supporting USV’s project with up to $20 million in performance-based state income tax credits over the next seven years, but they must be earned by meeting financial standards in each of the following areas: job creation and retention, the level of capital investment the company makes, the amount it spends on purchasing equipment, goods and services from Wisconsin companies, and the amount spent on employee training.

  • What is the economic impact of U.S. Venture moving to downtown Appleton?

    USV will be paying $1.27 million annually in property taxes to the city, based on the approximate minimum assessed property value of $54.5 million. However, should the assessed value be more than $54.5 million, USV will pay the corresponding tax amount. The city of Appleton commissioned the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce to run a third-party analysis by JobsEQ. The results estimate that a business, similar in industry and size to USV, would generate an economic impact of $770 million annually. This calculation includes payroll, taxes and capital expenditures, as well as increased activity and growth at surrounding businesses. Even if you took a very conservative approach, say 5% of that amount, it is still $38.5 million in annual economic impact. We believe it will be much more significant than that.

    In addition to the expected job creation by USV, an economic modeling study conducted by WEDC estimated that the project could indirectly generate more than 200 additional jobs in the region, creating an additional $6 million in state income tax revenue over a five-year period.

  • Doesn’t Appleton already see that benefit from USV since it is so close?

    Not necessarily. More than two-thirds of our team members do not live in Appleton, and most don’t frequent the city’s restaurants, shopping and entertainment venues. Locating our headquarters downtown will create opportunities for all team members to support area businesses. Plus, the property taxes will now be paid to Appleton (vs. Kimberly).

  • What types of sustainable amenities will be incorporated in the new HQ?

    Sustainable materials and practices will be front and center in the new building.

  • Did the location of the ramp and USV headquarters force the Mosaic Family Health clinic to relocate?

    No. USV and the city of Appleton worked cooperatively to decide on this location and also worked with the Mosaic leadership for its relocation. For many years, Mosaic has been a strong and important nonprofit in the Fox Valley, supporting the well-being of so many people and families and we value that service to the community.

    The Mosaic team, as well as the leaders at Ascension Wisconsin and ThedaCare (both of which financially support Mosaic), have been involved in this journey since the beginning, and the new location for the clinic has been top of mind since USV proposed the project. It was very important for all involved that there was a clear path forward for Mosaic to successfully relocate.

  • What is happening to the property east of where USV’s headquarters will be built?

    USV purchased nine homes south of the YMCA and east of where the headquarters will be built in an effort to preserve and protect the site. As part of USV’s social and environmental responsibility, USV hired an environmentally-responsible company called, Recyclean, to deconstruct the homes to ensure materials were properly salvaged, recycled and donated for re-use. Recyclean reverse engineers each property, piece by piece, pulling each nail and screw or fastener out by hand so they can salvage as much product as possible. About 90% of materials from the nine homes has been deemed recyclable; within that, 65% of materials will be donated by USV to local businesses for reuse/resale. If not for this process, these materials would go straight to a landfill. Architectural exterior items have been donated by USV to local reclaim material shops, including details like antique gingerbread trim, corbels, and other trim work and supports. The project will be finished in fall 2019.

  • Will traffic patterns be changed downtown to accommodate the large influx of folks?

    The city of Appleton conducted a mobility study in 2016 to determine and evaluate strategies that would improve multi-modal mobility and traffic circulation in downtown Appleton. As a result, Appleton Street (which runs west of the USV site) will become the main north/south thoroughfare into downtown. Construction is currently underway to transform Appleton Street from a one-way street to a two-way street. When complete, the curved portion of Oneida Street will be gone and additional lanes will be added parallel to Appleton Street, so drivers coming north off the Oneida Street Skyline Bridge will go straight. USV team members will be able to enter the ramp from the top or below, which we believe will ease congestion. Construction will be finished in October 2019.

voices of
business