Milwaukee Tool plans to create 870 jobs in Wisconsin and build a $100 million new campus in Menomonee Falls by 2025, further expanding its research and development work for power tools that are sold globally.
“These expansions are necessary for Milwaukee Tool to sustain our growth by delivering disruptive innovation to users on jobsites around the world,” said Steve Richman, Milwaukee Tool group president.
Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. has been growing in Wisconsin almost faster than it can secure building space. Its Brookfield global research and development headquarters has gained more than 1,000 employees since 2011 as the company’s sales have grown 400%. In June, Richman said the company planned to open space in a $32 million Brookfield expansion this fall, and expected to be out of space again by the end of this year.
Milwaukee Tool now intends to create a new campus of more than 65 acres and 2.5 million square feet of building space in Menomonee Falls. It would be at the Woodland Prime business park near Good Hope Road and Interstate 41. The global headquarters would remain in Brookfield, but Menomonee Falls would have space for additional growth of its product research and potentially manufacturing.
The project was announced Tuesday by Milwaukee Tool, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, private economic development organization Milwaukee 7 and local officials. Beyond the planned $100 million Menomonee Falls project, Milwaukee Tool will spend $7.5 million expanding its Imperial Blades subsidiary in Sun Prairie, according to a news release from Evers' office. In total, those projects would create 870 jobs.
Milwaukee Tool would be eligible for up to $20 million in state tax credits for those plans. Those are in addition to $26 million in state tax credits already awarded to Milwaukee Tool for previously announced expansions in Brookfield.
“From the company’s name to the quality of its tools, Milwaukee Tool demonstrates that Wisconsin products – and Wisconsin workers – are the best not only in the nation but in the world,” Evers said.
Much of the land Milwaukee Tool will acquire in Menomonee Falls was tabbed in 2012 to become a new corporate headquarters for Kohl’s Corp. Those plans were canceled, leaving Kohl’s with an empty office building on Flint Drive, and the village of Menomonee Falls with more than 65 neighboring acres for a future development.
Milwaukee Tool bought the 53,000-square-foot office building from Kohl’s in August. It also is in talks to buy about 65 acres adjacent to the office building from the village of Menomonee Falls.
Separately, Milwaukee Tool could occupy a 120,000-square-foot new facility immediately east of its Flint Drive office building, according to applications that were recently approved by the state to fill wetlands. That development is codenamed “Project Redline” in the application, and does not name Milwaukee Tool specifically.
Milwaukee developer Zilber Property Group owns that 14-acre property, and sought the permits to fill wetlands for the new building.
The Milwaukee Tool project is the result of talks including the village of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and Milwaukee 7.
“Milwaukee Tool is precisely the kind of company that can expand and thrive in the M7 region,” said Gale Klappa, co-chair of the M7 and executive chairman of WEC Energy Group.
“The company’s brand and extraordinary growth trajectory are strengthening Milwaukee’s image around the world,” Klappa said.
Milwaukee Tool was acquired in 2005 by its current owner, Hong Kong-based power equipment giant Techtronic Industries Co.