Thriving Factory and Community Fixture
From 1858 to 1999, Beloit Corporation was one of the largest employers in the area, with more than 1,000 workers in its foundry at the height of operations. The company was a household name in the paper industry, and was the only producer of pulp and paper machinery in North America in its last two decades. But in 2000, the company filed for bankruptcy. The company was acquired and the iconic foundry shut down; the property fell into disrepair. Aside from the loss of 1,000 direct jobs, other foundries, manufacturers and even nearby restaurants and retail establishments suffered.
As Paper Industry Evolves, Iconic Property Finds a New Use
The site, known as the Ironworks Campus, was acquired by Hendricks Commercial Properties, which saw the potential for redevelopment. After more than a decade of work, the project is scheduled for completion in 2017. It was accomplished through collaboration among local and state partners including the City of Beloit, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, which provided an Idle Sites Redevelopment Grant. With more than 1 million square feet of leasable space, it already holds 14 tenants, including IT firm Comply365 and a YMCA. The Ironworks Campus has already added more than 700 jobs to the area, and is expected to add a total of 5,000 when the property is at full occupancy.
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