Partnership brings Kestrel to Superior

September 18, 2012

From “State allocates tax credits for Kestrel development” — Gov. Scott Walker announced Tuesday that Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and Wisconsin Community Development Legacy Fund have completed a $30 million allocation of federal New Markets Tax Credits to the Kestrel Aircraft Co.

Established in 2010, Kestrel moved its design operations from Duluth to Superior; plans include constructing two facilities in Superior to manufacture its single-engine turboprop aircraft for production. A composites plant will be constructed in the Winter Street Industrial Park, and the assembly plant is slated for construction next year on the northeastern corner of the fairgrounds on Tower Avenue, near the Bong Airport.

“Attracting this visionary entrepreneur to relocate with the potential to create 600 new jobs is incredible news for the city of Superior and the entire state of Wisconsin,” Walker said in a prepared statement. “In putting together an aggressive package, Wisconsin has decisively demonstrated its commitment to job creation and boosting our state economy.”

WHEDA’s New Markets Tax Credit program promotes economic development in low-income communities. WHEDA is a part of the nonprofit WCDLF that is responsible for allocating federal New Market Tax Credits in Wisconsin. Kestrel qualifies for the credits as an eligible business seeking to make an investment in a federally designated qualified low-income area.

“I am thrilled that WHEDA is able to utilize its economic development and job creation tools to help Kestrel revolutionize aviation right here in Wisconsin,” said WHEDA Executive Director Wyman Winston. “Kestrel recognizes Wisconsin’s know-how and talent and WHEDA is committed to helping Kestrel develop the next generation of commercial aircraft in our great state.”

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has created an Enterprise Zone in Superior to provide $18 million in tax credits, and has provided a $2 million loan to the company.

“This is a significant step and valuable economic development tool in supporting Kestrel Aircraft’s move to establish its manufacturing and headquarters in Superior,” said Paul Jadin, chief executive officer of Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

The city of Superior has provided a $2.4 million loan in addition to providing two parcels of land for development, and $1.125 million in tax incremental financing (TIF).

“The decision of Kestrel Aircraft to locate in Superior is a high level addition to our corporate base, which will benefit the entire region and the State of Wisconsin,” said Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen. “We thank all of the private/public partnerships that reached out on all levels and depth to solidify and welcome Kestrel as our newest corporate citizen. The economic ripple effect will be very promising in growing the community, along with the introduction of complementary businesses and industries. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Kestrel President Alan Klapmeier and the Kestrel team.”

Douglas County has provided $800,000 in loans.

“Douglas County is pleased that one of the final steps in the financing of Kestrel Aircraft has been approved,” said Douglas County Board Chairman Douglas Finn. “This has been an exciting project for all of the residents of the area with the potential for several hundred jobs along with spin-off opportunities. We would not be at this point without a great partnership between Kestrel Aircraft, the state of Wisconsin, the city of Superior, Douglas County and all the other agencies involved along with the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.

“These are exciting times for our community and this is just one of many great opportunities if we continue to work together.”


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