Janesville54.3°

Downtown building efforts back on track

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JAMES P. LEUTE
November 29, 2007
— It’s tough enough building or renovating a commercial building, but it’s even more difficult when a neighbor’s construction project impacts your schedule.

But that’s the case for Forward Janesville, which is renovating two buildings on Jackson Street, and Midwest General Developers, which is constructing a new building next door at the intersection of Jackson and Dodge streets.


Both projects were delayed while the city sorted through issues with developer Jim Grafft’s demolition project at the nearby building that used to house Jeffris Theater.


“We were out of business for 30 days,” said Bruce Felland of Midwest General Developers, which is constructing an 8,000-square-foot building that will house the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin on its top floor and other tenants below.


“It’s turning out to be more than 30 days, because now the weather is colder.”


Felland said he hopes to have the foundation in its new offices by May 1.


Forward Janesville, which is moving from its current facility at 51 S. Jackson, hopes to take occupancy of the renovated buildings at 14 and 18 S. Jackson a couple of months earlier.


That project also faced delays.


“The interior improvements are coming along,” said Forward Janesville President John Beckord. “Electrical service has been hooked up, so the heating units can be fired up and more interior painting can be done.


“We’re proud of the building. It’s really coming together, and, when it’s done, it will look pretty sweet.”


Forward Janesville, the city’s private economic development organization, is selling its 5,200-square-foot building to Crystal Computer Consulting, which plans to move from rented offices on Center Avenue.


Crystal, founded in 1990, is a full-service regional computer consulting firm that provides hardware and software solutions to businesses.


“We aren’t really a retail destination, so the downtown location wasn’t all that important to us,” said Brian Lippincott, Crystal’s president. “But it is more centrally located for us, and it is a nice building with character.”


As a well-established company, Crystal will be a welcome addition to downtown Janesville, Beckord said.


“We’re thrilled Brian’s company is buying the building,” Beckord said. “It means that they’ve grown to the point that they need more space, and it’s great that this building will be reused.”



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