Corporate Headquarters Planned at Milwaukee County Research Park

Jan. 18--A local engineering consulting firm that has grown from a one-man shop to a business with 64 employees in three states plans to develop its new headquarters building at the Milwaukee County Research Park in Wauwatosa.

Under its proposal, Bloom Consultants LLC would move to a 35,000-square-foot, two-story office building that would be built by May Investments LLC, an investors group that includes Mathew Tharaniyil, Bloom's majority owner.

Bloom currently leases space at 10001 Innovation Drive, another research park building.

May Investments is seeking a $1.5 million loan from the Small Business Administration to help finance the $5.8 million development, and also is seeking a loan from Community Bank & Trust.

The Milwaukee Economic Development Corp., a business lending agency affiliated with the City of Milwaukee that reviews SBA loans, examined the proposal Tuesday.

The agency did not decide whether to recommend approving the loan, according to spokeswoman Andrew Rowe Richards.

Tharaniyil founded Bloom in 1998, according to the company's Internet site.

The company's initial focus was to provide services for bridge and structural engineering, and its projects include the Milwaukee River pedestrian bridge that runs beneath the Holton Street Viaduct.

Bloom has expanded into engineering services for other sectors, including highway, traffic, geotechnical, environmental and construction.

Bloom opened its St. Paul, Minn., office in 2000, and in 2001 acquired a geotechnical firm in Schaumburg, Ill.

That office was relocated to downtown Chicago in 2005.

Bloom has 52 full-time and 12 part-time employees, according to city records.

It plans eventually to add 40 full-time and 20 part-time employees after moving to its new offices, which would be built on 3.7 acres at the research park.

The offices also would house two smaller firms operated by Tharaniyil: Vista Design & Construction LLC and Avant-Garde Construction LLC.

(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The (KRT) -- 01/19/06)