The vertically integrated manufacturing facility that Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. plans to build in West Bend will be located in a new business park the city is developing.
The facility could have 100 employees by 2025.
BizTimes reported Saturday about Milwaukee Tool's plans for the $26 million facility that will make new-to-market hand tools for electricians and utility linemen. New information released Monday morning by the company, city and Milwaukee 7 revealed additional details.
The company plans to break ground in April on a 75,000-square-foot building, which will be built on a 20-acre site in West Bend's new business park. The new 216-acre business park is located east of River Road and north of County Highway NN.
The facility could be expanded to 225,000 square feet in the future, and the company additionally has an option to purchase an additional 20 acres for another 225,000-square-foot building.
Milwaukee Tool will initially create 50 jobs in skilled manufacturing at the facility, and plans to have 100 employees there by the end of 2025.
Common Council members last week Monday approved the creation of a new tax incremental financing district for the business park, which will finance about $12.8 million in costs to prepare the area for development. This includes land acquisition and infrastructure improvements, such as roads and utilities.
Jay Shambeau, West Bend city administrator, said in an interview last week the new tax incremental financing district should be created on Feb. 4. He said city leaders for years have sought a location to create a new industrial park, in order to attract businesses and retain companies already located in West Bend who wish to relocate or expand.
"West Bend has a rich history of being an industrial hub and is proud to build upon its legacy by welcoming Milwaukee Tool as the first occupant of the new West Bend Manufacturing Center," Adam Gitter, West Bend economic development manager, said in a statement.
"We are thrilled that Milwaukee Tool is making yet another significant investment in Wisconsin," Missy Hughes, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. secretary and CEO, said in a statement. "We are especially pleased that the company is expanding its manufacturing footprint, which will create opportunities not only for the skilled workers employed by the company in West Bend, but for scores of suppliers around the state."
It was not immediately clear what all of other sites were that Milwaukee Tool considered for its manufacturing facility before choosing West Bend. But one site in the city of Milwaukee was pitched for the facility, according to documents obtained by BizTimes.
Emails between Milwaukee officials and Jim Paetsch, M7 vice president of corporate relocation, expansion and attraction, show the city identified the Bacher Farms site, located east of where North 60th Street meets West Green Tree Road, as a potential place for Milwaukee Tool to locate its manufacturing facility. The email exchange occurred in late November.
Seven acres of the 40-acre Bacher Farms site is where a new tiny homes community for veterans is being developed. David Misky, assistant executive director of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee, noted in an email to Paetsch that the group developing the community — Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin — is supported by Milwaukee Tool.
Paetsch wrote in response that he would present the site to the company.
The site was first mentioned in an email to Paetsch and Misky from Rocky Marcoux, commissioner of Milwaukee's Department of City Development.
Paetsch also asked about "some land on the far (northwest) side" of Milwaukee that RACM also owned. Misky said in response that the next largest site after Bacher Famrs was 12.5 acres at 6200 W. Mill Road. The company was looking for at least 15 acres, however.