The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians continues to spur economic growth in North Central Wisconsin. The tribe has announced plans to develop a new retail center in Belle Plaine, outside of Shawano.
The 12,000-square-foot center will cost $1.3 million to built out. About 5,000 passenger cars pass the highly trafficed area daily, near U.S. Highway 29.
As Shawano County's largest employer, the tribe is committed to supporting its surrounding communities and being good stewards of its resources, said Shannon Holsey, president of the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Council.
"We’re thrilled to develop our first off-reservation retail property near Highway 29, which is a critical economic artery for our North Star Mohican Casino Resort and countless other local businesses," Holsey said.
North Star Casino provides the tribe with its primary source of revenue, and has enabled the 1,4700-member tribe to make this sort of investment and to diversify its businesses, "which support the long-term prosperity of the entire North Central Wisconsin region," Holsey said.
Preparation work is being done at the site now and the foundation is expected to be poured soon, with exterior construction completed by the end of 2016. Leasing efforts are underway for retail and quick-service restaurant brands, and tenants will have input into the interior design of their respective spaces.
The retail center can house up to five tenants, which are expected to bring a number of permanent new jobs to the area. Bayland Buildings, based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, will serve as the general contractor for the project and estimates 15-20 construction jobs from the project. The majority of subcontractors and vendors for the project are based in the Northeast and North Central Wisconsin areas.
Tribe officials are working closely with Belle Plaine town leaders, who fully support the new retail center. "This retail center will bring new jobs and increased shopping activity to the Belle Plaine and Shawano areas," said Belle Plaine Town Chairman Alvin Bartz. "We expect this will spur other developments in the area and we applaud the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Tribe for their continued investment in the local communities surrounding their tribal lands."
A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Friday, September 2, at 10 a.m. at the site.