Stevens Point groundbreaking brings new jobs - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Stevens Point groundbreaking brings new jobs

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -

Shovels hit the ground for the first business to open shop in a new Stevens Point business park.

Community leaders hope the development will eventually bring thousands of jobs to the area.

Both city and state officials agree that this groundbreaking is another sign the economy is improving.

"I think it's a terrific sign that the economy is really picking up all across Wisconsin, but particularly in central Wisconsin," said Ryan Murray, Deputy Secretary for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

"It does show that the recession hopefully in Wisconsin is coming to an end, that businesses are rebounding," said Sen. Julie Lassa.

The Service Cold Storage warehouse costs $10 million and will serve as a distribution center for the agricultural and food industries.

"It's $10 million of investment in central Wisconsin, it's in an area that we think can really grow in terms of service to agriculture and dairy producers," Lassa said.

"170,000 square feet of cold storage does a lot for this community, but it really targets a lot of the key foundational businesses that we're looking at for our 800-acre state certified business park," said Stevens Point Mayor Andrew Halverson.

City officials say the East Park Commerce Center will be the largest certified business park in the state.

"The future of an 800-acre business park could produce as much as $500 million in tax base for the city, and probably as many as 3,000 to 5,000 jobs," Halverson said. "Anyone who lives in the city should be very proud because it's positioning us for success," added Halverson.

The new cold storage warehouse will store everything from dairy products to cranberries, both fresh and frozen.

"We're in the food business and the food business has expiration dates on it so they need storage, storage to put these products," said Milton Austin, president of Service Cold Storage.

Austin says building the new Service Cold Storage distribution center will add more than 30 jobs to the local economy.

Company officials say construction of the new facility is expected to be finished by June.

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