BRILLION, Wis. (WFRV) - The property where the former Brillion Iron Works now sits, could soon be reborn. As Local 5's Kris Schuller reports Ariens Company is working with the city of Brillion to purchase the property and develop a long-term plan to benefit many.
It's been over a year since Brillion Iron Works closed leaving over 300 people without jobs and this aging foundry sitting vacant.
“I had relatives that work there and lost jobs good friends and it was hard,” said one man getting gas this morning in Brillion.
But now there is news that Ariens Company is making plans to purchase this facility, to create an asset for the entire community.
“Ariens and the city both agree that Brillion can't afford to let that area of the city sit in disrepair,” said Ann Stilp, communications manager for Ariens Company. “But it looks like there is a lot of potential for a combination of use.”
Ariens and the city of Brillion approved an agreement this week to work together in developing a plan to bring new life to this property. The chair of the Brillion Redevelopment Authority says it's a partnership where everyone benefits.
“It's a total win for the city, to become involved and to encourage this to happen,” said Beth Wenzel.
According to Wenzel the Brillion Redevelopment Authority will initially purchase the 147 acres and prepare the site for development. Once complete Ariens will step in.
“It appears as though they plan to be the developer. And that we will buy and sell to them as the time is right,” Wenzel said.
“It could be a combination of use between the city, maybe residential, maybe public area and maybe something the Ariens Company could also use,” said Stilp.
Creating value in the community is nothing new for Ariens. This building was an empty restaurant - until Ariens bought it and turned it into an outdoor power equipment dealership last year.
“We just want to continually work on improving the city and attracting more residents and more employees,” Stilp said.
No official timelines been announced - but Stilp says both Ariens and Brillion are anxious to get things moving
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