CITY OF BROOKFIELD - Less than a year after having plans for a glistening new addition to their corporate campus approved, Milwaukee Tool is already back to request permission from the city of Brookfield for more upgrades.

Last April, the company broke ground on a 200,000-square-foot, four-story office building at its campus at 13135 W. Lisbon Road. The building differed greatly in architectural aesthetics from the existing structures, but Milwaukee Tool and Stephen Perry Smith Architects are now working to rectify that contrast.

“Milwaukee Tool strives to reface the main building and design additions to outbuildings with the same consistent materials of the new corporate office building,” city of Brookfield director of community development Dan Ertl said.

The city's common council unanimously approved the plans Tuesday night.

Ertl spoke fondly of the company’s plans.

“The proposed refacing of the building, the uses and expansions, are a welcome addition to the community’s economic base,” Ertl said.

Milwaukee Tool’s primary building, located on the west side of the campus, will undergo primarily aesthetic changes, but a pair of outbuildings will get more than just makeovers.

The company’s Rapid Innovation Center, referred to as the RIC building, is slated to see its current footprint of 16,500 square feet doubled with an expansion of approximately 18,000 square feet. Similarly, the 5,600-square-foot Annex building in the southeast area of the campus — which Stephen Perry Smith Architects president Stephen Smith called “an eyesore” — will be expanded by 10,000 square feet.

Smith noted that the city of Brookfield has expressed a desire in the past to see more development and redevelopment in the area around Milwaukee Tool.

“From the city’s perspective, there has always been a desire to enhance this area. What a great opportunity this is to really inject a new image into this area and really upgrade and enhance the feeling of the entire area,” Smith said. “I do believe this will have a catalytic effect.”

Alderman Gary Mahkorn is sold on the plans.

“It’s going to be a beautiful campus. I’ll be very excited when we’re looking at our northeast quadrant. It’s worn down. It needs several shots in the arm and Milwaukee Tool is clearly a huge, major shot in the arm for this area,” Mahkorn said. “What’s happening there is so exciting, so dynamic.”

A current timetable for the project would see construction begin this spring with the goal of work being completed by this fall.

Since 2009, Milwaukee Tool has increased the workforce at its corporate campus by over 500 full-time employees. The company currently employs approximately 800 people at its headquarters and projected last year that it would be able to create 500 new jobs in the next five years.

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