The Bucyrus Foundation awards South Milwaukee economic development grant

Will assist city in planning efforts for Caterpillar campus

Caterpillar’s facility on Milwaukee Avenue in

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:53 pm

The Bucyrus Foundation has awarded the city of South Milwaukee a $200,000 grant that will be used to determine the best use for the former Bucyrus campus in the city’s downtown.

Caterpillar’s facility on Milwaukee Avenue in
South Milwaukee.

Tim Sullivan, chairman of the Bucyrus Foundation of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, said it makes sense that the company continue to support the community it supported for 118 years, until the sale of Bucyrus to Caterpillar in 2011.

“Bucyrus provided a strong economic base to the City of South Milwaukee during that period of time, and the South Milwaukee community in turn supported the company,” Sullivan said. “We hope to continue to support the city that provided us with so much success over so many years as long as we can.”

The city will use the money to invest in three key areas:

  • $75,000 to fund the city’s newly created economic development director position.
  • $50,000 to replenish the Downtown Revitalization Grant program. The program allows downtown property and business owners to apply for up to $30,000 in matching grant funds for interior and exterior remodeling projects.
  • $75,000 for use in development of a master plan for the former Bucyrus campus once a new owner purchases the property, currently home to Caterpillar Inc.’s South Milwaukee operations.

The entrance to Caterpillar Inc.’s South Milwaukee complex sits at 1100 Milwaukee Ave., adjacent to the city’s downtown

The complex, which once employed 10 percent of the city’s population, is tightly nestled between Milwaukee, 10th and Rawson avenues, stretching three long blocks from east to west and six blocks north to south in the heart of the city.

Of the 76 acres that Caterpillar occupies, the company still owns approximately 43.5 acres. The remaining 32.5 acres are owned by One Liberty Properties Inc., a real estate investment firm based in Great Neck, New York.

The 32.5 acres south of Rawson are now listed for sale by Colliers International|Wisconsin for $15 million. The property includes eight buildings with 519,712 square feet of industrial space and 230,000 square feet of office space.

In 2016 the company confirmed plans to move engineering operations from South Milwaukee to Arizona as part of the creation of a central hub for its surface mining and technology offices. As many as 200 jobs are expected to move from South Milwaukee to Arizona over the next five to seven years.

City officials have been working on plans for more than a year of how to redevelop the Caterpillar sites should they become vacant in the future and pitched state officials on moving the state offices there from downtown Milwaukee.

“In many ways, the story of South Milwaukee is the story of Bucyrus, and vice versa,” South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks said. “For many years, we were a company town – shovels used to build the Panama Canal were built here. Bucyrus proudly defined us. This grant is a reflection of that, and we are so thankful to have attracted these funds.”

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display