Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 18:51
Construction to start this fall on $3 million plant in village business park
The Village of Saukville’s Community Development Authority made quick work this week of approval of plans for the latest addition to the business park.
The committee opened its meeting Monday by finalizing the sale of two parcels in the Dekora Woods Business Park.
Shortly after approving those transactions, the body approved the site plan for a 62,000-square-foot building eyed for one of those lots.
The building proposed by Engineered Exhaust Systems/B-T, Inc. has been valued at $3 million.
The company currently has its production facilities in a 60-year-old building on 163rd Street in New Berlin.
Chief Operating Officer Randy Butler, who lives in Saukville, said it was serendipity that brought the company to the business park.
“We need a new plant and folks from our sister company in China asked me what I thought about building in a little town called Saukville. I told them, ‘That works for me,’” Butler told CDA members.
He was a longtime employee at Tecumseh Products in Grafton who took a position with Engineered Exhaust Systems when the Grafton plant shut down.
The company designs muffler systems for major manufacturers, such as Kohler Co., Briggs and Stratton, and John Deere. The prototypes are sent to China for production, then returned to Wisconsin for distribution.
A condition of the land sale is that the village have the option to buy the property back if construction does not start within one year.
Butler said that provision is unlikely to come into play.
He said the company hopes to break ground on the building in September, with plans to move in by August 2016.
“We are a fairly small operation and word gets around quickly. We have already had some of our people driving up to Saukville to get an idea about distance and drive time,” Butler said.
The company currently has 26 employees, and Butler said he expects he will have to replace some people who don’t want to make the extended commute.
In addition, he said the company expects to expand its workforce to 30 within the first year of operation in Saukville.
The building will use precast walls with an exposed aggregate finish.
A metal wall will be used on the north side of the building, with the anticipation of future expansion on that side. To screen that wall from Cold Springs Road, the company agreed to add landscaping and trees.