WEST BEND — The next step has been completed to let Milwaukee Tool come into the West Bend community.
The Common Council this week approved a certified survey map for a property off the intersection of South River Road and County Highway NN. The CSM — a zoning item that requires municipality approval to establish new properties, when sections of land are divided or joined — establishes two properties with industrial zoning. Each is about 20 acres, according to city documents.
“This is for the Milwaukee Tool development,” City Administrator Jay Shambeau said during Monday’s Common Council meeting.
Shambeau said one of the properties mapped out by the CSM is where Milwaukee Tool is planning to build in West Bend. According to information shared between the company and the city in January, the business plans to open a new, vertically integrated manufacturing plant in West Bend, manufacturing new-to-market hand tools for utility linemen and electricians.
The plan announced then was for Milwaukee Tool to break ground in April on a 20-acre plot in the West Bend Manufacturing Center, which would create about 50 high-skill manufacturing positions.
“Lot 1 is the northernmost extent of our new tax incremental finance District 14. That is where their initial building would be,” Shambeau said this week. “The southern lot, Lot 2, is 20 acres. That’s for future expansion.”
A tax incremental financing district is an area that a municipality takes off of the normal tax rolls. The money properties within the district would normally have paid to taxing authorities — the village, county, school district — is put back into the district for improvements. TIFs are often used to fund infrastructure for developments or improvements to the area.
$26 million investment
According to previous city discussions, the initial expected investment for Milwaukee Tool is nearly $26 million and will include a 75,000-square-foot building, with the potential to expand to 225,000 square feet. The company will also have the option to purchase another 20 acres for future growth — Lot 2 — which could bring another 225,000 square feet. Milwaukee Tool plans to employ 100 staff members at the new location by the end of 2025, according to records they have submitted to the city.
West Bend created TIF 14, which in total is a little more than 200 acres, to promote a new industrial park to attract and grow business in the city. The city plans to invest in infrastructure for the area, thus encouraging companies, like Milwaukee Tool, to move into or expand in West Bend, creating growth in local values, jobs and the economy.
The CSM step was necessary for the development, as the 200 acres of the entire development need to be divided down into smaller parcels, appropriately sized for development. There are still other steps left before shovels are in the ground, however.
“We’re in negotiations right now with Milwaukee Tool for the developer’s agreement,” Shambeau said Monday to the Common Council. “We anticipate bringing that before you in the near future.”
The CSM also defined a 1.5-acre outlot that will not be sold or developed. Shambeau said there is some information that the space may have been a burial site; it will be left as green space as the manufacturing park develops.