Eaton Corp. confirms it will move division headquarters to Wauwatosa

Published on: 3/2/2011

Eaton Corp. has selected the Milwaukee County Research Park, in Wauwatosa, as the location for an office and lab operation now based on Milwaukee's north side, Wauwatosa Mayor Jill Didier announced Wednesday morning.

Construction is to begin this summer on the 90,000-square-foot building, which will house Eaton's electrical sector Milwaukee operations and technical center, Didier's announcement said. The building is to be completed by mid-2012.

The move will shift 145 employees to the research park, and "there is potential for future employment growth," according to the statement.

Eaton executives have for years been considering a move of that operation from 4201 N. 27th St. Also, the outdated building had over $3 million in damage from flooding last summer.

In January, the research park board agreed to sell 9.6 acres to Irgens Development Partners LLC, which will develop the office and laboratory building for Eaton.

Financing for that $15 million building would include $5.5 million in city funds that would be repaid through the project's property taxes, according to the research park. That use of city funds will require Wauwatosa Common Council approval.

The financing also would include a $20 million grant of federal New Markets Tax Credits. The credits would be sold to fund a $4 million low-interest loan.

The tax credits are designed to encourage investment in lower income areas. While Wauwatosa is an affluent suburb, the census tract where the research park is located includes low-income residents of nearby nursing homes operated by Milwaukee County. That quirk qualifies the census tract for the tax credits.

According to Didier, the project will provide work for around 350 construction employees. Her statement also said Cleveland-based Eaton could have moved the operation out of Wisconsin.

''The choice of this site reaffirms Eaton's commitment to the State of Wisconsin and the region and provides us with a location capable of supporting our continued growth," Matt Lorenz, Eaton's Industrial Control Division vice president and general manager, said in a statement.