Milwaukee could provide $2.45 million for Western Building Products’ move to Joy Farms site

Proposed tax financing district would pay for infrastructure improvements

Western Building Products' old facility in Wauwatosa.
Western Building Products' old facility in Wauwatosa.

The city of Milwaukee could provide $2.45 million for infrastructure improvements related to Western Building Products Inc.’s planned move to the Joy Farms site on the city’s far northwest side.

BizTimes first reported in March that Wauwatosa-based Western was considering an undeveloped site at 7007 N. 115th St. as one of three possible locations to relocate its business and 200 employees. The company is looking to move because it has outgrown its existing facility and cannot expand anymore at the site.

The Joy Farms TID would be used to pay for infrastructure work related to the Western Building Products project.

The proposed $2.45 million developer-financed tax incremental district includes $2.2 million for the construction of a sanitary sewer main and $250,000 for a water main line at the site, Jeff Fleming, Department of City Development spokesperson, said in an email. The TID would be paid off in 14 years, and the maximum life of the district is year 2039.

The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee is scheduled to hold a public hearing on Thursday, June 20 regarding the creation of the new TID.

Bill Zacher, recovery manager with Western, said in March that if Western were to move forward with the Joy Farms site it would request assistance from the city through tax increment financing. Zacher did not immediately respond to a request for comment this morning.

According to an application filed earlier this year with the city, the new Western industrial building would be approximately 325,000 square feet, which would include 25,000 square feet of offices and 300,000 square feet of manufacturing, distribution and storage space. The expected project cost was $20 million.

The project would result in 20 new jobs, the application states.

Western, an employee-owned company that started business in 1946 on West State Street in Milwaukee, is one of the largest distributors of millwork products in the Midwest, according to the company’s website. Its product inventories include a wide assortment of mouldings, stair parts, windows, columns and interior, fire-rated doors. Additionally, the company brands and sells its own exterior door systems.

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