You may have seen this BizTimes story today, detailing the $15 million listing for the 32.5 acres of Caterpillar property — more than 750,000 square feet of buildings — available south of Rawson Avenue.
This is an incredibly complex redevelopment challenge ahead of us, something the likes of which this city has never seen. We are up for it — committed to not standing idly by and simply hoping that something good comes to a property so critical to South Milwaukee’s proud past and promising future.
Our city was born near the Mill Pond. It grew up here. And we are taking real steps to deliver the future we want.
From the story …
South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks and the City Council have been working with Milwaukee-based engineering firm GRAEF since last fall to develop a master plan for the area currently occupied by Caterpillar.
“This is in the heart of our city and the heart of our downtown and we have to play an active role,” Brooks said.
Last week, members of the M7 and WEDC toured the facility. South Milwaukee officials have also toured the former Eaton building, now known as the Century City Tower at 4201 N. 27th St.
Brooks said the city isn’t modeling the Caterpillar site after Century City, but wanted to see how older office buildings have been reused in various ways and also educate themselves about the various development opportunities that could be available.
“I think we have an important voice to play here in transitioning the next generation for the Caterpillar site,” Brooks said. “Losing all of these jobs is a big concern. It is sad what has happened. … I don’t want to forget the toll that this has had on our city. I would much rather have Caterpillar cranking out mining machinery by the dozens than what we are facing now, but we are going to have to deal with what we have.”
In other words, let’s get to work. Check that. We already are.