First published in Milton Courier, September 13, 2017.

A ribbon cutting was held last Thursday for Diamond Assets. Pictured from left to right are Kevin Hendricks, developer with Backyard Properties; Diamond and Mike McKenna, owners of Diamond Assets; and Rhonda Hendricks, developer with Backyard Properties

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held last Thursday for a 59,000-square-foot facility in the Crossroads Business Park. The property is owned by Backyard Properties of Rock County LLC, which is constructing the facility for Diamond Assets, an asset management firm specializing in Apple products.

The development is taking place on 10 acres east of State Highway 26 and will be the first in the city’s newest TIF district (TIF 9). To access the site, Putman Parkway will need to be extended 700 feet. Currently, the road ends at County Highway M. Substantial completion of the roadway is expected yet this fall.

Tom Gilbank, president of Gilbank Construction, said, “It’s a little bit different starting back in a field, but the road is going in soon.”

After the groundbreaking, Gilbank said excavation work was expected to begin this week. Work will then continue through the winter and wrap up in spring, he said.

Diamond jobs

At its current facilities in Janesville, Diamond Assets employs about 30 full-time employees and 100 temporary employees during the summer.

Once the Milton facility opens, CEO Mike McKenna said the larger and the smaller Janesville sites will close.

McKenna told The Milton Courier earlier this year that upon relocating to Milton, Diamond Assets will increase its number of full-time employees to 60. The company plans to grow to 80 full-time employees in three years. According to McKenna, jobs will vary from about $15 an hour to $75,000-$100,000 a year.

“We’re already starting to hire to ramp up for next season,” he said on Thursday.

Five positions were posted a couple of weeks ago and more will be posted as project completion nears closer, he said.

He added, “The City of Milton has been great to work with, extremely helpful. It’s a great community.”

City of Milton Mayor Anissa Welch told The Milton Courier: “We are excited to be partnering with the McKenna and Hendricks families on the Diamond Asset expansion and relocation to the Milton industrial park. On behalf of the Milton community, we welcome them to our growing city. We are thrilled they chose Milton and look forward to the future.”

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