Zilber to develop office building for ABB at UWM Innovation Campus

The UWM Real Estate Foundation announced today that Milwaukee-based Zilber Property Group plans to develop a three-story, 95,000-square-foot class A office building for ABB Inc. at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Innovation Campus that the foundation is developing northeast of U.S. Highway 45 and Watertown Plank Road in Wauwatosa.

The building will be the first private sector development at the Innovation Campus. It will house ABB’s businesses operating in southeastern Wisconsin. There will be 350 jobs at the building, including 100 engineers and scientists.

ABB currently has operations at 16250 W. Glendale Dr. in New Berlin. The company will maintain manufacturing operations there, but will move and expand its research and administration operations from New Berlin to Wauwatosa, according to one source familiar with the deal.

The decision by ABB to building a new facility is based on the significant growth of its businesses in New Berlin and the addition of more than 200 jobs there over the last three years, according to the UWM Real Estate Foundation. ABB’s Wisconsin operations are primarily involved in low and medium voltage drives, low voltage products and power electronics.

The Innovation Campus is a public-private partnership designed to provide industry and academia opportunities for collaboration. The site is located near the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center (which includes Froedtert Hospital, Children’s Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin) and the Milwaukee County Research Park.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with ABB on our Innovation Campus,” said UWM chancellor Michael Lovell. “I have had the opportunity to work with other divisions of ABB in the past and know firsthand how partnering with ABB will bring new and exciting collaborative opportunities for our students and faculty.”

The ABB facility will be the second building developed on the Innovation Campus, starting just months behind the Innovation Accelerator, which is being constructed with a grand from the federal Economic Development Administration.

Pending lease completion and public approvals, construction of the new ABB building could begin this spring and be complete a year later.

“We are very pleased to have been chosen as the developer for this project by ABB,’ said Jim Borris, president and CEO of Zilber Ltd. “Innovation Campus exists today because of the forward thinking of UWM, the state of Wisconsin, Milwaukee County and City of Wauwatosa. It is destined to become the region’s premier academia and industrial collaboration center.”

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