New York investor buys former Caterpillar complex in Oak Creek

Master Lock Co. will lease for its HQ

The former Caterpillar facility in Oak Creek.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:01 pm

A New York real estate investment firm purchased the former Caterpillar and Midwest Airlines office complex in Oak Creek for $16.85 million.


W.P. Carey bought the 120,883-square-foot, two-building complex at 6744 S. Howell Ave. from Bucyrus Wisconsin Property, LLC, a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., on Sept. 1.

The property was listed for $14.5 million. It has an assessed value of about $13.6 million, according to Milwaukee County records.

Master Lock Co., signed a long-term lease on Aug. 5 to move its headquarters from another location in Oak Creek to the former Caterpillar complex in early 2017, ending months of speculation that the manufacturer might relocate its headquarters to downtown Milwaukee.

Tom Shepherd and Matthew Stauber of Colliers International represented Caterpillar Inc. in the lease and sale of the campus.

“We’re elated that we retained hundreds of jobs of a homegrown Milwaukee corporate citizen in Master Lock, and that we attracted a strong out-of-state investor to acquire the property,” Shepherd said. “Oak Creek really has momentum right now and they are viewed as a very pro-business community.”

Bucyrus International Inc. purchased the office complex for $9 million in June 2010. It was originally the corporate headquarters for Midwest Airlines.

Caterpillar acquired Bucyrus for $8.6 billion in November 2010 and moved the headquarters of its global mining division to the Oak Creek campus. In October, Caterpillar announced it would close the complex and move between 200 and 250 jobs to South Milwaukee.

Master Lock moved its corporate headquarters from 2600 N. 32nd St. in Milwaukee to Oak Creek in 2003, moving about 180 jobs out of the city. The company kept its production facility at 2600 N. 32nd St. in Milwaukee.

In 2015, The Master Lock Company, which is the security segment of parent company Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc., had net sales of more than $550 million, a 15 percent increase over 2014.

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