Much of the speculation about the future of the office has focused on its impact on urban downtowns, but Milwaukee’s first true test case could come on the city’s near West Side.
Harley-Davidson CEO Jochen Zeitz revealed last week that the motorcycle company would repurpose its 500,000-square-foot headquarters at 3700 W. Juneau Ave. In comments about remote work to Bloomberg published Oct. 17, Zeitz said the property would remain “integral” to the company, but more attention would be paid to remote work capabilities. “It democratizes the way we work together and allows you to bring the best talent into the company, no matter where they sit,” said Zeitz, who splits his time between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Milwaukee. He has led the company, which has yet to fully reopen its offices since the pandemic took hold, since 2020.
Harley-Davidson’s campus occupies 18.24 acres of land located near the intersection of N. 35th St. and W. Highland Blvd. The actual headquarters is a series of brick buildings that date back to 1910, with a number of surrounding properties acquired in the ensuing 112 years. The company used the complex for manufacturing until the 1970s. Today the buildings are home to the majority of the company’s white-collar workforce.
In a LinkedIn post published Friday, Zeitz said Harley-Davidson remains committed to Milwaukee and is “excited about the ideas we have to invest in our Milwaukee campuses for the future.”