MENOMONEE FALLS — Defense
contractor Leonardo DRS Inc. will build a $56 million naval power
manufacturing complex in Menomonee Falls with access to $25 million
in state and local aid, the Wisconsin Economic Development
Corporation announced Monday.
The company has plans to leave its current location at 4265 N. 30th
St. in Milwaukee and move those operations, which currently employ
449 full-time workers, to Menomonee Falls.
Leonardo DRS will build a $56 million, 350,000-squarefoot factory
and engineering plant to be constructed in the Woodland Prime office
park north of Good Hope Road on the eastern edge of Menomonee Falls.
Russel Marsh, vice president and general manager of the Leonardo
Naval Power Systems Line of Business, said the growth and expansion
needs of their customers “require a more modern and efficient
The WEDC is awarding Leonardo DRS up to $18.5 million in state
income tax credits over the next seven years. The company will
receive credits or payments for retaining existing jobs, creating up
to 220 new jobs, making capital investments and training its
The village will provide approximately $6.4 million to Leonardo DRS
through a tax increment district, which the Village Board approved
Monday night. New property taxes generated in the district will help
pay for the development.
The facility, expected to open in 2020, will also house the design,
test and manufacturing facilities for naval and marine power
distribution, power conversion, motor controls, drives and
automation/control equipment for the U.S. Navy, commercial and
international customers, according to a press release. The facility
will also include most of its business development and production
Leonardo DRS had previously requested to remain anonymous and had
called the development “Project Walleye,” according to a
17application submitted to the village by Briohn Building Corp. on
behalf of Weas Development, which represents Leonardo DRS.
Wisconsin Newspaper Association Attorney James Friedman said a
company can request that a municipality keep their name
confidential. However, there are very limited circumstances where
the request would be upheld following a Freedom of Information Act
balancing test, he said.
Village Trustee Paul Tadda asked the company to invest in Menomonee
Falls taxpayers as they have invested in Leonardo DRS, Tadda said in
a speech Monday night. He admitted that he wasn’t sure whether to
support the project, adding that as a proud son of a janitor, he’ll
always support increasing job opportunities for Falls residents.
“I would like them to become active players in the STEM programming
offered at the village’s two great districts and I’d like them to
help sponsor Falls community events, programs and parades,” Tadda
The Leonardo DRS Naval Power Systems line of business and its
lineage have been Wisconsin-based for more than 100 years and the
company plans to invest more in the region with this move, said
Marsh. Village President David Glasgow said Menomonee Falls is
thrilled to welcome a company of this caliber.
“DRS is precisely the kind of company we want in our community,
joining a strong roster of global companies that call the village
home,” Glasgow said.
<<EARLIER: Aerospace/defense tech company might move HQ,
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