Harley-Davidson plans public park as first step in transforming HQ site

Harley Davidson plans public park as first step in transforming HQ
Harley Davidson plans public park as first step in transforming HQ

Parking lots south of Harley Davidson Inc.’s Juneau Avenue headquarters will become a public park, the first phase of a “repurposing” of the motorcycle-maker’s west side campus that CEO Jochen Zeitz announced in October.

At the time, Zeitz reiterated the company’s commitment to the west side neighborhood the company has called home for 120 years even as he announced that office workers, who have largely been working remotely since the start of the coronovirus panedmeic, would not be returning to the offices.

The plan, announced Wednesday, calls for two large parking lots between West 35th and West 37th streets to be developed as “a civic and soulful green gathering space that can be used by everyone, including employees and the local community.”

The centerpiece of the 5.8-acre park will be “The Hub”, a sunken multi-use events space with tiered seating that will be surrounded by native plants and trees.

“We want Harley-Davidson’s presence in Milwaukee to be more relevant than ever before, for our community, employees and our customers,” Zeitz said in a statement. “It’s important to us to protect and enhance this part of our heritage in a way that is aligned to our strategy, ensuring that it will be relevant to generations to come.”

The company did not provide information about its plans for the 500,000-square-foot headquarters building at 3700 W. Juneau Ave.

In advance of the announcement, the company transferred ownership of the headquarters building, the parking lots and a strip mall east of the headquarters to the Harley-Davidson Foundation, it’s charitable and civic-engagement arm. The foundation will fund initial work; appeals for sponsorships and donations for additional funding are expected to begin soon, the company said.

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