An obsolete south side Milwaukee foundry gets an extreme makeover as an attractive new home for light industry. The Former Ampco Metal Company foundry has now been cleared of the foundry’s original buildings, allowing the developer, Real Estate Recycling, to build four new, efficient buildings that will provide 200,000 square feet of light industrial space, and call it the Stadium Business Park. Real Estate Recycling will invest an estimated $10 million dollars in the project, which is located near Miller Park.
Even as the concrete footings are being poured for the first of those buildings, the structure is already 65% leased. One of the new tenants is Lennox, Inc., moving to this Milwaukee site from Brookfield. The other is a company coming in to the Stadium Business Park from Chicago. These two businesses represent a total of 30 workers. Once the four buildings are completed and fully leased, at least 200 jobs will be created. Inland Companies will handle marketing the property to industrial users.
The City of Milwaukee provided $2.4 million for demolition and remediation, to be repaid from tax increment revenues generated on the project. “This is an investment that will pay us back. Rehabilitating this vacant industrial site and building it out with new attractive space will generate up to $6 million in future tax revenue,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
Brownfields grants of up to $600,000 were used for acquisition, demolition and environmental remediation at the property. More than half of that cleanup money came from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.
"My Grow Wisconsin plan calls for restoring vacant industrial sites to productivity so that they can be a source of jobs and investment for their communities," said Governor James Doyle. "I am pleased that the Department of Commerce could provide a $500,000 Brownfields Grant to help this project move forward."
The 17-acre property at 1745 S. 38th Street was formerly owned by Ampco Metal. It had been vacant since the company abruptly closed in 2002, eliminating 125 jobs. The plant was considered obsolete.
Real Estate Recycling’s Jeff Hall, who prior to purchasing the property, described the tear down and remediation as a “tough project”, explained the central location and workforce availability make it a winner. “We have two other newer buildings in the area that have attracted young, entrepreneurial companies who see those attractions and want new construction that provides them with efficient space,” said Hall.
The Ampco property was the site of an EPA news conference in June, where national environmental cleanup grants for 2005 were announced. Similar EPA monies had been used for some cleanup work at the Ampco site last year.
The first building at the new Stadium Business Park will be completed by January 1, 2005. Construction on the second of the four planned buildings will begin in spring of ’05.