Platteville Business Incubator unveils plans for remodel

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Platteville Business Incubator officials hope to adapt to changing workforce trends with a $340,000 renovation, the most comprehensive touch-up the structure has undergone since its 2001 opening.

Incubator representatives on Tuesday shared with Platteville Common Council members their remodeling plans for the facility, located at 52 Means Drive.

“This will help the building be strong for the next 20 years,” Executive Director Kate Koziol said. “It will impact the entire population of the building in a positive way.”

The 26,000-square-foot incubator provides entrepreneurs with low-cost space and other amenities to better their chances of successfully launching a business. The facility houses 18 tenants and includes a commercial kitchen.

The remodel, slated to begin in April, will see a redesign of the building’s exterior façade and corridors and under-the-hood maintenance conducted on its air systems, doors, pipes and cabling. The parking lot also will be seal coated.

“It feels a little more professional and polished, and I think that will up the standard of the conversations that happen in that space,” Council Member Robin Cline said.

A project highlight is the installation of a 550-square-foot co-working space and a 500-square-foot area containing desks available for rent.

“Our goal would be to grow them into their own individual office,” Koziol said.

The incubator’s board discussed the remodel for almost a year and hired a business that got its start there — Delta 3 Engineering — to draft plans.

“I think we’re under constant self-evaluation,” Koziol said. “Are we doing everything we can to help the entrepreneurial community?”

Scott Chyko, incubator board president and president of Delta 3 Engineering, said the COVID-19 pandemic sparked among business owners the realization that brick-and-mortar locations are not a prerequisite if employees can work from home.

When an office is necessary, a co-working space can suffice, he said.

Construction will take about three months, but Koziol said she already is accepting renters.

The project will be financed by a $450,000 loan, which incubator officials will pay off with budgeted revenue. The City of Platteville contributes $30,000 to the incubator’s budget annually.

Platteville Business Incubator has assisted more than 70 businesses, 42 of which still operate and employ 382 people, according to Koziol.

The incubator’s seven largest graduates — 1UP USA, 4x Innovations, Applied Micro Technologies, AVISTA Incorporated, Delta 3 Engineering, Fastenal and L&M Corrugated Container — pay $719,000 in local taxes each year.