Major Warehouse Project Planned near Milwaukee

Aug. 30--A $22 million warehouse and distribution center will be built in Sturtevant for JohnsonDiversey Inc., creating one of this year's largest industrial developments in southeastern Wisconsin, it was announced Tuesday.

The 550,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center will be on 38 acres in Renaissance Business Park, just west of Racine. Liberty Property Trust recently bought the land, and has already started site work, said John DiVall, Liberty's regional vice president for Wisconsin. The building could eventually expand up to 830,000 square feet, he said.

The distribution center is to open next July, with about 150 employees working in three shifts.

Sturtevant-based JohnsonDiversey, which provides industrial cleaning products and services, will consolidate four other warehouse locations in the Racine area once the new distribution center opens. That will help the company operate more efficiently by reducing transportation time and costs.

JohnsonDiversey said in July it would eliminate 85 jobs in Racine as it moves to contract with an outside vendor for information technology services, leaving the company with fewer than 1,000 employees in Racine County. Those job cuts were part of plans announced last November to eliminate 10% of the company's global work force over the next two to three years.

The company signed a 10-year lease agreement with Liberty, which will own the building. Riley Construction, the building's contractor, will employ about 70 workers on the project.

Eco-friendly design

DiVall said the JohnsonDiversey project will be Liberty's third building in southeastern Wisconsin to have earned the "green" label for structures built to conserve resources and reduce environmental impacts. The U.S. Green Building Council certifies such buildings through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system, which ranks green buildings at bronze, silver and gold levels.

"I'm delighted we're able to make this major investment in this community," said JohnsonDiversey Chairman S. Curtis Johnson, in a statement. "The distribution center is further evidence of our long-term commitment to the Sturtevant and Racine communities, the environment and the employees who will be working there."

JohnsonDiversey's headquarters is certified as a "green" building.

Liberty's other area "green" buildings are a multi-tenant office building at 245 S. Executive Drive, Brookfield, and a Department of Defense office building under construction at Park Place, a Milwaukee business park east of U.S. Highway 45 and north of W. Good Hope Road.

Liberty is based in Malvern, Pa., a Philadelphia suburb, and operates 64 million square feet of commercial space. The company's portfolio includes 1.8 million square feet of office and industrial space in southeastern Wisconsin.

JohnsonDiversey is a one of four separate companies controlled by the Johnson family, which also owns S.C. Johnson & Son Inc.