Growing manufacturers are moving to bigger sites

    Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:39 pm

    Menomonee Falls-based Reich Tool & Design Inc. will move next year to a larger, new
    facility that the steadily growing company will build to provide more space and improve manufacturing efficiency. The company currently owns a 23,000-square-foot building at N57 W14600 Shawn Circle and leases about 4,000 square feet of space next door. The firm will move about two miles west to a 53,710-square-foot facility that will be built on a vacant 44-acre property on Technology Drive.

    The new site includes a large amount of wetlands. The new building will have 39,710 square feet of industrial space and 14,000 square feet of office space.

    “We’ve been growing at a pretty high pace the last handful of years,” said company president Fritz Reich. “We’re running out of room.”

    Reich Tool & Design’s core competency is designing and building metal stamping dyes.

    “We compete against the whole world,” Reich said. “China has been a tough competitor for the last few years.”

    Despite the tough global competition, Reich has grown its sales by about 25 percent a year and has been adding about five additional employees annually in recent years, Reich said. The company now has about 50 employees and plans to have about 80 employees within five years, he said.

    Maximizing efficiency is critical to competing globally, Reich said. That’s a big reason the company is building the new facility, he said. At the current location, the company has had difficulty applying lean manufacturing principles. The new facility will be built to maximize efficiencies.

    The new property also will have room for a 30,000-square-foot addition, which the company plans to build in five years.

    “It really depends how things go,” Reich said.

    The company plans to sell its 23,000-square-foot current building on Shawn Circle.

    Eight buyers already have expressed interest in the property, Reich said. The interested buyers include investor groups and small manufacturers that want to occupy part of the building and lease out the rest of the space.

    “Once we put the word out, I was surprised how many (potential buyers) were on the list,” Reich said.

    Milwaukee companies plan moves to suburbs

    Desert Aire, a manufacturer of refrigeration-based industrial and commercial dehumidifying systems, plans to move from the City of Milwaukee to Germantown.

    The company recently purchased a 103,000-square-foot industrial building on a 13-acre site at N120 W18485 Freistadt Road. The firm plans to move there, leaving its current 40,000-square-foot location at 8300 W. Sleske Court, on Milwaukee’s far northwest side. The company also currently leases about 10,000 square feet of space in Germantown for a single manufacturing line. All of the company’s operations will be consolidated in the Freistadt Road building.

    Desert Aire is moving to the larger facility in Germantown because it needs more room to grow, said president Keith Coursin. The company’s revenues have been growing by about 15 to 18 percent a year, and its staff has doubled in the last three years to about 110, he said. More hiring is planned.

    “We will definitely have a surge of hiring initially (after the move to Germantown), probably an additional 20 employees,” Coursin said.

    The Freistadt Road property has room to double the size of the building, which Desert Aire plans to do in about five years, Coursin said.

    Desert Aire bought the building for about $5.5 million from First Industrial Realty Trust, a Chicago-based REIT (real estate investment trust). First Industrial bought the building about two years ago for $4.45 million.

    “I’m happy with it,” said Peter Ginn, regional manager for First Industrial.

    The building was previously occupied by Brio Corp. until its lease expired at the end of June. The toy company’s Swedish-based parent company decided to outsource its North American operations to a marketing company in Pennsylvania, Ginn said.

    The Boerke Co. represented Desert Aire, and RFP Commercial represented First Industrial in brokering the sale of the building.

    Desert Aire plans to sell its 19-year-old Milwaukee headquarters building after the move to Germantown is complete.

    Similarly, Zien Service Inc. plans to move from a 17,000-square-foot industrial building it leases at 3111 W. Mill Road in Milwaukee to a 33,000-square-foot industrial building at 2303 W. Mill Road in Glendale.

    The company does industrial sheet metal, heating, air conditioning, plumbing and process piping work, and it has been growing significantly. Its revenues increased by about 50 percent last year, said vice president Robert Barson, who declined to disclose the company’s revenues.

    “We’ve had quite a boom here,” he said.

    The company added about five more employees in the last year, bringing its total employment up to about 75. The company needs more manufacturing and fabrication space, Barson said. The new facility will have about 20,000 square feet of manufacturing space, which is about double the manufacturing space in the current facility. The company is buying the Glendale building for an undisclosed price and plans to move in by the end of the year. Zien leases its current building from Bucolt Realty.


    OnCourse Information Services plans to move from a 44,000-square-foot building that it leases at 6531 N. Sidney Place, Glendale, to a 51,170-square-foot building at 4066 N. Port Washington Road, Glendale. OnCourse bought the Port Washington Road building from Colliers Barry for about $1 million. The new building is larger and has more office space than the current location, which OnCourse needs. “We’re very tight on office space,” said vice president Mike Sewart. The current structure is a multi-tenant building, but OnCourse occupies all of it. It has dozens of doors, which makes it more difficult to secure, Sewart said. The company does document imaging, data entry and record storage. The company also sells file folders and shelves, but that segment of its business has been shrinking, Sewart said. The firm has increased its payroll by about 50 percent in the last 18 months and now has about 150 employees, many of whom work at home doing data entry work. OnCourse is spending about $500,000 to renovate the Port Washington building.


    White Castle System Inc. plans to open a White Castle restaurant in the former Steak and Shake building at 5550 Durand Ave. The 4,000-square-foot building has been vacant for a few years. White Castle is famous for its small hamburgers, often affectionately called “Sliders.” Customers typically eat several at a time. Columbus, Ohio-based White Castle, founded in 1921, was the first fast food chain in the U.S. Today, the company has about 400 restaurants. The only current White Castle location in Wisconsin is in Kenosha.

    Barbara Kegg plans to open a restaurant called Danny’s Place in an 800-square-foot building at 3523 Douglas Ave. The building is a former barber shop. The restaurant will serve Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, pasta, salad and ice cream.


    The Marcus Corp. is making dramatic changes to the 220-room Wyndham Milwaukee Center hotel at 139 E. Kilbourn Ave. “This is more than just new carpets and lights,” said Gerald Rappaport, general manager of the hotel. “We are changing the style and theme of the entire hotel. More like a hip, lifestyle theme hotel. It will be like the W (hotel). We are changing the whole thing.” The Marcus Corp. has declined to provide additional details about the project. Marcus bought the hotel last year for about $22 million from MeriStar Investment Partners.

    Columbia Savings & Loan, the oldest minority-owned lending institution in the state, recently broke ground on a $1.5 million, 10,808-square-foot expansion next to its facility at 2000 W. Fond du Lac Ave. The addition is expected to create 10 jobs at Columbia Savings & Loan.

    The City of Milwaukee has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for a former municipal warehouse at 1620-34 W. Fond du Lac Ave. The 6,485-square-foot building was built in 1923 and it sits on a 22,541-square-foot lot. The city’s asking price for the property is $100,000 and the buyer must commit to redeveloping the property. Proposals are due to the Department of City Development by Sept. 29.


    Concord Development and James Hoffman plan to build a two-story, 39,000-square-foot class A office building at 10532 N. Port Washington Road.

    Concordia University plans to build a five-story, 344-bed dormitory on the 155-acre campus at 12800 N. Lake Shore Drive. In addition, work continues on the university’s $8 million lakeshore restoration project.


    AP Properties LLC and Pewaukee-based VJS Development Group plan to combine the properties at 2979 and 3005 N. Mayfair Road to create a 2.5-acre site where they plan to build a three-story, 17,700-square-foot medical office building. Currently, a one-story, 8,800-square-foot building at 2979 N. Mayfair Road is occupied by WLUM FM 102.1. That building would be demolished to make way for the new building. “If it happens, we already have a new site,” said Bill Hurwitz, vice president and general manager of Milwaukee Radio Alliance LLC, which owns the radio station. “We would move.” He declined to identify the alternative location.

    Menomonee Falls

    Menomonee Falls-based Continental Properties plans to build an 11-building, 156,677-square-foot retail development at W156 N9073 Stolper Drive. Continental plans to demolish a 280,000-square-foot industrial building on the 17-acre property. The building is mostly vacant, although some space is leased by Western Industries.


    Dale Mierow is building a 13,773-square-foot multi-tenant retail building on a vacant 1.4 acre lot at 2450 N. Grandview Blvd. The property is on the west side of Grandview, about a quarter mile south of Weissgerber’s Gasthaus restaurant. Mierow bought the property about a month ago from Peter Hronis for $940,000. Century 21 Stewart Realty brokered the sale of the property and is the leasing agent for the retail space.


    Outlook Development Group LLC plans to build a 7,390-square-foot retail building on a 0.86-acre outlot near Home Depot at 6489 S. 27th St. Outlook recently purchased the property from Rose Properties LLC. NAI MLG Commercial represented both the buyer and the seller in negotiating the sale.

    Racine-based Bukacek Construction plans to build a two-story, 13,680-square-foot commercial building on a 1.23-acre site at 7441 S. 27th St. The property is owned by Robin Adair, whose store, Adair Floors and More, will occupy one of the three retail spaces on the first floor of the building. The second floor will be leased out to office tenants.

    Oak Creek

    TCF Bank plans to build a new branch at 2320 W. Ryan Road on a vacant 1.1-acre outlot in front of a new Pick ‘n Save grocery store. Wayzata, Minn.-based TCF Financial Corp. is a financial holding company with $13.4 billion in assets. TCF has 455 branches in Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado and Indiana.


    Sprawl from the Chicago area continues to push north of the state line. Woodstock, Ill.-based Centerville Development plans to build 234 homes on 114 acres of farmland northwest of Bailey Road and County Highway F in the Town of Delavan.

    West Allis

    Arby’s plans to demolish its 2,470-square-foot restaurant at 10743 W. National Ave. and build a new 3,000-square-foot restaurant in its place that will be closer to the street.

    West Allis Heating and Air Conditioning plans to move from 2264 S. 72nd St. to a 5,382-square-foot building at 1827 S. 76th St.


    The new train station in Sturtevant opened on Aug. 14. The $3.2 million station is located at 9900 E. Exploration Ct. in the Renaissance Business Park. The station, used by Amtrak trains, replaces the village’s run-down old station at 2984 Wisconsin St., which is about two miles south of the new station.


    Due North Development is building two three-story buildings with retail space on the first floor and 40 apartments, in each building, on the upper two floors on vacant land at the southwest corner of 18th Street and 27th Avenue. Construction on the first building is nearly complete, but construction has not started yet on the second building.


    West Bend-based Emmer Real Estate Group is building a 12,000-square-foot multi-tenant retail building at the corner of Highway 33 and Church Street. Construction began recently. Plymouth-based Jim Pankow Inc. is the general contractor and the designer for the project. The tenants in the building will include West Bend Savings Bank, Subway and Alma’s Café. The project is expected to be complete in January.


    UPAD LLC plans to build a 2,000-square-foot second story addition to a one-story, 1,852-square-foot office building at 1240 13th Ave. in downtown Grafton.


    Boerke Company

    BMZ Paint and Auto Service and Accessories LLC leased 8,000 square feet of warehouse space and 1,200 square feet of office space at 1623 S. 38th St., Milwaukee, from Vision 2000 LLC (Jerry Kostner).

    NAI MLG Commercial

    Ideal Image Laser Hair Removal leased 1,847 square feet of retail space in the Shoppes at Brookfield Commons at 15445 W. Bluemound Road, Brookfield, from BR Brookfield Commons 1 & 2.

    Ideal Image Laser Hair Removal leased 2,390 square feet of retail space in the Greenfield Place Shopping Center at 7426 W. Homes Ave., Greenfield, from Greenfield LP.

    Ideal Image Laser Hair Removal leased 2,275 square feet of retail space in the Riverpoint Village Shopping Center at 8781 N. Port Washington Road, Fox Point, from North Shore Centers LLP.

    Papa Murphy’s leased 1,617 square feet of retail space in the Conservancy Commons at 620 E. Green Bay Ave., Saukville, from Kaul Construction.


    Colliers Barry

    10300 Enterprise Drive LLC purchased the 47,000-square-foot industrial building in the Mequon Business Park at 10300 N. Enterprise Dr., Mequon, from 8535 West Kaul Avenue LLC for $1.5 million.

    NAI MLG Commercial

    Integrated Billing Systems purchased 13,500 square feet of office space in the Oak Pond Office Park at 9875 S. Franklin Dr., Franklin, from MTN LLC.

    Maritime Savings Bank purchased a 1.1-acre property at S74 W17095 Janesville Road, Muskego, from DBS Properties.

    Kirkwood Partners Ltd. purchased four lots at the northeast corner of Highway 50 and I-94 in Kenosha from Oppidan Investment Company.

    Ascent Investments LLC purchased 0.75 acres of land at W307 N1499 Golf Road, Delafield, from Rabay Investments LLC.

    Outlook Development Group LLC purchased a 0.86-acre outlot near Home Depot and Jewel Osco, just off of South 27th Street in Franklin, from Rose Properties LLC.

    New construction

    Briohn Building Corp., Brookfield, was selected to design and build a 2,022-square-foot retail build-out for Ragazza in the Brookfield Towne Centre at 19115 W. Capitol Dr., Brookfield. Briohn has also been contracted to design and build a 2,074-square-foot retail tenant improvement for Garbs in Brookfield Towne Centre.

    Selzer-Ornst Company, Wauwatosa, recently completed the interior renovation of KPMG’s offices in the U.S. Bank building at 777 E. Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Milwaukee. The project included the complete renovation of 14,000 square feet of class A office space. Selzer-Ornst also recently completed the renovation of the second floor resident rooms at the Congregational Home in Brookfield. Selzer-Ornst also recently completed the renovation to Country Christian School in Nashotah. Selzer-Ornst was also selected to complete the renovation and an addition to Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Milwaukee.

    MSI General Corp., Oconomowoc, has been selected by Vista Venture of Delafield to design and build a new Jiffy Lube oil change facility to be located on Durand Avenue in Mount Pleasant.

    Gerald Nell Inc., Waukesha, was selected by Dr. Michael S. Bubon to design and build a 5,500-square-foot orthodontic clinic at 1253 Corporate Dr., Oconomowoc.

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