BELOIT—The City of Beloit continued to see economic success in 2021 led by business and residential developments, even as the pandemic created challenges.

City of Beloit Economic Development Director Jennifer Hall, who joined the city in January of this year, said she felt the pandemic caused a major impact on Beloit, but the city fared better than other municipalities thanks to strong partnerships and continued growth in commercial and residential sectors.

“I think the year went very well,” Hall said. “We spent a lot of time building partnerships and I think those have shown benefits for the community and they will continue to do that in 2022. I think it’s a continuation of growth the region has been seeing and a lot of communities weren’t as lucky as we were.”

Looking ahead to next year, Hall said she wants to focus efforts on attracting new businesses to Beloit, while working on partnerships to build the area workforce with Stateline Area school districts while increasing the area’s housing stock.

“I think in 2022 you will see new partnerships through the (Greater Beloit) Economic Development Corporation to focus on quality of life issues and improve the lives of people who live and work here,” Hall said.

Through partnerships with local school districts and Blackhawk Technical College, Hall said she hopes the area will continue to build partnerships through programs like the Stateline Manufacturing Alliance and the IDEAL Scholarship program.

Below is a summary of various 2021 economic development highlights for the City of Beloit:

Ho-Chunk Nation casino-resort: On March 24, Gov. Tony Evers approved the plan for the $405 million casino-resort plan that set the project on the path for final review by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The bureau has yet to rule on the land-to-trust status of the approximate 70-acre property as the tribe continues to finalize the design of the project that is estimated to create 1,500 jobs. Ho-Chunk officials recently met with BIA members to get an update on the plan, with the tribe spokesperson telling the Beloit Daily News a groundbreaking could come next spring.

Gateway Business Park: The business park celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2021 with 545 acres developed into 3 million square-feet of industrial space that represents an investment of $264 million that has created 2,800 jobs. New Jersey-based Spray-Tek held a groundbreaking for a 75,000-square-foot facility at a 20 acre site for a $30 million investment. Matthews Family Trucking also announced an eight acre site for a future 8,440-square-foot facility for a $2 million investment.

Interstate 39/90: The long-awaited end of construction to the interstate was finally realized on Nov. 17 after four years of construction from a plan that first was conceptualized back in 2012. The adjustments improve traffic flow on the interstate and is aimed at improving safety for all motorists.

ABC Supply Stadium: The new home of the Beloit Sky Carp opened on Aug. 3 to spectators. The $35 million project sits on a 9-acre site near the Rock River along Shirland Avenue in downtown Beloit.

Lincoln Academy: The school, which opened on Sept. 1, has over 400 students enrolled with 62 staff from a $25 million investment to build the 111,000 square-foot space.

Stateline Boys and Girls Club: On April 6, the group held a groundbreaking for a $5.5 million, 24,765-square-foot facility in Beloit with the aim to open to youth programming on Jan. 3.

Wright and Wagner Lofts: The new apartment building downtown is now fully leased and consists of 54 units that opened on May 28.

Milwaukee Road: Jiffy Lube, 2901 Milwaukee Road; Verizon, 2911 Milwaukee Road, Popeyes, 3030 Ford St. all opened this year in the Milwaukee Road corridor.

Single family home growth: Deerfield Estates Part 2 (eight new sites) The Oaks Subdivision (21 new sites) Park Meadow Subdivision (24 new sites) Eagle’s Ridge 4 and 5 (70 new sites ; Elmwood Subdivision (eight sites pending permits).