New Production Facility Could Bring Hundreds Of Jobs To Milwaukee’s Century City

Former AO Smith/Tower Automotive Site Once Employed Nearly 1K Workers

Milwaukee skyline
Downtown Milwaukee. Jeramey Jannen (CC BY)

This week Milwaukee officials plan to announce a new production facility that could bring 250 jobs to Century City Business Park on the city’s northwest side.

The company has not yet been named, but according to a press release from the Milwaukee Department of City Development, a “long-established Wisconsin company” will build a 175,000-square-foot facility on 20 acres.

“The company anticipates breaking ground later this year and beginning operations in 2021,” according to the city. “Initially it will bring 250 people to its new location; that number could grow to 500.”

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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was planning a press conference Monday afternoon, but it was postponed for “a day or two,” due to unforseen circumstances, according to the city.

While downtown Milwaukee and surround neighborhoods have experienced economic revitalization in recent years, the city’s northwest side has experienced stubbornly high unemployment.

Century City was the original home to the now-departed A.O. Smith and then Tower Automotive manufacturing plant, once employing more than 900 people.

The site was acquired by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee at the end of 2009. Since that time, the Redevelopment Authority has worked to make the 86-acres site ready for redevelopment, although progress has been slow.

The $35 million redevelopment project hit a setback in 2012 when the Walker administration canceled the state’s contract with train car maker Talgo, which occupied a corner of Century City. In 2016, Talgo announced it would return to the business park and employ about 30 people.

Good City Brewing bought a 53,000-square-foot warehouse in Century City in 2018 and moved its office and warehouse to the business park. The brewery also committed to establishing a brewery there within two years.

“The city has made Century City a priority,” said Jeff Fleming, spokesman for the Department of City Development. “We are excited about the success of Talgo and Good City Brewing and will have more to say in coming days.”