January 04. 2008 2:00AM - Last modified: March 14. 2012 2:36PM

Astronautics to expand in Milwaukee


City of Milwaukee officials are considering plans to provide a forgivable $100,000 loan to Astronautics Corporation of America Inc., which has secured a large aircraft technology contract and plans to add more than 70 engineering and production jobs in the city.
The loan will help Astronautics make security improvements at its headquarters in the central city at 4115 N. Teutonia Ave. and its main production facility on the near south side at 1412 W. National Ave.
Plans for the loan, which would be provided by the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. (MEDC), will be reviewed at the city's Community and Economic Development Committee meeting on Wednesday.
According to city documents, Astronautics has secured contracts to provide a pilot information display for the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner and other Boeing aircraft.
Astronautics designs, develops and manufactures electronic systems for military and commercial clients for air, space, land and sea applications. The company's major product lines are aircraft cockpit avionics systems, navigational systems, flight instruments, flat panel displays and mission and display processors. The firm has about 550 full-time employees at its Milwaukee facilities.
To assist Astronautics in its recruitment efforts, city officials are considering plans to provide the MEDC loan to upgrade the building and parking lot security systems in and around its facilities, including the installation of security cameras, electronic card access systems and burglar alarm systems, the upgrading of lighting in the parking lots and other exterior improvements to increase security for employees.
The company's total budget for the project is $192,580, and $100,000 would be covered by the forgivable loan from the city.
Under the loan proposal, payments will be forgiven in each year that Astronautics maintains combined employment at its Teutonia Avenue and National Avenue facilities of at least 525 full-time workers. Any unpaid loan balance and accrued interest would be due if the facilities are sold.
An Astronautics spokesman could not be reached for comment about the expansion today.