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St. Croix Valley Business Innovation Center groundbreaking May 10

A rendering of the St. Croix Business Innovation Center shows what it will look like upon completion. The groundbreaking for the site is Wednesday, May 10. Graphic courtesy of Ayres Associates.

Designed to serve 25 businesses, the St. Croix Business Innovation Center will break ground with a ceremony at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10 at Sterling Ponds Corporate Park at 1091 Sutherland Avenue in River Falls.

The incubator center will serve a combination of new and existing businesses, start-ups and enterprises in the region. Sitting on 3.7 acres, the building will have 13,000 square feet of manufacturing space with an additional 18,000 square feet of offices.

Project Manager and Director Danielle Campeau said the River Falls area is a magnet for new businesses.

"Our location, robust private and public partnerships, educational opportunities and a ready and growing workforce have attracted significant business and corporate interest to the area," Campeau said.

The new center will work to foster an entrepreneurial culture, create jobs, accelerate business growth, encourage commercialization and provide opportunities for partnership and collaboration. River Falls City Administrator Scot Simpson said the space will give growing businesses all the tools they need to be successful.

"They will bring new jobs to our region, and help place local graduates, unemployed workers and career-changers in rewarding, sustainable jobs," Simpson said.

Center services will include business development, financial advisory, market development, networking, business software selection, coaching and mentoring and other resources.

The University of River Falls Center for Innovation and Business will play a role in the operation of the innovation center. Businesses will have access to campus resources and be connected to students and faculty.

"We are confident that we will witness a growth of synergies and opportunities for our university to further connect with the St. Croix Valley," UWRF Chancellor Dean Van Galen said.

Construction on the project is already underway with completion set for early 2018. The center's construction will cost almost $4 million. Costs will be covered by a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant of $1.4 million, as well as $250,000 from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Support has also been secured from River Falls and the River Falls Economic Development Corporation. Additional support attempts are underway with a building, room and equipment naming campaign from donors.

The event is open to the public.

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

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