Milwaukee Tool wants to expand in Brookfield, add 500 jobs
City offering public financing for 200,000-square-foot building

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

Nov. 20, 2015

Milwaukee Tool wants to construct a 200,000-square-foot building across from its headquarters on Lisbon Road in Brookfield to accommodate future growth.    
Submitted photo

BROOKFIELD - Proposed expansion plans for Milwaukee Tool announced Thursday involve constructing a 200,000-square-foot addition and adding approximately 500 employees at the company’s headquarters in Brookfield.

The tool maker is working with Brookfield city government, Milwaukee 7 and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation on the proposed expansion. According to the announcement, the project would lead to the retention of about 800 jobs in the current facilities and create approximately 500 additional jobs when the second building is built across from Milwaukee Tool’s headquarters in Brookfield.

As part of the plans, Milwaukee Tool would purchase the three-and-a-half acre parcel of land north of Lisbon Road. The city is also proposing creating a tax incremental financing district that would provide $6 million in TIF assistance toward project costs estimated at more than $33 million.

Milwaukee Tool has applied to the WEDC for assistance. That organization has met with Milwaukee Tool officials, according to the announcement.

“While we are currently exploring all opportunities and locations to fulfill our expansion needs, we would prefer to keep all of our product research, design, and development within the Brookfield campus,” said Ty Staviski, chief financial officer for Milwaukee Tool. “This would be the best-case scenario for business continuity and synergies across the board.”

Milwaukee Tool relocated to Brookfield from Milwaukee in 1965 and in the past 10 years has redeveloped 190,000 square feet of former manufacturing space to create research and development, packaging design, marketing, sales and administrative offices. In 2011, Milwaukee Tool had a little more than 300 people and in 2015 has almost 800 workers, according to the announcement.

The intent is for Milwaukee Tool to purchase a piece of land across the street from its existing location at 13135 W. Lisbon Road from Wangard Partners. That acreage was initially planned for future expansion of the Eastgate Business Center developed by Wangard, according to the announcement.

If the construction of the new facility moves forward, Milwaukee Tool estimates creating 300 jobs in the next three years and 500 during the next five years. According to the announcement, the majority of the new jobs would focus on engineering and marketing.

“We are prepared to work with Milwaukee Tool and the other partners in this project to continue their tremendous growth at this campus,” said Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto in the announcement. “We expect that they will grow to be our largest employer in the next few years, and we are talking about high-quality, family supporting jobs.”

Milwaukee 7 has worked with Brookfield and WEDC on the previous expansion at Milwaukee Tool.

“Expansions like the one being considered by Milwaukee Tool are highly sought-after by places around the U.S.,” said M-7 Vice President Jim Paetsch in a statement. “These jobs are dead-center the kind we want in southeastern Wisconsin.”