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Menasha Corp. plans new global headquarters in Neenah

NEENAH – Menasha Corp. will build a new global headquarters in place of its existing headquarters at 1645 Bergstrom Road, the company announced Tuesday night.

The new facility will encompass more than 100,000 square feet of space and will double as the national headquarters of Menasha Packaging Co., which is Menasha Corp.'s largest subsidiary.

"Having been a part of the greater Fox Cities community for 166 years, we are excited that we are able to remain in the same location and continue contributing to a vibrant community with great employees," said Jim Kotek, president and CEO of Menasha Corp.

Chris Haese, Neenah's director of community development and assessment, estimated that Menasha Corp.'s investment, including demolition, site work and construction, will be in the range of $28 million.

"It's a significant investment, and it retains a significant partner here in the city of Neenah," Haese said. "Along with that comes job stabilization and hopefully job creation."

Haese said Menasha Corp. indicated at least 25 jobs will be added at the headquarters. "I suspect that will be greater over the next few years," he said.

Menasha Corp. said demolition of the existing 48-year-old headquarters will begin in April and that the new headquarters will be ready for occupancy by fall 2016. During the project, employees will be relocated to other company facilities or to temporary leased office space in the Fox Valley.

A corrugated manufacturing and fabrication plant that is attached to the existing headquarters will not be affected by the construction of the new building.

Plans call for Neenah to create a tax incremental financing district — its ninth — to support the project.

In a TIF district, the amount of property taxes collected by local governments and schools is frozen at the base year's value. New tax revenue generated in the TIF district from rising property values — the increment — goes toward paying public investments and is diverted from the other taxing entities until the district is dissolved.

Neenah would provide Menasha Corp. with $1.1 million to $1.55 million as a cash incentive to build on the site. The amount depends on the incremental value of the new headquarters and would be paid as property taxes are collected on the new development, limiting the city's risk.

The $1.1 million in assistance would correspond to a $10 million increment, and the $1.55 million would correspond to a $13.6 million increment.

Neenah also would borrow and spend $400,000 to construct turn lanes and a lighted pedestrian trail on Bergstrom Road between Breezewood Lane and the headquarters.

The Neenah Common Council approved a development agreement outlining the obligations during a special meeting Tuesday night.

"Our ability to assist with the project will solidify Menasha Corp.'s presence in Neenah for generations down the road, and will enhance the community, the company and its employees," Mayor Dean Kaufert said.

Duke Behnke
Post Crescent: Appleton, Fox Cities Wisconsin

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