The Ironworks Campus - Beloit WisconsinThe Ironworks campus is home to 13 different businesses occupying a million square feet on 24 acres.

One of the most popular landmarks in Beloit is the Ironworks campus, located on the banks of the Rock River in the heart of Beloit’s City Center. For nearly 150 years this site was home to the Beloit Corporation. Like many industries in the region, Beloit Corporation struggled and ultimately closed its doors in 1999.

But rather than let the property sit empty, Diane and the late Ken Hendricks had other ideas. In 2001 the Hendricks bought the property and began redevelopment of the campus. It was renamed the “Ironworks” to honor the center’s history, and renovation on the 750,000 square-foot property began in 2002. Former office buildings, foundry, and various manufacturing and storage areas were converted into attractive loft offices and manufacturing space.

“It was important for Ken and Diane to make that campus come alive again,” says Rob Gerbitz, president of Hendricks Commercial Properties, which owns and manages the property, along with others in 39 states. “It brings new jobs. A big part of this community is downtown and a major focus of downtown is the Ironworks campus. They saw this as an opportunity of how good business in downtown Beloit could be.”

The Ironworks campus is home to 13 different businesses occupying a million square feet on 24 acres. The remaining space is being leased out for office and manufacturing use as the renovated space becomes available. “Things are definitely happening again, and the response in the marketplace has been strong,” Gerbitz says. “We are especially seeing a greater influx of IT companies such as Comply 365, Fat Wallet, and Aqua Innovations at both the Ironworks campus and downtown as a whole.”

The latest additions include AccuLynx, who is relocating its software development company to the Ironworks Campus. The company is leasing 12,000 square feet of newly remodeled office space and taking an option for an additional 9,000 square feet.

Universal Acoustic & Emission Technologies, a global designer and manufacturer of acoustic and emissions products for the power generation, oil and gas, industrial and original equipment markets, has signed a 12-year lease for 106,000 square feet of the Ironworks campus. Universal already leases about 30,000 square feet there. With the new lease, it has an option for an additional 67,000 square feet for expansion.

 “This is an old building that was built over a 100-year period,” says Gerbitz. “It’s purely American made in every sense. A lot of tenants are information companies who are coming here because they love the sense of history and the American-made look and feel.”

The Ironworks campus is in the midst of a $30 million renovation project. The upgrades include new entrances, parking, roads, and lobby for current tenants, as well as windows, flooring, lighting, electrical and other amenities. The project has been in the works for the past five years. “Our goal is to make this a state-of-the-art facility for small and medium sized businesses that want a dynamic, creative and energized culture for their companies and their people for their businesses to grow beyond their wildest dreams,” says Gerbitz.

In addition, a local artist was commissioned to create the “Forged on the Rock” murals situated along the complex. These large murals honor the history and the people of Beloit Corporation. “It’s important to pay tribute to the past and the men and women who got us here,” Gerbitz says. “Maybe in another 100 years, the next generations will pay tribute to the companies who are here now as well as those that are coming in the very near future.”

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Watch the video “Ironworks – We’re Here to Make History”