See photos from Highlands Business Park groundbreaking in Sussex

Waukesha County has low industrial vacancy, need for more development space

A rendering of a planned speculative building for the Highlands Business Park. (Rendering: Stephen Perry Smith Architects)

Last updated on July 31st, 2019 at 01:34 pm

Wauwatosa-based Wangard Partners Inc. has officially commenced construction of the 149-acre Highlands Business Park in Sussex.

The technology, industrial and commercial business park is located northwest of Highway 164 and County Highway K. The developer and other stakeholders held a ceremonial turning of dirt on Friday afternoon.

According to a news release, the new business park will be able to accommodate industrial, food service, health care service, general service and retail businesses. Development sites for individual companies will range from 1-30 acres, as needed.

“This is an outstanding location for businesses in need of space for manufacturing, distribution, and retail locations,” Stewart Wangard, chairman and chief executive officer of Wauwatosa-based Wangard Partners, said in the release.

The development will be near the Sussex Corporate Center as well as area dining, shopping and other retail businesses. Highlands Business Park includes more than 274 acres of parkland, walking, biking and running trails in addition to conservancy areas.

“The Waukesha County Center for Growth is pleased to see the Highlands Business Park breaking ground,” Tim Casey, director of economic development for the Waukesha County Center for Growth, said in the release. “We work regularly with companies and developers looking for sites that can accommodate industrial buildings in the 100,000 square foot range and larger. Sussex has been a strong partner in our efforts, and with quick access via State Highway 164 to other major highways in the region, this will be a strategic location for industrial users.”

Construction of the business park comes as Waukesha County faces a need for more business-development space, the release states. According to market data from the Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin, REDIComps Research and Catylist, industrial space vacancy has dropped to 1.6% in the county.

The quarterly report also showed the industrial real estate market overall in southeastern Wisconsin performed well during the three-month period. The region’s industrial market absorbed 1.1 million square feet of space during the quarter and has now absorbed 1.6 million square feet this year. The vacancy rate fell from 3.8% in the first quarter to 3.5% in the second quarter.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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