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Komatsu Mining selects architect, builder for Milwaukee HQ

Komatsu Mining Corp. aims to start construction late this year on its new $285 million global headquarters in Milwaukee, and recently selected local firms as the architect and lead contractor for the project. 

The firm recently hired Eppstein Uhen Architects and Graef, both based in Milwaukee, to design the new corporate campus, said John Koetz, president of surface mining at Komatsu Mining. Hunzinger Construction Co. of Brookfield is the general contractor, he said.

“They showed us they have a lot of experience and ability to do large industrial machinery installation, which is a huge part of what we do,” Koetz said.

Those firms will lead design and construction of a new Komatsu corporate campus near the harbor in Milwaukee that includes a 410,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and 170,000-square-foot office building. Those will open in 2022 south of East Greenfield Avenue. Komatsu Mining will move its operations there from its large campus near West National Avenue in West Milwaukee.

Koetz discussed the project Friday during the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Power Breakfast event. The campus will be a center to manufacture and design the company’s heavy mining equipment. Komatsu expects to have 598 jobs in the facility by 2023, and to increase the count to at least 946 within 12 years.

“Our overall driving goal quite simply is to create a remarkable workplace for the future,” Koetz said. “We saw the Milwaukee waterfront and the renaissance that is going on there as a unique and unrivaled feature of Milwaukee, and something we saw as a tremendous convergence of opportunity.”

Eppstein Uhen is the region’s largest architectural firm, according to the 2018 Milwaukee Business Journal Book of Lists. Its recent work includes renderings released in mid-March of new development around Fiserv Forum, several stages at the Summerfest grounds, the expansion of Discovery World and Uline’s Pleasant Prairie corporate office building.

Hunzinger is also a well-known local name. Koetz said the firm was selected partially because it has local relationships that will help Komatsu hire small businesses and Milwaukee residents on the construction project.

The city of Milwaukee, through its agreement to help finance the development, required 25 percent of contract dollars go to small business enterprises, and 40 percent of hours worked be performed by Milwaukee residents in the city’s RPP, or Residents Preference Program. 

A lot of design and scheduling work lies ahead, and We Energies is still cleaning the land where Komatsu’s campus will be built. That property has a long history of heavy industrial uses that left its soils contaminated. We Energies is leading the cleanup through its affiliate Wisconsin Gas, which will sell the land to Komatsu.

Sean Ryan
Milwaukee Business Journal

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