Jeramey Jannene
Friday Photos

Rite-Hite Building To Right Height

New headquarters will fill Reed Street Yards business park.

By - Jul 16th, 2021 06:32 pm
Rite-Hite R&D building under construction along W. Freshwater Way. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Rite-Hite R&D building under construction along W. Freshwater Way. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A new headquarters for warehouse equipment company Rite-Hite is quickly rising in Walker’s Point.

The company announced in early 2020 it would relocate from suburban Brown Deer to the Reed Street Yards business park, bringing approximately 300 employees with it.

It is building a four-story, 159,308-square-foot office building along the north side of W. Freshwater Way on a site that overlooks the South Menomonee Canal and Harley-Davidson Museum.

A two-story, 108,552-square-foot office building, to be used for research and development, is being constructed on the south side of the street. A parking structure with four levels and 450 stalls is being constructed immediately west of the building. A skywalk will connect the two office buildings.

Eppstein Uhen Architects is designing the buildings. CD Smith is leading the general contracting. The project is expected to be completed in early 2022.

Rite-Hite designs and manufactures loading dock equipment, industrial doors, safety barriers, industrial fans and other products for warehouse operators. The 56-year-old company has over 2,300 employees across the globe, including four locations in the Milwaukee area.

The new Milwaukee campus would be used research, design, administration, sales and management, but not manufacturing.

In late 2019 the Common Council approved a $4 million amendment to the tax incremental financing district used to create the business park to fund the relocation of two Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) sewers that cross the Reed Street Yards business parks, but don’t directly serve the 15-acre site formed from a former rail yard and trucking facility. The move was billed as clearing an impediment to development and city officials said it would be required whether the then-rumored Rite Hite relocation occurred or not.

The formerly water-focused business park only attracted a single office tenant prior to Rite-Hite’s announcement.

Zurn, a subsidiary of Rexnord, relocated from Pennsylvania to a three-story office building in the business park. The Yards apartment building was completed last year on the district’s eastern edge along S. 2nd St. A substantial amount of other development, including the Global Water Center, has taken place just outside of the borders of the business park. A large Milwaukee Bucks mural just outside of the business park will be partially obscured by the new R&D building.

An affiliate of Rite-Hite purchased 9.4 acres of land from General Capital Group for $12 million. The riverwalk segment that rings the property remains open during construction.

The Rite-Hite project is far from the only construction in the area. To the north, Harley-Davidson is adding a new event venue to its museum campus. To the east, Kelly Construction has started working on the redevelopment of a pre-Civil War building at 235 S. 2nd St.



Pre-Construction Site Photos

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2 thoughts on “Friday Photos: Rite-Hite Building To Right Height”

  1. Paul Trotter says:

    I wonder if the owner is going to display a Trump flag on his building.

  2. NieWiederKrieg says:

    The Menomonee River Canal on Freshwater Way is an excellent harbor for Lake Michigan boats. And Lake Michigan has record breaking, world class trout and salmon fishing. Anglers from all over the world come to Southeast Wisconsin to fish for 35 pound chinook salmon, 50 pound brown trout, and 20 pound steelhead trout on Lake Michigan and its tributaries.

    It would be an absolute sin for the architects working on the Rite-Hite project to not take advantage of the gifts of Lake Michigan. The Harley Davidson Museum on the opposite side of the canal has docks for boats. Shame on the architect if he doesn’t take advantage of Lake Michigan’s opportunities. Rite-Hite could take their clients (and employees) on fishing trips and Lake Michigan pleasure cruises.

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