Power Test planning 50,000-square-foot addition in Sussex

Company could add 40 jobs with relocation of Iowa facility

Power Test has developed a portable test cell that is intended for military applications and other customers seeking flexibility.

Last updated on March 31st, 2020 at 04:49 pm

Sussex-based Power Test Inc.  is planning to double the size of its headquarters to accommodate the relocation of recently acquired SuperFlow Technologies from Iowa, according to documents submitted to the state Department of Natural Resources.

The company, which makes heavy-duty engine and chassis dynamometers, is seeking to build a 50,000-square-foot addition to the north of its current facility along Silver Spring Drive. The project would impact about 0.69 acres of wetland on the 15-acre parcel and Power Test has paid for expedited review of its plans.

Alan Petelinsek, Power Test chief executive officer, said the area that would be impacted by the building occasionally has standing water for short periods and is an example of the kind of situation that could be addressed under changes signed into law last week by Gov. Scott Walker.

“We are an exact case for why that makes sense,” he said.

Petelinsek added the company is still working with the DNR to figure out exactly where the wetlands are and how they should be treated.

“We’re really not sure what we’re faced with for obstacles,” he said.

Other alternatives for building on the site wouldn’t work for the company because they would not allow for enough new space, require the relocation of specialized testing equipment or limit future expansion, according to the documents. Petelinsek added that when the facility was originally built in the 1980s, the plan was for it to be expanded in four phases to 200,000 square feet total.

Power Test moved to the facility in 2007 with plans of eventually expanding.

The company acquired Des Moines, Iowa-based SuperFlow in September. The company’s lease in Iowa expires in August. Alan Petelinsek, Power Test chief executive officer, would like to relocate the operations to Sussex, but the wetland permitting process means there’s no chance the building addition will be finished until at least November. He added the owner of the Iowa facility is in the process of selling the building, meaning Power Test is now working with the buyer to get a short-term extension of the lease.

Whenever the company does expand, Petelinsek said the SuperFlow operations will be moved to Sussex. He said the company currently has 30 employees in Des Moines and while all the positions would move, about 24 of the positions would likely need to be filled in Sussex. He also expects additional job growth once SuperFlow operations are integrated in Sussex. Combined with organic growth for PowerTest, the move would represent about 40 new positions.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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