Snow is brushed off the
top of the Rytec building by the wind Wednesday
afternoon in Jackson.
John Ehlke/Daily News
HARTFORD — There is more positive economic news for the
city. Rytec Corp., a leading manufacturer of high-speed
doors for industrial and commercial use, has purchased
the former Steel Craft building in Hartford and plans to
begin additional production work there soon.
company bought the 130,300-square-foot industrial
facility at 1353 Wacker Drive within the last couple of
weeks for an undisclosed amount. Most recently, the
building was used for storage. Rytec plans to continue
manufacturing at its Jackson location, but production
work will take place at the Hartford site. The company’s
corporate headquarters will remain in Jackson. The
company said in a news release, the purchase signals a
major product expansion and represents a significant new
investment in the local community.
“We’re expanding with the purchase of the Hartford
location to meet our growing customer demand,” said
Michael Watkins, Rytec’s vice president of marketing.
“The company also plans to invest additional resources
into the facility and reorganize the manufacturing area
to better utilize the acquired building. With this new
property acquisition, Rytec will own more than 250,000
square feet of manufacturing and assembly space within
southeast Wisconsin. Preliminary relocation activity is
anticipated by mid-February, with expected completion
and increased multi-shift production activity to begin
by March 1.”
Watkins said the additional space and related added
production will mean hiring more employees, but he could
not say how many at this time.
Hartford Mayor Tim Michalak was pleased with the news.
He said the city is always interested in people and
companies moving to Hartford and taking advantage of the
housing and businesses that are going up.
“We’re all set to be the place where people work, live,
play and raise a family,” Michalak said. “That’s what
we’re banking on for Hartford so we’re really happy.”
think it’s great that companies are even choosing
Hartford without having the government step in to spend
money,” Michalak added. “I think it shows the strength
of what Hartford is regards to being a real value to
Planner Justin Drew said in an email to City
Administrator Steve Volkert that a Rytec representative
emailed him several times about the project before the
property was purchased.
also met with me back in November to make sure they were
following all of the proper steps,” Drew said. “It’s a
Rytec Chairman Donald Grasso said the Rytec team
understands the significance of this purchase and
signals the company’s continued growth.
are very pleased with the pro-growth support we’ve
received from the community and local business leaders,
and we look forward to working with them and Wisconsin
state officials to help facilitate additional growth
opportunities,” said Chairman Donald P. Grasso. “Many
factors were considered in acquiring property in
Hartford — continuity of our loyal workforce, proximity
to our headquarters in Jackson, additional
infrastructure for continued growth and access to the
area’s local universities and technical colleges for
growth in human capital.”
According to the company’s website, in 1985, Paul Reilly
Jr. founded Rytec in Addison, Illinois. The company
manufactured and sold high-speed folding doors in the
U.S. Widespread adoption of this product in cold storage
environments helped establish the viability of the
high-speed door concept in North America. In 1987, Rytec
moved to a larger facility on Eagle Drive in Jackson. In
1990, Rytec developed the first high-speed rolling door
that could withstand accidental impacts and reset