WinCraft looking to expand business in Winona

WinCraft wants to build new 120,000-sq.-ft. building in industrial park

A homegrown business in Winona is looking to expand and bring more jobs to the area and is asking the city to help finance the new addition.

WinCraft has several locations throughout the United States, with more than half a dozen just in Winona. Now the company is looking to consolidate some of its locations and grow within its hometown of Winona.

WinCraft is known for making fan gear for some of the biggest sporting events in the nation and now this fast-paced company is looking to expand its walls.

“They have facilities located throughout the U.S. but are headquartered here in Winona,” said Lucy McMartin, director of economic development for the city of Winona.

This wide-open vacant lot just off of Highway 61 in Winona’s Technology Park Area could soon be home to a new 120,000-square-foot building for WinCraft.

“They are a good solid company and we have an opportunity to be a location for that facility,” said McMartin.

Although it’s a prime location, the land itself needs some work.

“Some of the soil in the industrial park has organics under the sand and those have to be removed and replaced with sand so some of the project has to do with soil remediation,” said McMartin.

To help prepare the land, WinCraft is asking the city for a tax increment finance plan, also known as a TIF.

“WinCraft would be paying the money up front for that site preparation and then through tax increments financing, they would receive some of that money back,” said George Borzyskowski, fourth ward Winona City Council member.

And with a new building, WinCraft may look at combining some of its locations.

“Some of the buildings will be consolidated into the new building. I believe three of them may be and then they will continue to operate the others,” said Borzyskowski.

But either way it’s expected to create jobs.

“It will be a minimum of 10 but again that is minimum, they anticipate it adding many more jobs than that,” said McMartin.

“When you can get a business in your community that wants to expand in your community, it’s a good opportunity,” said Borzyskowski.

The next public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Winona City Hall. That is where the City Council will decide whether or not to grant WinCraft the tax increment finance plan.

If the City Council approves the TIF, WinCraft hopes to break ground by spring of this year and finish building by the end of the year.