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Major Leases at Port Milwaukee Bring New Business and Investment

The Harbor Commission Considers The DeLong Co. and Michels Projects at its Meeting This Week

For release Tuesday, August 4, 2020
For more information: Jeff Fleming, 414-286-8580

Two significant new projects take steps forward this week as the Board of Harbor Commissioners considers new long-term leases with The DeLong Co. and with Michels Corporation.

“These leases affirm Port Milwaukee’s role in advancing economic activity and providing multimodal connectivity in the city and throughout the region,” Port Director Adam Tindall-Schlicht said. “In a time of economic uncertainty, these companies are investing, creating jobs, and choosing the Port as the place to expand operations.”

The DeLong Co. project is one of the largest investments ever made at Port Milwaukee. The company plans a new maritime export facility that will handle agricultural commodities, including an animal feed byproduct of the ethanol production process. The company is pairing its own $6.2-million investment at the Port with previously announced federal and state grants for a total capital investment of more than $30-million.

The DeLong facility will be built on Jones Island on 3.9 acres along the inner harbor. The terms of the 30-year lease include annual rent payments of approximately $30-thousand per acre.

Michels is finalizing terms on a 99-year lease for expanded Milwaukee operations including new jobs on 13.5-acres at the Port’s Grand Trunk site. The company already leases a smaller portion of the site, and this new agreement includes rent of approximately $17.8-thousand per acre annually. Michels will operate alongside the Bay View wetland restoration project underway on the Grand Trunk site.

Michels’ new lease follows a competitive request-for-proposals process, and the lease increases its Milwaukee footprint which already includes the R1ver campus under development a short distance up the Kinnickinnic River.

The Harbor Commission meets Thursday morning at 8:00. If accepted by the Commissioners, the leases will be considered by the Common Council for approval. Additional information about the Harbor Commission meeting is available at