October 26, 2016
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Affiliated Foods Midwest merges, expands footprint

Affiliated Foods Midwest, which has warehouse operations in Kenosha, has merged with Associated Wholesale Grocers.

The combined cooperative will operate as Associated Wholesale Grocers with more 1,000 independent members. The combination of retailers makes AWG the largest wholesale grocery cooperative in the United States, its operators claim.

Affiliated Foods Midwest operates a warehouse and distribution center at 8100 60th St.

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Salem Business Park nets first company


Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch will be on hand Thursday for a ceremony at the Salem Business Park where she will unveil the first company to move into the large industrial-business park in western Kenosha County.

The business park, still under development, is located just west of State Road 83 and north of County Highway C in Salem. It has 65 acres of developable land that can be divided into segments of two to 10-plus acres. A tax increment financing district was created to support the development, with funds to be used for sewer, water, roads and curbs.

The Kenosha Area Business Alliance contracted with an outside civil engineering firm and independent public financing consultants to determine the financial feasibility of a business park in western Kenosha County. That process aimed to identify sites, infrastructure, as well as cost to acquire and prepare land. The Salem location was selected from a list that included sites in Paddock Lake, Salem, Twin Lakes and Bristol.

Uline's corporate headquarters in Pleasant Prairie, as seen from the air in July 2014. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Uline remains in growth mode


Uline Corp. will move 600 employees from Lake County, Ill., to the Kenosha area and will add another 500 workers companywide by spring or early summer 2017.

Chief Financial Officer Frank Unick said 200 to 250 of the new employees will fill positions in Kenosha County. Some will work in corporate headquarters positions in Pleasant Prairie and in positions at the company’s newest distribution center, an 800,000-square-foot facility in Kenosha scheduled for completion by spring.

A second headquarters facility, currently under construction on the corporate campus at 12575 Uline Drive in Pleasant Prairie, is also expected to open next year.

The Red Oak Restaurant owners Mary Acuna, right, and her mother, Adeline Carney, feature locally sourced ingredients on the menu of the new eatery. The Bristol restaurant strives to pay all of its employees a living wage by employing a service fee approach in lieu of tipping. ( KEVIN POIRIER )

Red Oak Restaurant writes its own definition of sustainability


A new restaurant in a familiar Bristol location hopes to build a reputation and a sustainable future, both in its food as well as its business practices.

The Red Oak Restaurant opened in September at 4410 200th Ave. (U.S. 45) in a building that has held several other eateries in recent years. The building had sat unused for a number of months.

Owner Mary Acuna and her partner—and mother—Adeline Carney are residents of the area, both living less than a mile from their new endeavor. They bought the building in March and spent months getting it ready for its new purpose.

Selina Garcia ( )

Johnson Bank fills 2 positions


Ellyn Jansen has joined Johnson Bank as vice president and regional sales manager of private banking. Jansen is responsible for leading teams delivering financial solutions to clients in southeast Wisconsin, including Kenosha, Milwaukee and Racine.

Jansen has more than 20 years of experience in senior leadership roles managing multi-million dollar lines of business. She holds an MBA. from the University of Chicago. She and her family reside in New Berlin.

Also at Johnson Bank, Selina Garcia has joined as private banking relationship manager. Garcia has a background in commercial and retail lending, as well as branch management,

Industrial building sold in Pleasant Prairie

Founders Properties LLC, a Minnesota-based real estate investment company has purchased a 105,637 square-foot industrial building in Pleasant Prairie for $5.28 million.

The company — formed by Best Buy founder Richard Schulze and Opus Group founder Gerald Rauenhorst — purchased the building from MLRP 8901 102nd LLC, of Itasa, Ill.

Andy Finn, a Founders vice president of acquisitions and investments, said the building, located at 8901 102nd St., currently is fully occupied with no plans for expansion. It is occupied by Hanna Cylinders and Reunion Industries Inc.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker speaks with Colbert Packaging President Jim Hamilton and Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian after announcing the company opening a new facility in Kenosha. ( KEVIN POIRIER )

Printing, packaging company moving to Kenosha


A printing and packaging company with deep roots in Illinois and additional operations in Indiana has chosen Kenosha for expansion and the base of its future growth. The governor, the mayor and the county executive took the stage at an event Tuesday morning to welcome Colbert Packaging Corp. to its new facility at 9949 58th Place in the Business Park of Kenosha.

A combination of state and local incentive funding helped convince the company to move north.

Founded in 1959, Colbert Packaging was created when Charles Colbert purchased property and assets of Kroeck Paper Box of Chicago. Relocation of the Colbert Packaging’s flexographic printing and packaging operation, as well as related warehousing services, is expected to bring 100-plus jobs to Kenosha.

Packages stream by at the Kenosha Amazon fulfillment center last year. The online retail giant this week announced plans to add 120,000 seasonal workers nationwide for the upcoming holiday season. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Amazon to add 120,000 seasonal workers nationwide


The holidays are coming and Amazon plans to add 120,000 seasonal workers nationwide in an effort to meet an expected spike in demand as more and more people trade bricks for clicks.

The seasonal positions will be created at fulfillment centers, sorting centers and customer service sites in 27 states. The move marks a 20 percent boost from the 100,000 seasonal hires a year ago.

Officials have yet to say exactly what the impact will be locally, but job sites are already advertising seasonal positions at Amazon’s Kenosha fulfillment and sortation centers.

A Downtown Kenosha Inc. funding proposal calling for a tax increase within the Lakeshore Business Improvement District has created a tug-of-war among property owners. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Business owners debate merits of Lakeshore BID


A Downtown Kenosha Inc. funding proposal calling for a tax increase within the Lakeshore Business Improvement District has created a tug-of-war among property owners.

At a public hearing Tuesday on the BID’s plan to increase taxes supporting the district by $1 per $1,000 assessed value, some complained they weren’t seeing enough benefit from the taxes they pay into the BID, while others lauded the work being done downtown.

Supporters at the event at Circa on Seventh cited examples of how improvements have made the downtown a nicer place that has begun to attract more merchants and shoppers, saying they want to see DKI continue the implementation of the 2012 Downtown Strategic Development Plan.

A rendering of the planned expansion at United Hospital System's St. Catherine's Medical Center. The 195,000-square-foot expansion would house an outpatient surgical wing. ( IMAGE COURTESY PLEASANT PRAIRIE )

St. Catherine’s set to add surgical wing


PLEASANT PRAIRIE — The village Plan Commission has approved a conceptual plan for the addition of an outpatient surgical wing at St. Catherine’s Medical Center.

The 194,888-square-foot proposed expansion presented Monday night would be constructed adjacent to the existing hospital at 9555 76th St.

The conceptual plan calls for 61,941 square feet on the first floor and will house a lobby, lounge, café, courtyard, registration and waiting area, private preoperative suites with a minimum of eight surgical suites along with recovery areas.

Ross will open Saturday at Plaza 50. ( BILL SIEL )

National retailers boost Plaza 50 plaza


The Plaza 50 Shopping Center has had a facade makeover and has added two new national retailers.

Ross Dress for Less and Burlington will offer consumers more off-price shopping options along the growing Highway 50 commercial district just east of Green Bay Road.

The two new stores — Burlington, also known to shoppers as the Burlington Coat Factory, and Ross Dress for Less — will be located next to each other in the shopping center at 5914 75th St. They will be located in the plaza along with Marshall’s, another off-priced retailer and the Pick ’N Save supermarket.

Today’s Biz Briefs: Lakeside Foods to hold job interviews

PADDOCK LAKE — Lakeside Foods will hold open interviews for a variety of part-time positions from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at the Kenosha County Center building, 19600 75th St., in Bristol.

Candidates are encouraged to pick up an application ahead of time at Lakeside Foods, 25300 75th St., Paddock Lake, and bring the completed application to the interviews. Candidates can register online for an interview appointment, by visiting http://www.signupgenius.com/go/409094bacac2ca0f94-jobfair.

Available positions are cashier, meat department clerk, grocery and frozen food/dairy clerk, bakery/deli clerk and pricing verifier. One part-time night shift manager position is also available.

The Best Western Harborside Inn, 5125 Sixth Ave., may soon have a new owner. Connecticut-based Mayra Kenosha Inc. may sell the property to KAS Real Estate LLC for more than $6 million, according to city documents. ( Kenosha News file photo by BILL SIEL )

Best Western Harborside sale in the works


The Best Western Harborside Inn and Conference Center is in the process of being sold to a Chicago-based company.

Connecticut-based Mayra Kenosha Inc. may sell the property, 5125 Sixth Ave., to KAS Real Estate LLC for more than $6 million, according to city documents. It will remain a hotel, said Ald. John Fox, who represents the district.

Negotiations have been going on since at least July.

Justin Staebler ( )

The Ladder: Staebler joins Johnson Insurance


Justin Staebler has joined Johnson Insurance Services as assistant vice president and personal insurance sales manager. Staebler will be responsible for leading the team of personal insurance agents who provide home, auto and umbrella insurance solutions to customers.

Staebler comes to Johnson Insurance with more than eight years of experience in the insurance industry. He is experienced in leadership, sales, sales management, product development and operations. He was previously an agent at Zingen & Braun Insurance Agency Inc.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Staebler received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. He is active in his community, serving as a member of the coaching staff for the Waukesha Catholic Memorial High School wrestling team.

Brandum Landrum, who has worked for Costco since 2009, unloads a customer's shopping cart at the company's store in Pleasant Prairie. Costco will add a number of seasonal employees to handle increased holiday business. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

At work for the holidays


The notion of a retailer hiring a few housewives to work the cash registered during the busy Christmas season is as dated as the term “housewife” itself. With the relentless growth of online shopping — and the logistical infrastructure that supports it — the practice of up-staffing for the holiday season has morphed into a complex puzzle.

That’s not to say retailers aren’t adding thousands of jobs for the Christmas shopping season of 2016. The jobs themselves are often more than stocking shelves with toys, gifts and holiday decorations. They are just as likely to involve back-office operations or customer service roles as they are unloading trucks.

By some estimates, retailers roll up a third of their annual sales and generate nearly 40 percent of their profits during the holiday season. The season is usually seen as stretching from a day after Thanksgiving and continuing into early January. But in some cases, support, logistics and other positions were filled weeks ago.

The former SuperValu store at 3401 80th St., vacant since 2013, would turn into a self-storage facility under a Canadian developer's plans. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Self-storage business proposed for old SuperValu


A Canadian developer has plans to turn the former SuperValu supermarket at 3401 80th St. into a self-storage business.

The building has been empty since 2013. It most recently served as the temporary location for a Festival Foods grocery store as its new building was under construction just to the east.

“A conditional use permit has been given,” said Brian Wilke, the city's development coordinator, of the self-storage plan. “It’s subject to conditions that they will have to come back to staff for approvals.”

The Agenda: Notes, Post-Its and scribblings have grown into quite a pile

As I have been busy annoying readers the past few weeks with strolls through Kenosha’s downtown and the post-industrial wasteland we call the “Chrysler site,” I thought it was time to take a break. I needed to clean my desk of assorted phone messages, Post-It notes, buried ideas in stacks of Professional Reporter’s Notebooks®, and random thoughts scribbled on the backs of grocery store receipts.

And rather than throw away these gems and bon mots, I thought I would inflict them on you. In advance, I want to thank you for your patience and indulgence.

Having arrived on the north side of Kenosha just about a year ago, Sweet Eats Bakery and Cafe, 2700 22nd Ave., needs to relocate.

Paddock Lake grocery to change name

PADDOCK LAKE — Festival Foods will change the name of its Paddock Lake grocery store.

The store, known as Lakeside Sentry since Festival Foods began operating it last spring, will soon be known as Lakeside Foods.

Festival Foods operates 24 other locations throughout the state and chose to maintain the Sentry Foods brand when it acquired the 27,500-square-foot store last April.

After 30 years, a prime piece of downtown real estate, which is owned by the city, remains on the market. The site, on the east side of the 5400 block of Sixth Ave., has been vacant since the Bode Brothers furniture store building burned down in 1986. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

The Agenda: 30 years later


It’s been 30 years since the Chicago Bears won Super Bowl XX, Jan. 26, 1986.

It was a bitterly cold night here, and locals who could make themselves watch the game saw the Bears smack around the New England Patriots, winning 46-10.

While some Kenoshans were among the 92.57 million people watching the game, about 70 firefighters were busy battling a massive fire in downtown that ultimately brought about the end of the Bode Brothers furniture store building at 5431 Sixth Ave.

This artist's conception shows the new facility Uline plans to build (foreground). It faces I-94. The current headquarters is at upper left. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Uline to be named KABA Business of the Year


The Kenosha Area Business Alliance will its present its 2016 Ovation Awards at a dinner and ceremony on Nov. 3 at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Student Center Ballroom.

Registration and networking will begin at 4:30 p.m., with dinner to follow at 6 p.m. The awards presentation will get underway at 7 p.m.

The cost is $100, with tables of eight seats available.

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