Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:48 pm
Astronautics Corp. of America has purchased the former Master Lock headquarters in Oak Creek for $11.7 million as part of plans to move its corporate operations into its new home by this fall.
The property, located at 135 W. Forest Hill Ave., has an assessed value of about $12 million, according to Milwaukee County records.
The company, which designs and builds avionics equipment for the commercial and military aerospace industry, announced last week it would consolidate its operations in Oak Creek at the former Master Loack headquarters. Once the consolidation is done, the 148,000-square-foot facility will house 450 employees. Astronautics has had a corporate presence in Milwaukee since 1959.
Oak Creek officials rezoned the property, located at the southwest corner of South Howell Avenue and West Forest Hill Avenue, last month for an “undisclosed manufacturing company.” Sources indicated at the time that Astronautics was eyeing the site for its operations. The company had also previously considered other sites in the region, including Glendale and the former Pabst Brewery complex in downtown Milwaukee.
Explaining the company’s decision to move out of its current Milwaukee location, Chad Cundiff, president of Astronautics, said the new facility would allow for improved collaboration. He said speed to market for new products is a key Astronautics advantage and having production and engineering work together will improve the company’s processes.
“We’re excited about being able to bring all of that together,” Cundiff said last week, adding the company had searched for two or three years before ultimately deciding on the Oak Creek building.
Astronautics current headquarters is located at 4115 N. Teutonia Ave. in Milwaukee and the company’s main manufacturing facility is located at 1426 W. National Ave., also in Milwaukee. Each facility totals around 100,000 square feet, but neither had enough space to consolidate the company’s operations, noted Cundiff.