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Group plans second business park in Lake Geneva

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Kayla Bunge
March 12, 2009
— New businesses planting their feet and existing businesses spreading their wings are running out of room in Lake Geneva.

That's why the Geneva Lake Development Corporation is planning a second business park for small manufacturers and professional offices along Highway 120 south of the city.


"If the community is going to continue to grow employment and its tax base, we have to have something else," said Joe Cardiff, executive director of the nonprofit corporation, which is dedicated to economic development in Lake Geneva.


There are only three, 3-acre lots remaining in the Lake Geneva Business Park along Highway 120 east of the city.


Cardiff said the success of the existing business park, established in the early 1990s, prompted the corporation a few years ago to start looking for a place for a second park. But it was difficult to find enough land in or adjacent to the city, he said.


The Geneva Lake Development Corporation in October paid $1.6 million for 100 acres of land previously owned by the Otto Jacobs Company, a local construction company, and the Jacobs family.


The land straddles the Linn-Bloomfield town line and would have to be annexed into the city for city water and sewer service.


The Geneva Lake Development Corporation has hired Schreiber/Anderson Associates of Madison to design plans for the new business park that incorporate the natural features of the land, including a 10-acre pond, nearby wetlands and nearby Big Foot Beach State Park.


"We don't want to make it a cookie-cutter business park," Cardiff said. "We want those (natural features) to be part of the landscape."


The corporation also plans to conduct a marketing study to determine what kinds of businesses would be best suited to the park. Cardiff said the new park likely would attract similar businesses as the existing parkólight industry and professional offices.


The corporation expects to formally present its plans to the city in June and have the business park ready for tenants in 2011.


"This is going to be, again, a 15- to 20-year project," Cardiff said. "That doesn't mean we won't have it developed and available, but that's how long we expect it to take to fill it up."



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