Industrial incubator, Spencer business coming to Yellowstone Industrial Park
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield Common Council has approved an agreement between the city and developer Yellowstone Crossing LLC for an “industrial incubator” space to be constructed in and a Spencer business relocated to Marshfield’s Yellowstone Industrial Park. A commercial salt storage facility will also be built on the property.
The name of the Spencer business has not been disclosed.
Yellowstone Crossing LLC bought the land on which the incubator and office space will be located from the city of Marshfield for $50,000, and the city will contribute $57,000 toward the development of this project, per the agreement. The development will take place on a six-acre site south of Yellowstone Drive and west of South Mallard Avenue in Marshfield.
The “industrial incubator space” will be no less than 5,000 square feet with room for at least three tenants, according to the agreement.
The industrial incubator is similar in concept to Main Street Marshfield’s Pop-Up Shop. In this case, new companies could use the industrial space for a period of time to see if there is a strong market for their product, or existing companies could use it to test out a new product, said Mayor Chris Meyer.
“Most businesses start in basements and garages, and there’s a challenging point at which the business owner gets too large for their garage or their basement but isn’t big enough to afford a factory,” Meyer said. “A business incubator is essentially temporary space that somebody can use … with the goal being of getting them to a point where they can then go and build their own factory someplace, hopefully here in Marshfield.”
Meyer added, “It’s a way for large industry to also test new product ideas without making a huge investment in capital for factory additions before they can prove their product is viable.”
Meyer said the city had long wanted to develop an incubator space for industrial entities, but the cost was too prohibitive, and how to manage a city-sponsored incubator was unclear.
“This is like a gift to the city. This was a phenomenal development out there because we’re getting something we’ve wanted for a long time. And instead of paying a quarter to half-million dollars, we’re paying 7,000 bucks. It’s a great deal.”
Tenants for the incubator space, Meyer said, have likely not been lined up yet.
Spencer business relocating
Per the agreement, the salt storage facility will be no less than 3,500 square feet, and four properties currently on the site — one vacant home and three of its outbuildings — will be remodeled for office and storage space. Meyer did not specify which business was relocating from Spencer, though he acknowledged it was a snow removal business.
The office space is to be completed by December of this year, the salt storage facility by September of 2017, and the industrial incubator is to be built and have its first tenant by September of 2019. The business that occupies the office space will not manage the incubator space, said Larry Hutchinson, a partner in the five-person development group, Yellowstone Crossing LLC.
“We see Marshfield definitely has a future, and we look to be part of it,” Hutchinson said.