A newly formed nonprofit organization called Forward Kewaunee Inc. says it will buy the Kewaunee County Star-News building at 203 Ellis St., with an eye toward establishing a business incubator, if it can raise another $75,000 in donations by Nov. 10.
Once the offices of the Leyse Co. and later the Kewaunee Enterprise, the 8,500-square-foot brick and stone building has space for four to six start-up businesses and a collaboration center, said attorney Art Schiller, registered agent for the new nonprofit.
State records indicate Forward Wisconsin Inc. registered as a non-stock Wisconsin corporation on Aug. 16. Materials emailed to local media Wednesday indicate that Schiller founded the organization with his wife, Sarah.
“Forward Kewaunee intends to apply for, but has not received, approval as a federal 501(c)(3) charitable organization,” Schiller said. “Forward Kewaunee will be overseen by a community-based board of directors committed to the economic development of the city and county of Kewaunee, Wisconsin.”
Gannett Co. Inc., which is selling the structure, wants to lease about 500 square feet as its Kewaunee County office for one year, Schiller said. The selling price is $85,000 and about $15,000 is in hand, he said.
He expects it will take about $125,000 in donations to fund the acquisitions and necessary improvements to achieve full accessibility and provide proper security, with $90,000 to be in hand before Nov. 10.
“If there is to be a renaissance of “home owned” industry along the lakeshore, then there needs to be a place where seeds may be planted and new ideas germinated and made ready for transplant,” Schiller said.
Contributions can be sent to Forward Kewaunee, c/o Arthur Schiller, 211 Ellis St., Kewaunee, Wisconsin 54216.