State offers Milwaukee Tool up to $18 million for HQ expansion

Groundbreaking held for $35 million project [PHOTO GALLERY]

North entrance of planned expansion to Milwaukee Tool headquarters.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:03 pm

Milwaukee Tool will receive up to $18 million in state income tax credits over the next six years as an incentive tied to its $35 million headquarters expansion in Brookfield.

Gov. Scott Walker announced the incentives at a groundbreaking ceremony for the project held Monday. The earned credits are being granted under the Wisconsin Economic Development Enterprise Zone program for the retention and creation of full-time jobs and capital investment.

Milwaukee Tool will build a 200,000-square-foot, four-story office building on its campus at 13135 W. Lisbon Road in Brookfield. The project is also funded in part by a $6 million tax incremental financing district through the city of Brookfield.

The company has more than tripled its workforce in Brookfield since 2009 and now plans to add another 500 jobs in five years with  the expansion. The company could receive tax credits for up to 592 jobs created and retained over the next six years at its Brookfield location and its Empire Level facilities in Mukwonago.

After years of stagnation, the company refocused on its core users in the mid-2000s and has gone from $500 million in yearly sales to over $2 billion. BizTimes detailed the company’s growth in a March cover story.

Steve Richman, group president for Milwaukee Tool, said Monday the company has a number of positions to fill and hinted at possible future expansion at the site.

“We hope this is the first of many buildings we add on in the future,” Richman said.

Milwaukee 7 co-chair Gale Klappa said Milwaukee Tool’s decision to keep its expansion at its Brookfield headquarters was an important step for the region.

“As you know, the global competition for jobs is literally relentless,” Klappa said, adding “The Milwaukee Tool project is among our region’s most significant economic development wins.”

Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries, Milwaukee Tool’s parent company, last month reported record earnings and revenue in 2015, but Walker said that isn’t a reason for the state to not offer incentives to have the expansion located here.

“You’ve got a company taking dollars, not just Milwaukee Electric Tool being here, but their parent company looking potentially anywhere in the world to make this investment,” he said.

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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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