Caterpillar consolidating South Milwaukee operations by end of 2018

Company will only occupy facilities north of Rawson Avenue

Illinois-based Caterpillar Inc. will consolidate its South Milwaukee operations to facilities north of Rawson Avenue by the end of 2018.

Caterpillar’s facility on Milwaukee Avenue in
South Milwaukee.

Lisa Miller, a Caterpillar spokeswoman, said employees at the facility were recently notified of the move. Caterpillar owns the facilities north of Rawson while those south of the road are leased.

“These actions will enhance Caterpillar’s ability to meet the needs of its customers with world-class electric rope shovels and draglines,” Miller said in an email. “The company does not expect this consolidation to impact employment at this time.”

The 32.5 acres used by the company south of Rawson is owned by One Liberty Properties Inc., a New York-based real estate investment firm. It was listed for sale by Colliers International|Wisconsin for $15 million.

The consolidation represents a further shrinking of Caterpillar’s footprint in South Milwaukee. In 2016 the company confirmed plans to move engineering operations from South Milwaukee to Arizona as part of the creation of a central hub for its surface mining and technology offices. As many as 200 jobs are expected to move from South Milwaukee to Arizona over the next five to seven years.

City officials have been working on plans for more than a year of how to redevelop the Caterpillar sites should they become vacant in the future and pitched state officials on moving the state offices there from downtown Milwaukee.

South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks said the city is trying to be proactive and is not sitting back and waiting or hoping.

“We’ve been told there is good interest in the property,” he said, adding there was an accepted offer in November but that deal fell through.

Illinois-based Caterpillar Inc. will consolidate its South Milwaukee operations to facilities north of Rawson Avenue by the end of 2018.

Caterpillar’s facility on Milwaukee Avenue in
South Milwaukee.

Lisa Miller, a Caterpillar spokeswoman, said employees at the facility were recently notified of the move. Caterpillar owns the facilities north of Rawson while those south of the road are leased.

“These actions will enhance Caterpillar’s ability to meet the needs of its customers with world-class electric rope shovels and draglines,” Miller said in an email. “The company does not expect this consolidation to impact employment at this time.”

The 32.5 acres used by the company south of Rawson is owned by One Liberty Properties Inc., a New York-based real estate investment firm. It was listed for sale by Colliers International|Wisconsin for $15 million.

The consolidation represents a further shrinking of Caterpillar’s footprint in South Milwaukee. In 2016 the company confirmed plans to move engineering operations from South Milwaukee to Arizona as part of the creation of a central hub for its surface mining and technology offices. As many as 200 jobs are expected to move from South Milwaukee to Arizona over the next five to seven years.

City officials have been working on plans for more than a year of how to redevelop the Caterpillar sites should they become vacant in the future and pitched state officials on moving the state offices there from downtown Milwaukee.

South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks said the city is trying to be proactive and is not sitting back and waiting or hoping.

“We’ve been told there is good interest in the property,” he said, adding there was an accepted offer in November but that deal fell through.

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