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Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant trustees Monday approved the development of a new business park with a 4-3 vote.

Trustees Gary Feest, Jerry Garski and Don Schulz dissented.

The vote clears the way for Land & Lake Development of Park Ridge, IL, to build the first of what could be between four and eight buildings at the southeast corner of Highways V and 20. Estimated at 120,000 to 150,000 square feet, the spec building is expected to both begin and complete this year. A tenant has not been secured.

Financial incentives tied to the deal come to about $500,000, half of a million-dollar deferred assessment attached to the property Land & Lake purchased from the Borzynski family. If the development company meets certain conditions – like pulling building permits by certain dates – Mount Pleasant will forgive the $500,000.

The other half of the assessment will be returned to Mount Pleasant at a rate of $50,000 a year for 10 years.

Feest voiced the most opposition, calling the agreement between Land & Lake and the village “a give-away” because the development won’t immediately result in the addition of new jobs.

“This is real money, and if we were talking about the addition of two to three hundred new jobs, then okay,” he said. “But, a speculative building is just too iffy to give away $500,000 for what I think is prime real estate.”

Jennie Trick of the Racine county Economic Development Corporation said the new Land & Lake spec building is good news. During a recent presentation of the RCEDC annual report, she told trustees that interest in Racine County remains high because of its location between Chicago and Milwaukee. But, companies are most often looking for space they can occupy without having to build.

“From our perspective, this is very good news,” she told Racine County Eye Wednesday. “Almost 100 percent of the parties we speak to are looking for an available space they can move into.”
Trick said businesses usually have a contract in hand with a short turn-around so an existing building is imperative.
“Companies just don’t have the time and don’t want the expense and risk of putting up a new building,” she added. “So, from where we stand, this is very good news.”
During the board meeting Monday, Village President Mark Gleason echoed similar sentiments.
“The City of Racine has the highest unemployment in the state, and we have to look to Mount Pleasant’s future,” he said. “We must have the ability to attract business, and even one job is helpful.”
Village Community Development Coordinator Logan Martin told trustees that the new building – even empty – will generate about $70,000 in building permits and $52,000 in property taxes.

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