The Fennimore Common Council unanimously approved the sale of a lot in the city’s industrial park during a meeting Monday evening, March 11.
Lot 5, which is located at the corner of Dodge and Dewey Streets, and totals 3.8 acres, will be sold to Frank Beer Distributors.
The cost of industrial park land for manufacturing use is based on project development costs, per the Fennimore Industrial Park Incentive Plan.
Frank Beer Distributors purchased Lot 5 for $1 an acre, for a total of $3.80.
A 56’ x 164’ building will be built on Lot 5, City Clerk Margaret Sprague told the Council. The building will include an office area and a small cooler.
Jim’s Building Center of Fennimore will oversee the construction of the building. Construction is expected to begin May 1 and is expected to be completed in approximately four months.
Steve Frank, president of Frank Beer Distributors, attended Monday night’s meeting.
Alderperson Greg Fry asked how many jobs would be created at the new facility.
“There are 14 or possibly 15 jobs that we currently have,” Frank said. “Those people were employed by the current distributor.
“I am assuming they don’t all live in Prairie du Chien. That is I guess what we are creating. Are we creating anything more in the area? Well, we are kind of taking from Prairie du Chien and putting them here.
“In the future, I am assuming if we have turnover, obviously if there are people here in the area, we would welcome them.”
Frank Beer Distributors, Middleton, and La Crosse Beverage, La Crosse, joined to purchase Preferred Distributors, Sparta, earlier this year. Frank Beer Distributors and La Crosse Beverage are both part of the Frank Beverage Group.
Warehouses in Lake Delton, Sparta and Prairie du Chien are expected to close as the companies integrate, which opens the door for a warehouse to be built in Fennimore.
“This is something for a long time we have had in mind,” Frank said. “If we got down in this area and were fortunate enough to be distributors down here, we would run it out of Middleton, as our plan was.
“We are certainly familiar with the Fennimore area, and familiar with the fact it is a straight ride down here, especially for a semi. I think that it is an hour or maybe an hour and 20 minutes from our warehouse. It is a quick turnaround time.
“For what we want to do, it is going to be very efficient and very functional for us. Fennimore is right in the middle of the county, and right on a straight road, and we like that.”
Frank explained he looks forward to getting off on the right foot in Fennimore.
“We are really new to the area,” he said. “We brought in new ways to doing business to the people who have always worked in it in Prairie du Chien.
“While they are getting used to doing it our way, we can get this project done and hopefully by the time we get in there, the transition of moving to this facility, as far as doing it our way and how we run our business, they will know that and be able to make the transition and very easily.”