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Milwaukee Tool plans $26M plant in West Bend (UPDATE)

Milwaukee Tool has announced it will build a $26 million manufacturing plant in West Bend, a project that follows on its plans for a $100 million campus in Menomonee Falls.

The tool-maker will produce hand tools for professional electricians and utility linemen at its new plant in West Bend, a building that will stand about 20 minutes from the company’s headquarters in Brookfield. The firm plans to break ground on the project in April. A Milwaukee Tool spokesperson said the company hasn’t yet picked a general contractor for the West Bend project or for its separate plans for a $100 million campus in Menomonee Falls.

“With a focus on core users in the Electrical, Plumbing and Mechanical trades, our strategy for Hand Tools from the beginning has been to disrupt the market with superior performance, quality, and user-driven feature sets,” said Tim Albrecht, president of hand tools for Milwaukee Tool, in a statement. “As we continue with that strategy, we are thrilled to invest in state-of-the-art technology and equipment, and a skilled labor force — right in the heart of Wisconsin — to deliver the next wave of hand tool innovation to the industry.”

Milwaukee Tool plans to build on a 20-acre plot of land the company bought in a new business district in West Bend. The firm announced its plans late last week; company officials were not immediately available to answer additional questions about the project Monday.

Initially, the company plans to build a 75,000-square-foot plant that can be expanded to 225,000 square feet in the future. The firm has also the first right of refusal to buy an additional 20 acres for future expansions. That land could accommodate another 225,000-square-foot building, according to the company.

The project is to take place in a new industrial park that West Bend officials established on 216 acres along River Road in the city in 2020.

Milwaukee Tool expects the new factory to create 50 manufacturing jobs at first and plans to hire 100 workers by the end of 2025.

The company’s announcement comes after it came out with its plans in mid-December to build a $100 million campus in Menomonee Falls. That project is expected to create 870 jobs by 2025.

Additionally, the Milwaukee Tool subsidiary Imperial Blades is planning $7.5 million worth of work to its site in Sun Prairie.

“West Bend has a rich history of being an industrial hub and is proud to build upon its legacy by welcoming Milwaukee Tool as the first occupant of the new West Bend Manufacturing Center,” said Adam Gitter, economic development manager for West Bend, said in a statement. “Milwaukee Tool is a global leader in developing innovative solutions and products. The company’s selection of West Bend will serve as a catalyst for job growth within our community.”

About Nate Beck, nbeck@dailyreporter.com

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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