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Hobart sees development spike

By Ben Rodgers

HOBART – The Hobart village board approved some major developments after meeting in closed session at the Feb. 20 meeting.

A development agreement with LaserForm LLC was agreed on for the company to purchase 10.5 acres of property and build a new 70,000-plus-square-foot facility at a cost of roughly $7 million.

“Basically we wanted to stay on this end of town and Hobart was the most competitive as far as tax breaks and the price of the land, water, everything,” said Ken Destiche, owner/president of Laserform, after the meeting. “They were the best priced and they gave us the best offer.”

The precision machining and fabrication company will move from Ashwaubenon to Hobart’s Tax Increment Financing District No. 2 on the village’s south end.

Destiche said the shop space will be 70,000 square feet with an additional roughly 6,000 square feet for office space.
The company will add an additional laser cutter and water jet to the Hobart facility and look to add six to eight employees, Destiche said.

Moreover, he said Laserform is always looking for welders.

Destiche said the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

The board also approved a development agreement with Emerald Bay Retirement Community for a 29,510-square-foot addition at a cost of $4.2 million.

Matt Collins, co-owner of Emerald Bay, said the addition will feature 28 new one-and-two-bedroom units with fireplaces.

“We’re trying to make it as homelike as possible, and I think the fireplaces will add a nice touch,” Collins said after the meeting.

The expansion will also include a new chapel, more common areas, a pub and grill with a seperate kitchen, a billiards room, more doors to the outside and a trail.

Collins said Emerald Bay surveyed residents and their families to learn what they desired in the facility.

“We’re excited to fulfill those kinds of needs and wants and we appreciate that residents and their families have provided this feedback,” he said.

Collins said he is hopeful to break ground in April and have the project finished by September.

Emerald Bay Retirement Community is located in Centennial Centre.

Also in Centennial Centre, the board approved a development agreement with Centennial Centre Marketplace LLC to facilitate the construction of an estimated $750,000 addition to its current commercial building.

The addition will be 4,000 square feet and will bring the entire retail space to approximately 15,000 square feet, said Paul Belschner, president of Base Companies LLC, and owner of Hobart Centennial Centre Marketplace, which has launched the first phase of commercial development in the area.

“Our catalyst tenant for the addition is an Edward Jones Financial Services office, and they have expected occupancy in June of 2019,” Belschner said after the meeting. “Furthermore, I’m very proud to say we’re adding the first nationally recognized franchise to the Centeintal Centre Marketplace District.”

Edward Jones will take up most of the space, but there will be still some available for another business to rent.

“The village has continued to be an amazing partner with their foresight and understanding of how economic development incentives can be applied to be the catalysts,” Belschner said.

Finally, the board accepted a contribution of $28,449 from the United States Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs for a Jaws of Life for use by the Hobart Fire Department.

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