Potawatomi buys former Cargill properties near casino

The Forest County Potawatomi Community purchased two former Cargill Inc. properties, totaling about 9.2 acres, next to Potawatomi Hotel & Casino complex in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley, for $6.3 million, according to state records.

The tribe acquired a 6.5-acre former beef slaughterhouse facility at 1901 W. Canal St. just west of the casino, and a 2.7-acre former research and development facility east of the casino and the 16th Street viaduct. Cargill ended operations at those facilities last year.

The Potawatomi tribe has not determined what it will do with the properties. However, the properties will not be used for gaming, the tribe said.

“The tribe will now begin a planning process to determine the property’s highest and best use which fits the needs of the tribe, the Menomonee Valley and the city of Milwaukee,” said Forest County Potawatomi Attorney General Jeff Crawford. “This review could take 18 months or longer.”

Cargill’s decision to close the facilities last year eliminated 600 jobs. The company decided to shut down the beef harvesting operation there because of low supply of beef cattle.

“The availability of cattle was very constrained,” said Cargill spokesman Mark Klein. “The supply of cattle was very low and it was impractical to keep the plant running.”

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