Rite-Hite’s plans for Reed Street Yards show room to grow

Future expansions could grow campus another 110,000 square feet

Rite-Hite headquarters in Reed Street Yards. Rendering: Eppstein Uhen Architects
Rite-Hite headquarters in Reed Street Yards. Rendering: Eppstein Uhen Architects

Last updated on May 22nd, 2020 at 12:01 pm

Rite-Hite Holding Corp.‘s plans for its new Reed Street Yards headquarters campus in Milwaukee show the company could expand beyond its proposed 240,700-square-foot footprint.

Rite-Hite, a global industrial equipment manufacturer and supplier, announced in March it would move from Brown Deer to Reed Street Yards in the Walker’s Point neighborhood. As part of that relocation, the company plans to construct a 137,000-square-foot, five-story office building on land north of Freshwater Way, and a 103,000-square-foot, two-story research and development building along with a four-level, 450-stall parking structure to the south.

The company will bring approximately 350 jobs to the business park, according to plans filed with the city. The project is expected to be finished by 2022.

Rite-Hite could even grow its campus by up to 110,000 square feet in the future. The project plans depict a potential 51,000-square-foot expansion of its office building, 30,000-square-foot expansion of its R&D building and another 29,000-square-foot building on land directly west of the office building.

A company spokeswoman said the expansion possibilities included in the plans “are just future thinking.”

The first floor of the office building will be primarily for customer-facing functions, and will include an entrance lobby, product showcase and display, and work café. The R&D building will house such functions as offices, product development, customer training, product display and product distribution. Loading docks will be on the south side of the building and the parking structure will be attached to the west.

A skywalk will connect the two buildings over Freshwater Way.

The project plans will be considered June 1 by the Milwaukee plan commission. Up for approval are site plans, building elevations and a request to deviate from the design standards for the Reed Street Yards area. The deviation request is to allow 14 parking stalls at the office building’s entry plaza. Design standards allow no more than 10 spaces, but the project team said the 14 spaces are needed to accommodate the building’s customer-facing operations.

“A large number of customers come from all over the country to receive product training and product updates,” project architect Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen Architects stated in a letter to the city. “The entry plaza serves as a main drop off point for visitors and will require limited visitor parking.”

Rite-Hite chief executive officer Paul Maly said the project will allow the company to grow and recruit workers.

“The new headquarters will afford us the space and resources to expand our operations, attract and retain talent, and continue to support our customers in a first class manner,” Maly said in a statement earlier this spring.

Rite-Hite was founded in 1965, and employs more than 2,200 people globally.

The 17-acre Reed Street Yards business park is also the location of Zurn Industries’ global headquarters. It is billed as a mixed-use urban office, educational, research and technology zone focused on the global water industry.

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Alex Zank
Alex Zank covers commercial and residential real estate for BizTimes. Alex previously worked for Farm Equipment magazine and also covered statewide construction news at The Daily Reporter. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied journalism, political science and economics. Having grown up in rural western Wisconsin, Alex loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, four-wheeling and hunting.

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