J.W. Speaker Corp. prepping for expansion in Germantown

Rezoning would clear way for land purchase

J.W. Speaker is seeking to have land directly west of its Germantown facility rezoned for a possible expansion.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:56 pm

Vehicle lighting manufacturer J.W. Speaker Corp. is preparing to expand its facilities in Germantown, although exact plans have not been finalized.

J.W. Speaker is seeking to have land directly west of its Germantown facility rezoned for a possible expansion.

The Germantown Plan Commission recommended approval of a rezoning request on Monday for 47 acres located directly west of the company’s current 162,000-square-foot facility along Freistadt Road. The request would change the zoning from agricultural to limited industrial.

The village board still needs to sign off on the change.

J.W. Speaker is purchasing the property subject to the rezoning approval for future offices, manufacturing capabilities, meeting space and design facilities, according to village documents.

“We’re a little bit constrained now,” said George Lehnerer, J.W. Speaker chief financial officer. “We are exploring a couple of different options.”

He said the idea would be to open up some additional space and be able to grow unit volumes. Options include an addition to the current facility or a new facility altogether, but Lehnerer said no firm decisions have been made at this point.

J.W. Speaker designs, manufactures and assembles high-performance vehicular lighting products for OEM and aftermarket customers. Lehnerer said the company is able to work with a number of different manufacturers and has reached a point where it isn’t really dependent on any one in particular.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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