Plymouth Project Recognized by the International Economic Development Council
Plymouth, WI – On Tuesday, October 15, 2019, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) at the national conference in Indianapolis, Indiana recognized the historical redevelopment of 133 E. Mill Street with a Gold Award in the category of creative financing. IEDC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization serving economic developers with more than 5,000 members. IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Tracy Foss, General Manager of the Cheese Counter & Dairy Heritage Center, accepted the award on behalf of the project partners.
The project has now been recognized at the national, state, and local level. Earlier in 2019, the Wisconsin
Association of Historic Preservation Commissions presented the City of Plymouth with the Award of Excellence for Economic Redevelopment and Revitalization for the initiative of the City of Plymouth to purchase the A.F. Laack building and its subsequent redevelopment. The award was presented at the 2019 Wisconsin Association of Historic Preservation Commissions annual state conference in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Plymouth Chamber of Commerce has also recognized the project with an award.
The historical redevelopment project is located at 133 E. Mill Street and required the creation of the Mill Street Historic District in downtown Plymouth along with the use of historic investment tax credits. The final tax credit funding closed in early fall of 2018. Other sources of funding included state and federal grants, sponsorship, and donations. Primary project partners included the City of Plymouth, Plymouth Redevelopment Authority, and the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation.
The initial redevelopment of the property stalled after a developer failed to complete the project. The City of Plymouth considered a raze order to tear down the historic building which would have left a large void in downtown Plymouth. The City of Plymouth worked with Sheboygan County on purchasing the property back from the county after the property was foreclosed on from unpaid property taxes. The Plymouth Redevelopment Authority spurred efforts to save the building and came up with an alternative to razing the building.
The A.F. Laack building was built in 1875 and is a two-story brick Italianate commercial block building on a stone foundation. The main façade is finished in cream brick. The letters ‘A.F. Laack’ and ‘1875’ are visible on the face of the building. The building currently houses the Cheese Counter & Dairy Heritage Center.