Chippewa County Courthouse

Chippewa County Courthouse

CHIPPEWA FALLS — Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which purchased Silicon Graphics International (SGI) in 2016, has received approval to construct a 124,000-square-foot warehouse for its manufacturing components in the northeast corner of Chippewa Falls.

The Chippewa County Economic Development Committee approved a developer’s agreement Thursday to sell 14.8 acres in Lake Wissota Business Park to DHL Supply Chain for $518,000.

“Chippewa County is super-excited to have another development in the Lake Wissota Business Park,” said committee Chairman Steve Gerrish. “And it stresses the need to have another business park.”

Kelli Saunders, DHL senior director of tax incentives and site selection, said a subsidiary, DHL Real Estate Solutions, is going to construct the $6.5 million facility.

“We are developing and constructing, not operating it,” Saunders said.

When the building is finished, it will be sold to a third party; Hewlett Packard Enterprise will be a tenant, she explained.

“(DHL Real Estate Solutions) does development of warehouses for our customers all over the world,” Saunders said.

Construction is slated to begin Sept. 10 and should be done in summer 2020, Saunders said.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s manufacturing building is located at 100 Cashman Drive, a couple of miles south of the new warehouse. HPE purchased SGI for $275 million in 2016. In May, HPE announced plans to purchase Cray Inc. for $1.3 billion. Cray also has a facility in Chippewa Falls. HPE already has about 300 workers in Chippewa Falls.

No representatives from HPE attended the meeting Thursday.

“We started initial discussions (with HPE) late last year,” Saunders said. “It’s the proximity to the manufacturing; they wanted the warehouse here.”

The Chippewa Falls City Council approved the developer’s agreement in closed session on Tuesday. The agreement needed approval from both the city and the county because the business park is located in city limits but the county owns the property. The development was dubbed “project 1212” in public documents over the past six months.

The facility is expected to employ 30 to 40 workers. It was designed to allow future expansion.

The land is adjacent to the $69 million Mills Fleet Farm distribution center at the northern end of the business park. DHL Supply Chain is the employer of the workers in that facility. Saunders said they now have 500 workers in the distribution center.

Gerrish added that he was pleased that DHL now has its hands in a second major employer in the city.