Jeramey Jannene
Plats and Parcels

Company Moving HQ To Milwaukee

Mayville Engineering is biggest metal fabricating company in U.S. Plus: Bay View school completes addition and our weekly recap.

By - Aug 27th, 2023 03:50 pm
Honey Creek Corporate Center III. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Honey Creek Corporate Center III. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee will soon gain another corporate headquarters.

As part of a talent attraction and retention strategy, Mayville Engineering Company is relocating office operations to the city’s West Side. Founded in 1945, the publicly-traded company is the largest metal fabricator in the United States. It has more than 2,300 employees across 20 facilities.

Manufacturing will continue in Mayville, located 55 miles northwest of Milwaukee. The initial Milwaukee office will consist of 10-to-15 staff members from the company’s audit, legal and accounting teams. But officials said they expect the office to grow with time.

Several other companies have made similar moves in recent years, drawn by the lure of more available highly-skilled workers as well as transportation amenities like the airport and numerous cultural amenities. Twin Disc relocated its corporate suite from Racine to the Historic Third Ward, Church Mutual Insurance Company established a lakefront office at 833 East while formally keeping its headquarters in Merrill in northern Wisconsin, Regal Ware moved its headquarters from Kewaskum to the Park Place business park and, the biggest of them all, Michels Corp. built an entire mixed-use development and created a new division in the Harbor District while keeping its headquarters in Brownsville.

Mayville actually disclosed the relocation news in May, during a presentation to the Mayville Common Council. The Daily Dodge reported the news, but it didn’t make waves in Milwaukee until Andrew Weiland picked it up two weeks ago following a Milwaukee permit application.

After a series of acquisitions, Mayville went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2019, ending a three-decade run as an employee-owned company. Its market capitalization at the close of trading on Friday was $230 million.

“Where we are today in our progression as a public company…it’s really causing us to have to look at different types of skillsets,” said CFO Todd Butz to the Mayville council. “When you think of SEC reporting and legal and taxation and all these sorts of expertise that we just don’t have here in Mayville.”

The company will establish a 14,804-square-foot office along Interstate 94 on the third floor of the Honey Creek Corporate Center III building, 135 S. 84th St. Komatsu Mining, which consolidated its regional operations to South Harbor Campus along the inner harbor, previously occupied the space.

Mayville, population 5,144, is located east of Beaver Dam. “We want to continue to grow this location in fact and that’s what our hope is of the future,” said Butz. “But when it comes to the back office, technical skillset that’s required now or needed as we continue to grow, that is what’s driving us to have to look at locations outside of Mayville.”

Jag Reddy serves as Mayville’s CEO, having joined the company in July 2022. Robert Kamphuis served as CEO from 2005 to 2022.

Built in 2000, the four-story building has 160,657 square feet of space according to city assessment records. Four similar-looking buildings make up the suburban-style corporate center, owned and managed by Greywolf Partners. Other tenants in Mayville’s building, according to occupancy permits, include Time of Grace, Compassus, Kforce, HALO Branded Solutions, New York Life Insurance Company and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Downtown Montessori Quietly Completes Addition

This one slipped through the cracks of our regular coverage a year ago, but it’s notable enough that we didn’t want to let it go completely unmentioned in the media.

Milwaukee’s oldest independent charter school, Downtown Montessori Academy (DMA), completed an 11,000-square-foot addition to an existing building at its campus in Bay View.

The three-story addition includes classrooms and a multi-purpose space. It was designed by Groth Design Group and Berghammer Construction Corporation led the general contracting. It was finished in late spring 2022.

The school’s main building, built in 1887 for St. Augustine of Hippo Catholic Church, is a High Victorian Gothic building constructed from Cream City brick. Located at 2507-2523 S. Graham St., the property is tucked behind the Catholic church, 2530 S. Howell Ave. DMA has occupied its campus for more than a decade after starting Downtown in 1998.

The addition was built on the southern side of the former convent structure, 2523 S. Graham St. The original structure was built in 1889 to the designs of Herman Schnetzky and expanded in 1940. The 2022 addition’s exterior uses a type of brick designed to appear similar to the well-aged Cream City brick building. The expanded structure serves the school’s “adolescent” students, those in seventh and eighth grade.

A duplex, addressed as 2529-2531 S. Graham St., was demolished to create space for the addition.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction‘s report card for the K3 through 8th Grade school shows that 241 students were enrolled in the 2021-2022 school year, with the school earning four stars (“exceeds expectations”). The City of Milwaukee charters the school.


Weekly Recap

The Fitz Rises On The East Side

A once hotly-contested apartment complex is now rising along N. Hackett Ave., though at least one neighbor still publicly opposes the project.

The four-story, 55-unit building, to be known as The Fitz, will replace a grass lot with a market-rate apartment building while also generating income for a neighboring church to gain a fully-accessible parish hall.

The project is a partnership of developer Michael DeMichele, Three Leaf Partners and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. The church, 2604-2644 N. Hackett Ave., sold its underutilized lot in exchange for the development team replacing its 1940s parish hall with a modern, fully accessible building. HGA designed both buildings, with JLA Architects serving as the architect of record on The Fitz.

Construction workers now have the housing structure standing at half its eventual height. A deep hole remains where the parish hall will go. Across the street, a lone “Keep Our Neighborhood’s Aesthetic” sign protests the new building’s existence. The website referenced on the sign,, is, however, no more.

Read the full article

Former Downer Chancery To Be Renovated For New Tenants

A long-vacant restaurant space on Downer Avenue will be renovated as part of a project to make the building more attractive, and functional, for future tenants.

Bridge33 Capital will split the 4,200-square-foot stall last occupied by the Chancery Pub and Restaurant into two distinct spaces in line with how the two-story building once was laid out.

The restaurant shuttered in 2007 and the space, 2575 N. Downer Ave., has become a white whale on the Upper East Side, with residents holding out hope that something would replace it while several storefronts nearby saw continued activity.

SereniTea, a cafe specializing in boba tea, is now proposing to open a new location in half of the Chancery space.

Read the full article

Mitchell Street Building Will Be Picked Up and Moved

A month after questioning the wisdom of doing so, funeral home director and former alderman Jim Witkowiak is poised to try something quite rare for Milwaukee: picking up and moving a building.

Witkowiak will hire a contractor to pick up the 139-year-old, two-story building at 515 W. Historic Mitchell St. and move it two lots east, approximately 50 feet.

“After extensive research and testing, it’s like I said when I was here last time ‘nothing is impossible,’ we will attempt to move the building,” said Witkowiak to the Historic Preservation Commission on Aug. 7. “I don’t agree with it 100%. I don’t want to make a big issue in front of the council on why we shouldn’t do this if you think it would establish precedent.”

Witkowiak and his architect, Luis Barbosa Perches of BMR Design Group, would prefer to preserve the facade of the 2,800-square-foot building and construct a new structure behind the relocated facade. But the commission’s staff said that would create a replica structure disallowed by the city’s historic preservation ordinance.

Read the full article

Doors Open Returning With New Locations, Neighborhood Tours

One of Milwaukee’s favorite free events is coming back in September.

Doors Open Milwaukee, hosted by Historic Milwaukee, features more than 100 buildings throwing open their doors to the public for free tours of often closed, private or difficult-to-access spaces. It’s a delight for architecture buffs or curious Milwaukeeans alike.

The 2023 edition is to include 130 buildings as well as new app-based tours of two neighborhoods and a bingo game.

New participants include engineering firm GRAEF, whose office fills the former food court at The Shops of Grand Avenue, the newly-launched Mitchell Street Arts organization on the first floor of the Kunzelman Esser Lofts, the newly-completed The Garage at the Harley-Davidson Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum Research Center in the historic Judge Jason Downer House and the newly-completed Shechem at Hope Street complex.

Read the full article

Family Court Remodel Sorely Needed Says Chief Judge

Milwaukee’s criminal justice system is facing many challenges at the moment, many of which are connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. But when it comes to buildings, the court system has been struggling for years.

The county is preparing to remodel the seventh floor of the Milwaukee County Courthouse. The floor is home to a critical function of the circuit court system: Family Court.

The court is regularly the jurisdiction of emotionally fraught causes like divorce and custody proceedings.

“We often talk about homicide and the serious matters that are taking place in the Safety Building, and that’s another issue, but Family Court issues are probably even more dangerous,” said Chief Judge Carl Ashley at an Aug. 10 Capital Improvements Committee.

Read the full article

24th MANDI Awards Celebrate Milwaukee Success Stories

The winners of the 24th annual MANDI Awards left Potowatomi Hotel & Casino Aug. 10 with official recognition of the impact they are making on Milwaukee, and cash to expand their work.

The MANDIs, short for the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation, are called the “good news” awards and informally described as “the Academy Awards of Milwaukee.”

“Winning a MANDI is a premier accomplishment for those working in community development in Milwaukee; just being nominated is a coveted achievement,” said Theodore Lipscomb, Sr., LISC Milwaukee executive director in a statement announcing the winners.

Nonprofit LISC Milwaukee hosts the annual awards show with sponsorship from U.S. Bank.

Read the full article

Augustine Prep Opens $49 Million Elementary School

Milwaukee has a brand new elementary school, just in time for the new school year.

St. Augustine Preparatory Academy, a Christian voucher school, celebrated the opening of its new $49 million elementary school on Tuesday. The school is the largest single-campus K4-12 school in Wisconsin.

Founder Gus Ramirez said the school’s expansion is aimed at creating more capacity to provide a quality education to students.

“There are so many schools in our great cities that are not serving our students adequately and that’s what we want to tackle,” said Ramirez to the large crowd assembled in the 606-seat theater.

Read the full article

Ramirez Has Big Plans For Cardinal Stritch Campus

Gus Ramirez has big plans for the former Cardinal Stritch University campus.

Ramirez, the owner and retired CEO of Husco International, intends to launch a northside version of his successful St. Augustine Preparatory Academy K4-12 school. It would create an up to 5,000-student school spread over two campuses.

The Ramirez Family Foundation announced in late July it purchased the campus for $24 million, but was quiet on exactly what it would do with the 43-acre property beyond something with education.

On Tuesday, while celebrating the opening of a new elementary school at the Augustine Prep southside campus, Ramirez revealed that the former university campus would become a northside sister school. It is planned to open for the 2025-2026 school year.

Read the full article

Lakefront Streetcar Extension Opens October 29

The lakefront extension of Milwaukee’s streetcar system finally has an opening date, even if it’s only for limited “preview” service.

Starting Oct. 29, the long-awaited extension will begin operating on Sundays along E. Michigan Street and E. Clybourn Street.

Known as the L Line, the extension will use a single vehicle to run a figure-eight-style route that incorporates the lakefront spur with the core north-south route along N. Broadway and N. Milwaukee Street between E. Kilbourn Avenue and E. St. Paul Avenue.

The route will not initially stop in the base of The Couture tower, but will ride through the 44-story tower’s first floor while the remainder of the building is under construction.

Read the full article

County Lists Park East Lot For Sale, Again

One of the last remaining undeveloped downtown blocks is for sale.

Milwaukee County issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the 2.28-acre block bounded by N. Water St., E. Ogden Ave. N. Milwaukee St. and N. Broadway.

It’s the fourth time the county has listed the site, known as Block 22, for sale.

The latest listing comes after developer Cornelius McClendon‘s purchase option was allowed to expire in January. McClendon, who secured a purchase option in 2020, had initially proposed a $60 million hotel and apartment complex. His firm, McClendon Capital Group, was to pay the county $3.5 million for the property.

Read the full article

Developers Seek to Raze Historic Third Ward Tavern

The owners of a historically-protected former tavern in the Historic Third Ward are formally seeking permission to demolish the structure.

The long-simmering proposal could set off a fiery debate about what to do with one of the few buildings to survive the 1892 Third Ward fire, which resulted in the loss of 440 neighboring structures.

The Historic Preservation Commission could consider the request at its next meeting on Sept. 11.

A partnership of General Capital Group and Joseph Property Development acquired the property in 2014, a year after the building suffered its own fire. With The Kubala Washatko Architects and Spire Engineering, the partners suggest it is impractical to save the deteriorating, vacant building despite their attempts to do so.

Read the full article

Soaring Home Prices Squeeze First-Time Buyers

The second straight year of 14% increases in home values statewide, and mortgage interest rates near 7%, continued to illustrate the squeeze faced by individuals trying to buy their first home or wanting a bigger home as a family grows.

The annual Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) report on “equalized” property values – values adjusted for sales of similar properties, reassessments and other factors – estimated the value of residential property statewide at $613.8 billion, a 14% gain over 2022. Last year’s report had a one-year increase of 14.9%.

“Homeowners are in the driver’s seat,” said David Clark, a Marquette University emeritus economics professor and consultant for the Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA). “For buyers, it’s a real challenge – especially for first-time buyers,” since they have no equity built up and must rely on gifts or savings to buy that first home and consider a 30-year mortgage interest rate of about 6.8%, Clark noted.

WRA’s numbers document that squeeze. The median-priced Wisconsin home went up by 8.6% — from $280,000 to $304,000 — between June 2022 and June 2023. It was the first time that a median-priced Wisconsin home exceeded $300,000, Clark noted.

Read the full article

If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us