[updated, 3:19 p.m.] WE Energies is taking over the holding company that owns another state power supplier - - but the long-time occupant of an historic office complex integral to downtown Milwaukee will not confirm that the newly-combined corporate headquarters will remain there.
WE Energies made its intentions pretty clear:
In statements released Monday, Wisconsin Energy pointedly said the headquarters for the expanded company, to be called WEC Energy Group, will be "in the metro Milwaukee area."
"Operating headquarters will be in Chicago, Milwaukee and Green Bay," the firm said.
Asked about the language, spokesman Brian Manthey said the corporate headquarters location is "an open question."With Walker and his anti-urban agenda in full swing, Milwaukee hardly needs another naysayer.
Though it sells electricity to the City of Milwaukee, WE Energies has joined forces with ideological anti-urban interests resisting the city's proposed downtown electric trolley system, and while underground utility relocation costs are said to be the issue, it appears as if WE Energies interest in downtown Milwaukee - - its traditional location - - is further waning.
And the editorial board of the Journal Sentinel, though also located in a historic building in downtown Milwaukee just a couple of blocks from We Energies headquarters, refused today to lift a keyboarding finger in favor of the continued operation of WE Energies' downtown site:
The combined company would have its headquarters "in the Milwaukee area," but [company chief executive Gene] Klappa would not promise that the office would be downtown, where We Energies is now based.
He did say that the downtown office would remain busy. "This will become a very important Fortune 500 company headquartered in the state of Wisconsin," he said. That's a plus for the state.With passive-aggressive friends like that just across the river at 4th and State, City Hall doesn't need any enemies.