As village marks 100 years, new companies calling community home
One hundred years ago, before Saukville incorporated as a village, the community’s business profile was largely restricted to general stores and taverns.
Today, Saukville has a diverse economy of retail stores and service sector businesses. The cornerstone of the community’s business identity, however, is the Dekora Woods Business Park and its adjacent industrial park.
The sprawling business parks are located between Highway 33 and Cold Springs Road on the village’s west side.
Almost as if to help Saukville celebrate its centennial, a ground breaking was held last week for the business park’s newest neighbor — Engineered Exhaust Systems.
The company plans to relocate its headquarters from New Berlin to a 62,500-square-foot plant being erected on Dekora Woods Boulevard. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of next summer.
Company officials recently told the village’s Community Development Authority the $3 million building will house its corporate headquarters and prototype production facilities.
Engineered Exhaust designs muffler systems for major manufacturers, such as Kohler Co., Briggs & Stratton and John Deere. The prototypes are sent to China for production and returned to Wisconsin for distribution.
The company has already announced tentative plans to build a 50,000-square-foot addition to the plant now under construction in 2018, officials told the village.
During the past year, a handful of other business park building projects have also been approved.
In spring, a 24,000-square-foot addition was announced for Injectec at its plant at 451 N. Dekora Woods Blvd.
The company is a custom rubber molder with approximately 50 employees. Company officials told the village the addition will allow the hiring of as many as 20 more employees during the next four years.
A simple storage addition was also approved for Carroll Converting at 700 N. Progress Dr., with the promise that a more significant expansion project is on the horizon.
“We love it in Saukville, and I see a comeback in the industrial park with a lot of business activity,” company president Mike Kryshak told the CDA earlier this year.
The development authority has done its part to promote that supportive climate, hosting networking sessions for the community’s industrial owners.
It has also prepared a directory that lists local company names, addresses, phone numbers as well as a brief description of the products they make.
In an effort to make the community even more inviting to prospective businesses, the CDA offers economic assistance in a variety of forms. They include a business-development loan program, a revolving loan fund and broker incentive grants.
A recent economic profile prepared by the University of Wisconsin-Extension for the village shows local employers provide 2,788 jobs, with 44% of those in manufacturing.
Saukville Village President Barb Dickmann looks with pride at the surge in economic growth the community has witnessed over the past century, beyond its burgeoning industrial base.
“The Village of Saukville has seen a lot of changes over the past 100 years, but for me the biggest change was the arrival of I-43, especially with its intersection with Highway 33,” Dickmann said.
“It transformed the village from a sleepy farming community not only to a thriving industrial destination but a commercial center capable of drawing major retailers like a Walmart Supercenter.”