Back in October, 2022, Harley-Davidson CEO Jochen Zeitz talked about the importance of remote and flexible work to the company going forward. Since employees hadn’t been called back to Milwaukee headquarters since the onset of work-from-home policies instated at the beginning of the pandemic, Zeitz also said that the company would be repurposing that space in ways it wasn’t ready to discuss yet. 

It’s now December, 2022—and we have our first preliminary glimpse into what’s going down. To be clear, Harley still hasn’t made any official announcements about its plans yet. However, the thing about construction projects is that, unless they’re small-scale things built of LEGO, they don’t usually start when the heavy machinery and truckloads of building materials show up to a work site. Instead, they start on paper, with things like survey maps that have to get approval before any actual construction can begin. 

That’s exactly what the Motor Company has done. In fall, 2022, it took its proposal, complete with a certified survey map, to the city of Milwaukee for consideration. The map includes two parcels of land located directly south of Milwaukee HQ, which are also owned by Harley. Until now, they’ve been used as parking lots for Harley employees, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal. If just about everyone is working from home, then you don’t really need such a huge parking area, right? You can start to consider using it for something else. 

Of course, submitting a proposal is only the first step, and something like that doesn’t just get approved in a day. On Tuesday, December 13, 2022, the Milwaukee Common Council officially approved this certified survey map, which only includes those two parking lots—not the actual headquarters itself. 

The State of Wisconsin Department of Administration defines certified survey map permitted uses as follows: 

“A Certified Survey Map (CSM), consisting of four or less parcels of land designated as lots or outlots, may be recorded in the register of deeds office of the county in which the land is located. Such a CSM may be used to: 

  • Divide land for sale or exchange 
  • Create lots for building or other development 
  • Clarify metes and bounds descriptions 
  • Reconfigure parcels within a recorded subdivision plat, assessor’s plat, or CSM 
  • Add land to an existing subdivision, assessor’s plat, or CSM parcel 
  • Consolidate parcels in adjoining subdivisions, assessor’s plats, or CSMs 
  • Define and convey interest in lands dedicated to the public” 

To be completely clear, this is all extremely preliminary. Harley still has not made any of its plans public, and a survey map is indeed just a survey map. However, survey maps often lead to greater things, and can point toward the intention to make changes to the area being surveyed. Although we still don’t know what the MoCo is planning, we may at least now have a better idea of where. 

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