Que El-Amin, Josh Jeffers pitch revived Bucyrus redevelopment plans

Project would include 92 apartments, 22,000 square feet of commercial space

Former Bucyrus campus in South Milwaukee. (Jon Elliott of MKE Drones LLC)

Developer Que El-Amin has returned with a new redevelopment plan for the Bucyrus International and Caterpillar campus in South Milwaukee, and this time he has a partner who is equally passionate about finding new uses for aging industrial buildings.

El-Amin’s company, Scott Crawford Inc., and J. Jeffers & Co. recently submitted a rezoning application to the city of South Milwaukee seeking to transform the campus’s Corporate, Technical and Heritage buildings, into a sprawling residential and commercial development.

The project calls for 92 mixed-income apartment and loft-style units – a combination of one 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units – as well as about 22,000 square feet of commercial space. The plan also calls for activated green spaces and two, outdoor art alleys.

This new iteration of the project, with its larger emphasis on commercial space, comes about 10 months after El-Amin last approached the city with a plan for the three buildings at 1100 Milwaukee Ave.

Back in February, Scott Crawford Inc. – then the only developer on the project – approached the city with a plan that called for about 160 apartments spread across the three buildings, with about 5,800 square feet of commercial space in the Heritage Building set aside for a possible microbrewery.

El-Amin had initially approached the city back in October 2020 about possibly constructing a building at the campus as well, but that part of the plan was later scrapped.

Under this new proposal, the four-story 64,460-square-foot Heritage building on the eastern edge of campus would be reserved for common and commercial uses. A site plan shows 3,180-square-feet of the first floor devoted to common space, with 14,540-square-feet dedicated to commercial uses. Additionally, a project narrative notes that other commercial tenants have been identified for the second floor of the building.

The proposed development would include 246 parking spaces for apartment residences, along with 50 dedicated commercial parking spots.

It was not immediately clear on Monday whether the developers were planning to seek tax incremental finance assistance for the project, but El-Amin had sought an $8 million developer funded TIF loan back in February under his earlier proposal.

Bucyrus was acquired by Caterpillar in 2011, and over time Caterpillar has dramatically reduced operations in South Milwaukee. Caterpillar Global Mining has operations in the portion of the former Bucyrus campus to the north of Rawson Avenue.

In addition to the new redevelopment plans for the former Bucyrus/Caterpillar campus south of Rawson Avenue, Steele Solutions Inc., a manufacturer of steel mezzanines and work platforms, is leasing the 209,675-square-foot “Big Muskie” building there.

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