Johnson Controls planning new engineering center in Glendale

Rendering courtesy of Johnson Controls.

Last updated on March 24th, 2023 at 05:03 pm

Johnson Controls is once again working with Milwaukee-based Weas Development Company to construct a new building across from its current headquarters campus in the City of Glendale.

The two-story building, planned for the northeast intersection of West Florist Avenue and Baker Road, will transform three existing sites into a center of innovation and technical excellence.

Weas plans to purchase and develop the building site and Johnson Controls would lease the facility, according to a press release from the company.

The company’s current engineering center and lab space is located at 507 E. Michigan St. in downtown Milwaukee, which the company plans to vacate and move the operations to Glendale.

“This state-of-the-art new research facility will make that vision a reality and help us further deliver on our commitment to dedicate at least 75% of our R&D spend every year on climate and sustainability,” said Katie McGinty, vice president and chief sustainability and external relations officer for Johnson Controls.

The new, 105,116-square- foot building will accommodate a maximum of 250 employees, according to documents submitted to the City of Glendale. Construction is expected to begin in May and be completed by next June.

“Tenant will test a variety of products prior to manufacturing efforts elsewhere around the world,” according to a submitted plan of operation. “This facility is considered highly confidential for industry trade secrets.”

Johnson Controls is a manufacturer of fire, HVAC and security equipment for buildings.

A previous plan by Johnson Controls to expand in Glendale called for Weas Development to construct a 109,000-square-foot office and research facility on a 6.3-acre at the southeast corner of North Green Bay Avenue (Highway 57) and West Civic Drive, right across the street from the company’s headquarters. Those plans, which were dropped by the company, called for the creation of a tax incremental financing district.

John Fellows, Glendale’s community development director, said Thursday there is no TIF request included in the company’s new plans.

Johnson Controls announced in January 2021 its plans to sell its downtown Milwaukee buildings and move its employees to Glendale.

The company said Thursday it is already working on improvements at its existing Glendale headquarters. Those improvements include a new employee entrance at the Corporate South building, contemporary workstations, collaboration spaces and landscaping upgrades.

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Ashley covers startups, technology and manufacturing for BizTimes. She was previously the managing editor of the News Graphic and Washington County Daily News. In past reporting roles, covering education at The Waukesha Freeman, she received several WNA awards. She is a UWM graduate. In her free time, Ashley enjoys watching independent films, tackling a new recipe in the kitchen and reading a good book.

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