Washington County: Jackson Northwest Industrial Park continues expansion

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 11:00 am

Jackson’s Northwest Industrial Park has evolved significantly since it was created about 12 years ago.

The park, located northeast of the intersection of Highways 60 and P, started with 46 acres. Additions over the years have increased it to 159 acres now, and the park expects to add another 42 acres this spring, said Jim Blise, one of the owners of the park.

Blise is also president of Design 2 Construct Development Corp., a design/build firm in Jackson. His firm has constructed nearly all of the buildings inside the industrial park.

Three new facilities have recently been added to the park, all constructed by Design 2 Construct. A new 54,000-square-foot manufacturing and office complex for Germantown Iron & Steel Corp. was completed several weeks ago.

Work continues on a 50,000-square-foot facility being built for P.W. Walsh & Co., a heavy machinery moving company. That facility should be completed in May, Blise said. Design 2 Construct is also expanding another building in the park by 25,000 square feet, he said.

“When these three are done, there will have been 28 buildings (built) in the park in a 12-year period,” he said. “And we’ve built all but one of them.”

Germantown Iron & Steel moved to the Jackson industrial park from Richfield, just a few miles away. The company was out of space in its 40,000-square-foot facility there, where it had been since 1997, said David Gutbrod, who owns the company with his brother, Kenneth.

The Richfield facility was also located near Cabella’s, and is in an area that is quickly developing, he said.

“This park has very wide roads and will improve our access compared to the other facility,” David Gutbrod said. “We haul some materials that are 60 feet long.”

Germantown Iron & Steel designs, fabricates and erects steel buildings and bridges. It also makes ornamental and commercial stairs, railings, mezzanines, gates, ladders and custom work.

The Richfield facility wasn’t suitable for future expansion, both David and Kenneth Gutbrod said. The new facility in Jackson sits on a 6.5-acre parcel and was constructed with future expansion in mind. The parcel could accommodate a facility that is more than 100,000 square feet, the brothers said.

If Germantown Iron & Steel’s current order levels continue, it might need to expand in three to five years, David Gutbrod said.

The new facility was funded with about $3 million in industrial revenue bonds. The brothers declined to state the total cost of the building, move and new equipment they’d purchased, but said they would not use the entire amount of industrial revenue bonds.

The move also allowed Germantown Iron & Steel to arrange its work floor more efficiently.

“It was an opportunity to identify what we wanted to do and to create a building specifically for what we do,” Kenneth Gutbrod said. “We have things like a recessed loading dock and wireless controls on our cranes now.”

The company has 48 employees now – three of them were hired last year. Both Gutbrod brothers declined to state the company’s revenues, but said both employee and revenue growth have been slow but steady in recent years.

“We’re not trying to be the biggest fabricator,” Kenneth Gutbrod said. “We’re committed to our core group of customers. As they grow, so do we.”

The new facility enabled Germantown Iron & Steel to create some amenities for its workers. The new plant has a larger lunch room, bathrooms and better designed locker rooms with showers.

“These guys have a dirty job to do and we want to be sure they have nice facilities,” David Gutbrod said. “We’ve got an outside patio with a grill so they can cook out, and there’s a pizza oven in the lunch room.”

Key Washington County projects:

• West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. is building a $57 million, 194,000-square-foot addition to its headquarters at 1900 S. 18th Ave.

• West Bend-based American Design & Build and North Liberty, Iowa-based Kinseth Hospitality Companies are building an 82-room Hampton Inn & Suites hotel at the southeast corner of South 18th Avenue and West Paradise Drive in West Bend.

• Cambridge Major Laboratories Inc., a Germantown-based manufacturer and developer of pharmaceutical ingredients, is planning to build a new 120,000-square-foot facility near its existing headquarters. The new facility will be next door to Cambridge’s 50,000-square-foot facility at W130 N10497 Washington Dr.

• A 50,000-square-foot facility is being built for P.W. Walsh & Co. in Jackson’s Northwest Industrial Park.

• West Bend-based Gehl Co. plans to build a new 75,000- to 100,000-square-foot corporate headquarters office building on a 32-acre property southeast of East Water Street and North Indiana Avenue in West Bend. In addition, an adjacent, 75,000-square-foot, manufacturing building will be renovated into a research and development center.

• Gehl will abandon its current headquarters building, which sits on a 15-acre site that also includes a 604,638-square-foot manufacturing facility that it abandoned about a year and a half ago. The site will be sold to the city, which will seek developers to redevelop it.

• Port Washington-based A.N. Ansay & Assoc. plans to redevelop the former site of an old outlet mall near downtown West Bend. Ansay plans to build three mixed-use buildings, with a total of 80,000 to 90,000 square feet, on the site, with retail on the first floor and office space on the 2nd and 3rd floors.

• Milwaukee developer Tim Dixon is redeveloping the former West Bend Co. site. Once fully completed the development, called River Shores, will have about 385 residential units, some in new buildings and some in a former West Bend Co. building. A YMCA and some residential units have already been completed in that building.

• C. Coakley Relocation Systems plans to build an industrial park in Kewaskum by redeveloping more than 250,000 square foot of the former 584,000-square-foot Regal Ware Inc.factory.

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