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UPDATE: Kohl's Announces It Will Stay in Falls, Expand Headquarters

With the help of $62.5 million in tax credits from the state, Kohl's announced Thursday that it will move forward with its expansion project and stay in Menomonee Falls.

Note: This story has been updated at 3:09 p.m. to include comments from Waukesha

One of the biggest development questions hanging over Menomonee Falls was whether Kohl’s headquarters would stay in Falls and expand or grow elsewhere. Governor Scott Walker and Kohl's CEO Kevin Mansell on Thursday announced that the company won’t be going anywhere – and the state is going to help.

Walker said the state would provide $62.5 million in tax credits to support long-term growth at Kohl’s in an agreement forged between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the national retailer. The number of tax credits received by Kohl’s will depend upon the number of jobs the company creates and its capital expenditures.

Kohl's plans to add 3,000 jobs to the area over the next decade. Kohl's operates 1,134 stores in 49 states, and was the 20th largest retailer in the country in 2011. More than 5,000 corporate employees work at the exisiting facility in Menomonee Falls.

“Strengthening Kohl’s headquarters is good news for Wisconsin,” stated Scott Walker in a news release Thursday. “Not only is this a significant number of jobs, but it also signals that Wisconsin’s economic climate is improving.” 

The agreement has Kohl’s assuming roughly 100 acres of land reserved for it in the Woodland Prime office park. The Village Board park last year, and will invest up to $$23 million for infrastructure improvements on the site.

In exchange for building and land, the village will assume ownership of the company’s 530,000-square-foot former distribution center at N54W13901 Woodale Drive. That exchange is expected to close in fall. For up to three years after the exchange occurs, Kohl’s can elect to develop the property for incremental office space. After three years, Falls will assume control of the building and utilize a portion of it as a central location for public works and utilities.

Once Kohl’s builds its second campus in Falls, it will continue to operate its current headquarters on Ridgewood Drive and its credit center on Woodale Court.

“We have been proud to call Wisconsin home for the last 50 years and are pleased to be renewing our commitment to the state and to our communities, customers and associates by selecting this location in the place where it all started for us," said Kevin Mansell, Kohl's chief executive officer and president said in a release. "While it was always our preference to remain in Wisconsin, Kohl's took the needed time to study all of our options, including an assessment of developing a campus outside of the state of Wisconsin.

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Mansell said they will continue to provide information to the public on their plans as they are finalized. The company had received and .

It's been a two year process closed-door negotiations to keep the company in Falls. Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald has been at the forefront of the negotiations, and can finally say it's a done deal.

“We are thrilled to death. We've been working on this for over two years and it's wonderful for both Kohl's and the village to have done this.”

Waukesha County Supervisor Dan Vrakas issued a statement Thursday praising village leadership, and noting the company's significance in the area.

“I am grateful they (Kohl's) have decided to expand here and play an equally critical role in Waukesha County’s future," Vrakas said. "Growing our economy takes a team effort.  I would like to thank the leadership of the Village of Menomonee Falls and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation for working so closely with the Kohl’s Corporation to ensure it will remain a Wisconsin-based company for years to come.”

The Village Board will meet in a special session at 7:30 a.m. Friday in Village Hall to solidify its agreements with the retailer. The meeting includes several real estate agreements and contracts hashed out in Aug. 2011.

The village would front $23 million for infrastructure improvements on the site, and provide $18 million in grants and incentives for the project. The village's investment would be paid back through the increased tax values from the development.

Steve ® July 19, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Are you going off rumors or facts? Is your google machine broken?
GBlair July 19, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Great to have Kohls stay here! My question is this, why is the Village in "ownership" of more property again? "In exchange for building and land, the village will assume ownership of the company’s 530,000-square-foot former distribution center at N54W13901 Woodale Drive." We already "own" a hotel and some tainted land along 41/45 that they are trying to clean up and sell. "...After three years, Falls will assume control of the building and utilize a portion of it as a central location for public works and utilities." I assume there will be a LOT of the 530,000 sq ft left over if they only want it for public works and utilities. What am I missing?
Carl Engelking July 19, 2012 at 03:41 PM
GBlair - I hadn't seen the property exchange in the pans leading up to this announcement. Wasn't mentioned before so it's new right now. I'll be at the meeting tomorrow morning, and I'll get more details. Kohl's will continue to occupy the building for three years, but I'll find out what the long-term plans are for that space.
Todd Marohl July 19, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Great news for Menomonee Falls.
Todd Marohl July 19, 2012 at 04:50 PM
That building could be subdivided into several small warehouses, or made into an incubator for several small businesses. The building also could be torn down and used as another prime building spot in that industrial park.
Steve ® July 19, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Might be a good location for a new Radisson
GBlair July 19, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Excellent points Todd but why does the village (our taxes) have to be the one to buy/sell/develop private property? Highly unlikely but, what if the economy goes in the tank again in the next 3-5 years and we are holding that "incubator for several small businesses/prime building spot". Not a risk I'd like to see them take. Maybe it was such a HUGE piece of the Kohls deal they couldn't let go, but I doubt it.
Todd Marohl July 19, 2012 at 05:57 PM
All I know is that we have had enough old buildings in the Falls that sat vacant for many years and were eyesores. Think Falls Chevrolet and also the site where the new CVS pharmacy is sitting. I don't have a problem that they obtained that building as long as they didn't overpay for it.
W . Benz July 19, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Hooray the Village is spending another 40 MILLION and the state is all in @ 62.2 MILLION . Glad it's not Obama doing this with taxpayer monies because he's a Socialist. Yes Fitz scored yet again and winning for the Village once again and saving all those jobs with Gov Walker , Another Tif dist were 20 - 30 yrs down the road you will receive reduce Property taxes , thats if Kohls is still in bussiness and that Kohls does ask again for a new Corp H.Q. So building a new corp park T I F on silver spring was enought we want More and More and More . Thank God for Fitz and all those closed doors meetings and he partner with Walker even if someone he knows very well signed the Walker recall petition [ look it up yourself ] Yes politics makes strange bedfellows. I heard Johnson bus co may be looking for a new location and need new busses maybe Fitz can help, we can't lose all those jobs and what about the Kids. Big meeting @ village hall Friday feel free to ask your Trustees any questions you may have but you may have only15 mins. ....you don't want to cut into bar time. I wonder what contractors will be hired to do the construction on this new building and property.
Jann July 19, 2012 at 07:29 PM
We do have a lot of vacant commercial buildings right now. That's why I don't understand the rush by the village to build more. Do we really need a bunch of new buildings on the old Stolper sight at this time? And with everything being a TIF, it's not lowering are taxes.
Nuitari (Grand Master Editor) July 19, 2012 at 09:08 PM
We're in the real estate business yet again, now owning Kohl's distribution center to go along with a nice hotel.
W . Benz July 19, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Even Belling on WISN said Kohl's sales are slowing and find it a strange deal. M.F.Needed good new after all the bad press from the hotel .Listen to his pod cast .
Nuitari (Grand Master Editor) July 19, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Don't get me wrong, I wanted Kohl's to stay. This deal smells of crony capitalism though. Another corporate hostage situation and the village fell for it again.
Jann July 19, 2012 at 11:51 PM
I agree.
Ted Klumb July 20, 2012 at 02:04 AM
This is a good deal for the Falls. The land was virtually donated to the Falls and the land they are trading for will serve as a practical DPW facility and the excess space at that facility can be sold, leased, or become a small business incubator. This will spark development in the area surrounding the business park. I agree with Steve, it is no coincidence this news comes shortly after Scott Walker getting soundly re-elected. Great news for the state, region and Menomonee Falls.
W . Benz July 20, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Read Daykins story @ JS , read all the weasel words for the Village and Kohls. Opportunity to develop --- Expected - 3 yrs to and 3 years to complet in 3 yrs - Don't know yet - .....Nothing in stone and who's going to paying to remodel the dist center [ the village ] and lease back to Kohls @ how much $$$$ . Isn't this what all the TEA PARTY members are against - Pork barrel spending / ear marks /special interest ... Obama spending by RINO's --- No taxes for 20 years and You make up the difference for schools/ roads/ parks /fire police ect ect ------ Didn't the village just extend a TIF that was about to expired to pay for the Hotel ........3 card monte ---where's the lady... More Bait and switch in Potterville .
Ted Klumb July 20, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Good points Todd. If the land was virtually donated, and that is my understanding, our cost basis is very low. Therefore the Falls is acquiring something for the exact cost of what the land in trade was worth. The Falls could do a sale/lease back for the distribution center and pay rent to the landlord, who would then have that property back on the tax rolls. Municipalities need to be competitive like real businesses. You have to offer incentives and the right environment to get customers. Why do you think Milwaukee offered close to $100 million to get Kohls? Why do you think Kohls turned them down? BTW, do you think Milwaukee would have offered that much if they weren't totally confident they would have received a huge return on that investment?
jerry mislang July 20, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Rambling, rambling on...
done with it July 20, 2012 at 04:44 AM
Same 3 clowns commenting on almost every patch article. Facts dont seem to matter to you guys...you whine about the same thing over and over. Nothing menomonee falls does makes you happy..... move to another state.
Nuitari (Grand Master Editor) July 20, 2012 at 10:37 AM
Would I be one of those clowns?
Steve ® July 20, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Couldn't I just move to Brookfield or Sussex?
W . Benz July 20, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Waukesha county supervisor [ sic- Ex ] Dan Varkas praising Village leadership . Clown # 2 here ---All is well in RINO land ..... Same O people all in and isn't this great and could a be a start of something realy big ...Go back and read the blogs they were saying about the Hotel ... Facts from fiction This should take care of the MFTax army Petition ... Rook to Bishop Moved from the state of denial.
Jann July 20, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Ted: I'm not saying that this particular deal was a bad one. I have a problem with so many TIF's in general. A TIF was just extended not that long ago meaning the school district doesn't get the tax money. Kohl's is huge and no doubt good for Menomonee Falls, but are they going to do this again in 20 years? The Village is looking to put in a road near the old Stolper site. I went to the recent meeting and it doesn't sound like they have any real tenants lined up for the area at this point. To spend all that money on roads just to hope someone builds there is another huge risk for the taxpayer. We have empty buildings all over town and we keep building more. We are putting in new roads to attract business yet quite a few streets in the Falls are in need of repair. My own street could use a major patch job and Shady Lane near Menomonee is terrible. It looked like they were going to redo it, but now I'm not so sure.
William Eib July 20, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Yes, open for business, as long as Walker can come up with billions in bribes and incentives to keep them here. You see, Government can create jobs. Jobs saved are jobs created. The auto industry recovery was a great example of that. The Government can help. It's expensive, Walker had to fork over 62.5 Billion in tax credits to make it happen. Obama wants to offer tax credits to small businesses and that's Socialism. Ergo: Walker is a Socialist. Nice going Wisconsin, you showed 'em how it's done, Bribery.and Socialism. Onward Christian Soldiers. Billboards should be erected. Wisconsin is open for Business, How much do you want to come here. Talk to Scott,he has a deal for you. No one walks away unhappy. Guaranteed.
Steve ® July 20, 2012 at 07:49 PM
You need help William. This is a great example of capitalism, not socialism. Since we now live within our means as a state financially we don't have the same worries as socialist liberals like yourself or Obama. 5% of something is a lot more than 5% of nothing. Khols is expanding and actually creating jobs, these are not "saved" jobs counted as created. Or I suppose they could have left the state for one that offered them a better deal. All those employees would have been laid off, all of that tax revenue from profits and wages gone. Why do you want that, do you hate all those employees? I thought you guys loved making compaines give all their evil profits to the government, why do you hate that in this situation?
Pj July 20, 2012 at 07:57 PM
I'm thinking Brookfield myself Steve do believe the taxes are cheaper.
Steve ® July 20, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Sounds good. I didn't think I had to move out of state just to escape MF.
Greg July 20, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Hey Willy, You moron, it is million not "62.5 Billion in tax credits". Dr. Evil, Bwaahaa.
Ted Klumb July 21, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Jann: I am not familiar with all the other TIFs but I also attended that meeting last week and had similar questions. Anyway, when I was on the School Board, we had similar reservations about not getting the tax money. Also, we were very envious of Sussex/Hamilton getting nice checks once that TIF ended. I think it was retired a few years early too, if I am not mistaken. The tax revenue in a blighted areas are minimal. If TIFs are done correctly, that first check should erase most of the deficit of 20 years.
Jann July 21, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Ted: I guess my point is I think we have a lot of TIFs and would like to see a list of all of them and when they are supposed to expire before we have any more. I'm pretty sure that one of the TIFs was renewed a few years back and the school board had to approve that because they were not going to get their money. Great tool I guess IF they expire, but if they don't or you have too many - that can't be good for the taxpayers.

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