After outgrowing its space in the Menominee Valley, Prolitec Inc. moved the headquarters of its international building scent business to West Allis.
With that move, Prolitec shrunk its office space as a side effect of more employees working remotely, but doubled the industrial space where its equipment and perfume cartridges are made, said executive vice president and chief operating officer Matt Ansley. Prolitec has about 30 office employees and 60 in its assembly and distribution operations in West Allis.
“We had outgrown our old space, so my initial thought was we needed more of everything, but it turned out the need was for more warehousing space,” he said.
Ansley had started looking for a new location more than a year ago, initially seeking about 10,000 square feet of offices along with the industrial space. But employees who had been working remotely through the Covid-19 pandemic expressed an interest in continuing the practice or starting a hybrid schedule, he said. Instead of growing the office footprint, Prolitec shrunk it down to about 3,500 square feet in the new space in West Allis without changing its head count, he said. Much of the savings is from having smaller workspaces that won’t be used as frequently.
“I actually passed on this place back in November or December thinking the office wasn’t going to be big enough for us,” Ansley said of the building Prolitec ended up leasing.
That new space is on West Washington Street east of 70th Street. Prolitec leased the office space and 40,000 square feet of industrial space in the building, Ansley said. That compares with about 6,000 square feet of office space and 20,000 of industrial in the previous home Prolitec outgrew in Milwaukee’s Menominee Valley.
Prolitec completed the move in September, the same month its lease in Milwaukee expired.
The company sells scents for commercial buildings, including for clients such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Goodwill stores. Its industrial space rebottles perfumes into cartridges and assembles the machines that disperse the scents throughout their clients’
In 2016, Prolitec began selling an at-home consumer line called Aera that is sold on Amazon.com and in some Nordstrom stores.
“That’s where we’ve really seen the explosive growth year-over-year,”
Ansley said. “It’s grown steadily since we launched it.”
The West Allis location is Prolitec’s headquarters, but the company also has a marketing office for Aera in Seattle, and salespeople for its commercial building products around the world.
Prolitec worked with real estate broker Mitchell Starczynski in the Milwaukee office of Newmark on the West Allis lease.
Milwaukee Business Journal