Employees at Oak Creek-based Master Lock will spend the next few weeks getting used to a new workspace. Starting Monday, the company begins moving into its new corporate headquarters, just a couple miles from its current offices.
The 120,000-square foot facility is the former home of the Caterpillar Global Mining Division. The transition to its new purpose has taken only around 90 days. Master Lock president Mike Bauer concedes that it's been a fairly tight timetable. "Yeah," he laughs, "that's what our architects and our general contractor told us. But we knew they'd get it done."
Bauer says the new facility increases the number of employees the headquarters can comfortably house. Around 400 people will work in the two connected buildings on Howell Avenue when it is fully operational, with room for another 80 employees down the road.
But more importantly, Bauer says, the headquarters will allow the company to serve customers and develop new products more easily under one roof. "We talk about a customer service call center which is unique, our model shop and our QA [quality assurance] lab, our industrial design - a more creative space," he explains, "[as well as] the electronics lab and software lab, for the different types of technology that is now part of our portfolio."
In addition to office and engineering space, the new headquarters also features walking paths through the 26-acre site, an full-service cafeteria, and a 250-seat amphitheater.
While the physical move will take around two weeks, Bauer says Master Lock will be a part of the community for the foreseeable future. "This is a minimum fifteen year commitment to this facility and to the city of Oak Creek," he says. "The faciity is not too big for today, but big enough for tomorrow."