Beloit College secures funding to launch Gateway Project
BELOIT, WISIn an unprecedented expression of confidence in the economic future of Beloit, a group of leading community institutions has joined together to help make the Beloit Gateway Project a reality.
Beloit College, The Beloit Foundation, the First National Bank of Beloit, Blackhawk State Bank and M & I Bank South have made a verbal commitment to the City of Beloit to purchase capital appreciation bonds to complete the first phase of funding for the project.
This first phase of the project will involve an investment of $2,710,000 in three types of bonds: taxable capital appreciation; taxable bond anticipation; and tax-exempt bond anticipation. The College has negotiated an agreement with the city to invest $1 million in this bond purchase. The Beloit Foundation will invest $500,000, and the three banks will, collectively, purchase the balance of the bonds with a total commitment of $1,210,000. The second phase of the $12 million project will involve the public offering of bonds starting in 2001.
The Gateway Project is a planned development of quality homes and commercial/industrial uses covering approximately 1,650 acres east of Route I-90, between the Illinois-Wisconsin state line and Milwaukee Road in Beloit. The project was originally conceptualized by the real estate development firm of Mooney LaSage in partnership with the City of Beloit as a mechanism to create long-term financial prosperity for the community. It will generate 2,290 new homes and a population increase of approximately 5,000. The estimated payroll increase for the region will be $404 million, with an increased tax base for the city of $561 million.
This local commitment to the Gateway Project will allow the City of Beloit and its development partners to purchase the initial 240 acres of land for the planned development. Completion of this first round of the bond sale will also release approximately $8 million from state, federal and private agencies for improvement of the property. The State of Wisconsin has committed more than $5 million largely for roadway improvements, and the federal government has committed $1 million for infrastructure improvement. Additional water infrastructure funds will be available from Alliant Energy.
In a statement announcing the purchase, Beloit College President John E. Burris said: This project is expected to create a large number of jobs as well as to provide significant new housing for the area. Our board sees this purchase of bonds as an investment with a positive value for the City of Beloit and as part of Beloit Colleges participation in the community. We feel that the financial returns are adequate and most importantly, we see this as a positive expression of our support for the City of Beloit. We want to extend our praise to the city council and Jane Wood for their foresight and for their efforts to bring this important new development to this point. We see the Gateway Project as a critical element in the economic future of the city and one that will bring all Beloiters together.