Milwaukee Tool’s rapid growth spreads to Menomonee Falls with planned $100 million investment

Company to also expand Sun Prairie subsidiary

Woodland Prime office building
52,000-square-foot office building at W127 N7564 Flint Drive,

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:32 pm

Milwaukee Tool plans to invest $100 million in a massive multi-purpose campus in Menomonee Falls, expanding the company’s corporate footprint beyond its headquarters in Brookfield.

Company officials announced on Tuesday afternoon it would create a multi-purpose campus that could reach up to 2.5 million square feet on a 65-acre site it recently purchased in the village’s Woodland Prime business park. Specific sizes and purposes for the buildings were not immediately identified.

Milwaukee Tool also committed to adding 870 jobs by 2025 in exchange for $20 million in tax incentives offered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

“These expansions are necessary for Milwaukee Tool to sustain our growth by delivering disruptive innovation to users on jobsites around the world,” company president Steve Richman said in a statement.

If fully built out, the campus would rival other major corporate projects in the region. To compare, the new downtown Milwaukee headquarters for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. totals 1.1 million square feet and Amazon’s two facilities in Kenosha are a combined 1.6 million square feet.

In addition to the Menomonee Falls campus, Milwaukee Tool also announced a $7.5 million expansion of its Imperial Blades subsidiary in Sun Prairie.

Gov. Tony Evers said 770 of the new jobs would be located in Menomonee Falls, and the other 100 would be in Sun Prairie.

The WEDC incentives are part of an existing contract that dates back to 2016. WEDC amended the contract this year to add this newest tax-credit incentive. In all, Milwaukee Tool is promising 1,812 jobs under its contract with WEDC. The state is offering a total of $48 million in incentives across two contracts.

Milwaukee Tool has been growing at breakneck speed in recent years. It has added 1,226 jobs on its current WEDC contracts and invested $53.6 million, according to state records. The company has been verified for $11.4 million in tax credits.

“Milwaukee Tool is a Wisconsin success story and an economic powerhouse for the Milwaukee region and the entire state,” Missy Hughes, WEDC secretary and chief executive, said in a statement.

Owned by Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd., Milwaukee Tool has grown from just a few hundred employees in Brookfield in the mid-2000s to more than 1,400. Since 2016, the company added more than 334,000 square feet of office space to its campus along West Lisbon Road, just west of North 125th Street.

The growth has been driven by innovation in the cordless power tool market and expansion into other related field like hand tools and light equipment. While TTI does not break out specific revenue figures for Milwaukee Tool, the brand crossed $2 billion in revenue for the first time in 2015.

Revenue grew by 19.8% in 2016, 21.7% in 2017 and 28.2% in 2018, suggesting the company’s sales were at least $3.74 billion last year.

According to Techtronic’s latest report on its financial performance, for the first half of the year Milwaukee Tool’s business grew 22.2%. The company said Milwaukee Tool’s business grew more than 25% in Europe, more than 28% in Canada and more than 20% in the U.S.

Signs that Milwaukee Tool was planning to expand into Menomonee Falls first showed up back in August, when it bought a 52,000-square-foot office building at W127 N7564 Flint Drive. Contractors have since started performing demolition and renovation work to that building.

Then, in late November, documents filed with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources revealed plans for a 120,000-square-foot building on a vacant site next door, to be constructed for an unnamed user.

“Milwaukee Tool is the kind of innovative and growing company we want in our community, joining an already amazing list of global companies that call the village home,” Menomonee Falls Village President David Glasgow said in a statement.

Maps at Tuesdays announcement showed the company planning to expand into the 52,000-square-foot office building along Flint Drive this winter. A second phase with a new building would start in spring 2020.

Land to the north and west of the office building was designated for future expansion. That land is currently owned by the village. Mark Fitzgerald, Menomonee Falls village manager, said the village will close on the sale of the land to an affiliate of Milwaukee Tool on Friday.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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