A 115,000-square-foot corporate headquarters and manufacturing development is in the works at the northeast corner of West Ryan Road and South 76th Street in Franklin. The project is at a 41-acre site that has interest from Carma Laboratories Inc., the maker of Carmex lip balm, according to commercial real estate industry sources.
The project is proposed at 9410 S. 76th St., and consists of an approximately 30,000-square-foot headquarters office building and an approximately 85,000-square-foot manufacturing building, according to filings with the state Department of Natural Resources. The documents submitted to the DNR to not indicate what company would occupy the buildings.
The project could be connected to Franklin-based Carma Labs, which intends to construct a new global headquarters in the community. The company announced its intentions in January. According to sources, Carma Labs has reviewed the 76th and Ryan site and has interest in developing there.
A spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the project, referring BizTimes to Carma Labs' previous announcement.
"As home to the Carmex brand for over 80 years, the greater Milwaukee area has played a significant role in our continued success," Rich Simonson, chief operating officer of Carma Labs, said in the January statement. "We want our new global headquarters to reflect our long-term commitment to our employees and the city of Franklin."
Calli Berg, city of Franklin director of economic development, acknowledged the company is still pursuing its headquarters project in the community. She declined to discuss details of its plans.
"We continue to be excited and pleased that Carma Labs has chosen to remain in Franklin, and that we’re proud to be home to such an iconic and well-respected brand," Berg said.
Documents were filed with the DNR as part of a request to fill in wetlands at the site.
The land is owned by Greg Smith, of Brookfield. Smith declined to comment on the pending land sale or the buyer's development plans.
The city's interest is clear in getting the vacant site developed. In December, council members approved an agreement with Minnesota-based accounting firm Ehlers Inc. to study the feasibility of a new tax incremental financing district there.
Berg said the city put the feasibility analysis on hold "until we have a better understanding of what will be happening to that property and on what timeframe."
In a 2017 BizTimes cover story, Carma Labs acknowledged its 44,000-square-foot production facility is the product of several additions over the years, making it difficult to move product through the facility. Its distribution facility being a half-mile away also means the product has to be trucked over for additional processing before it is distributed.