Owners of Strauss Brands, Mayor Tom Barrett, and regional economic development officials announced on September 4 that Strauss will construct a 175,000 square foot headquarters and meat processing operation at Milwaukee’s Century City business park.
Strauss supplies premium quality, sustainably and humanely raised meats to customers coast to coast. Their fastest growing segments include grass-fed beef, and organic beef as well as other speciality meats. Products can be purchased at fine retailers and restaurants throughout the Milwaukee area.
“Since 1937, we have proudly operated both in and around Milwaukee. With the support of Mayor Barrett and Milwaukee economic development officials, we are excited to announce our return to the city of Milwaukee, home of our operational roots,” said Randy Strauss, 3rd generation co-owner and CEO of Strauss Brands.
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.
Strauss will commence construction on the Century City project later this year with occupancy expected in 2021. The company will employ 250 workers at Century City, including headquarters staff and production personnel. The facility will be designed to accommodate growth scenarios that could bring significant additional jobs and investment to the Century City operation.
“Strauss Brands is a very positive addition to the mix of businesses located at Century City,” said Mayor Barrett. “Century City is part of Milwaukee’s continuing reinvention. We are building a manufacturing future here with good companies, modern facilities, and jobs for great Milwaukee workers.”
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 redevelopment project hit a setback when the Walker administration canceled the state’s contract with train car maker Talgo, which occupied a corner of Century City.
The city will sell twenty acres along Hopkins Street south of Capitol Drive to Strauss for one dollar. In addition, the city will advance a developer-financed tax incremental district valued at up to $4.5-million. Strauss has agreed to meet Residents Preference Program and Small Business Enterprise requirements in the construction of the new facility. Approvals from the Redevelopment Authority, the Common Council, and the Joint Review Board will be sought in the coming weeks.
“Century City has always offered strong advantages for businesses, and Strauss Brands recognizes that,” said Alderman Khalif Rainey. “There is buildable land, and a good transportation network with rail and highways. The best part of Century City, though, is people – welcoming neighbors, capable workers, and a supportive group of fellow business operators.”
The site was acquired by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee at the end of 2009. The Milwaukee 7 economic development organization assisted Strauss in its evaluation of Century City.
“We’re delighted that Strauss has chosen to deepen its presence in southeastern Wisconsin,” said Gale Klappa, co-chair of Milwaukee 7 and executive chairman of WEC Energy Group. “Century City is the site upon which much of Milwaukee’s rich manufacturing heritage is written. Strauss will soon be creating a robust new chapter, bringing jobs and investment to Milwaukee’s northwest side.”