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Opus/Mercy Housing Team Wins Nod for $60M Mixed-Use Project in Park East District

8 Aug 2013, 6:19 pm





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by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

A joint venture of Opus Development Co. L.L.C. and Mercy Housing Lakefront has won the competition to build a $60 million mixed-use project on a county-owned site in the Park East corridor, The Business Journal reported.

The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors picked their proposal from three finalists that also included Wangard Partners Inc. of Milwaukee and Waukesha-based HSI Properties L.L.C.

County supervisors awarded the Opus/Mercy team an option to buy the parcel, which is located south of North Water St. between North Broadway and North Milwaukee St., for $2.5 million.

Opus and Mercy are eyeing a fall 2014 construction start. Their plans call for three linked structures (pictured) that would encompass 190 apartments, 33,000 square feet of retail, 21,000 square feet of office space and 340 interior parking spaces. Korb Tredo Architects is the project’s designer.

The development is expected to create 100 construction jobs and 100 full-time jobs, and generate between $750,000 and $1 million in annual property tax revenue.

In other development news, BizTimes reports that HSI Properties L.L.C. has kicked off construction of The Standard at East Library, a $19 million mixed-use project on the site of the old library at 1910 E. North Ave. on Milwaukee’s East Side.

Designed by Engberg Anderson Architects, the five-story building will feature 99 market-rate apartments, a 16,000-square-foot gray box space for the East Milwaukee Library, as well as 2,400 square feet of retail space. Completion is slated for late 2014.


Rendering: Korb Tredo Architects 

Trio of M-F Projects Awaits City Approval

20 Jul 2013, 9:22 pm










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by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Three proposed multi-family projects await a final decision from the Milwaukee Common Council, which is scheduled to consider them on July 23. Totaling 229 units, the developments were recently approved by city’s Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee, The Business Journal reports.

Milwaukee-based HD Development Group is proposing the largest of the three, a 122-unit, market-rate complex located on a 1.9-acre vacant lot near the Milwaukee River at North Humboldt and East North avenues.

Wisconsin Lutheran College is planning to build 54 market rate units on West Wisconsin Ave. to serve the institution’s growing enrollment. Designed by Eppstein Uhen Architects, Inc., the $6.4-million, six-story structure (at right) would replace four smaller apartment buildings the college owns between North 89th and North 90th streets.

The third development would bring 53 affordable rental units to a site at North Holton and East Brown streets in the Brewers Hill neighborhood. Proposed by locally-based Vangard Development Group L.L.C., the four-story project would draw on state low-income housing tax credits.

Photo credits: www.eua.com


Blue Ribbon Plans Offices, Student Housing in Downtown Milwaukee

8 Jul 2013, 3:17 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Construction is about to begin on two developments in Downtown Milwaukee. According to BizTimes, Blue Ribbon Management L.L.C. is planning to develop a five-story office facility and an apartment building for international college students on the site of the former Pabst brewery.

Blue Ribbon CEO Tom Gehl told the newspaper that the office project is expected to break ground in August and to be complete in about a year. The 73,100-square-foot building will rise on a vacant lot northeast of North 11th Street and Juneau Avenue. Plans call for 42,000 square feet of office space and two floors of interior parking.

The student housing facility, known as International House, will  emerge as the redevelopment of the 240,000-square-foot former Bottling House, which is located north of Highland Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets.

The building will accommodate up to 450 students and will include an area on the first floor dedicated to instruction in English as a second language.

For the office project, Blue Ribbon Management has obtained funding from EB-5, the  federal program that provides green cards to foreign investors that invest in job-creating projects. Blue Ribbon expects the approval of similar financing for the student housing facility.

In regional news, BizTimes reports that Cincinnati-based Phillips Edison has acquired the Glenwood Crossings shopping center in Kenosha from Northbrook, Ill.-based Cloverleaf Group. The property traded in an off-market transaction for $12.85 million, or $146.85 per square foot.

Built in 1990, the 87,504-square-foot property is located on a 10-acre site southwest of 18th Street and 30th Avenue on the north side of the city. A Pick ‘n Save grocery store is the center’s anchor tenant.

“We’ve had a good experience in Kenosha,” Michael Basofin, president of Cloverleaf Group said. “I can tell you Pick ‘n Save does very well there. Because of that, it’s an attractive place for stores to locate.”

Vetter Denk Details Planned Appleton M-F Complex; HSA Commercial Buys Brookfield Retail Center

25 May 2013, 9:01 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Vetter Denk Architects Inc., a Milwaukee-based design and development company, recently offered details of its proposal to build 180 apartments in Appleton, the Appleton Post Crescent reports.

The complex would consist of 136 market-rate apartments, 20 affordable units and 24 luxury apartments, as well as 240 underground and off-street parking spaces. Vetter Denk’s plan calls for five three-story buildings on an 8.3-acre riverfront parcel, previously the location of a dairy plant that closed a decade ago.

If approved, the project is expected to break ground late this year. Vetter Denk has selected Oshkosh-based Ganther Construction to serve as general contractor. Estimated development costs range between $15 million and $25 million.

“Our focus and love is creating neighborhoods and long-term community value that is pedestrian oriented,” co-founder John Vetter told the newspaper. “Our firm has taken an interest in post-industrial towns that grew up around these mills and connecting the area back with nature.”

HSA Commercial broke ground in April on the $46 million first phase of The Mayfair Collection, an adaptive reuse project in Wauwatosa. A spring 2014 opening is planned. (Rendering: HSA Commercial)

In retail news, HSA Commercial Real Estate of Chicago has agreed to buy Plaza 173 in  Brookfield from Wells Fargo. According to The Business Journal, HSA expects to close on the deal in June. Wells Fargo acquired the property for $4.8 million in a foreclosure auction last year.

Located at the corner of Blue Mound and North Calhoun roads, the 10-acre center includes Dunham’s Sports, Men’s Warehouse and Famous Footwear among its tenants. Mid-America Real Estate-Wisconsin L.L.C. handles leasing for the property.

HSA’s recent retail activities also include the start of  construction last month on The Mayfair Collection, a $46 million project in Wauwatosa (pictured). City officials have long targeted the former industrial site along Highway 45 for redevelopment.

HSA will transform warehouses into about 237,000 square feet of retail, and add another 33,000 square feet of newly constructed space, the Business Journal reported. So far Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ulta and Nordstrom Rack have committed to lease space at the project. Phase one is scheduled to open in spring 2014.

Irgens Seeks Tax-Increment Financing for 833 E. Michigan Tower

11 May 2013, 6:01 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Irgens is pursuing $12 million in tax-increment financing for its proposed $100 million office tower in Downtown Milwaukee. The developer plans to move its corporate headquarters from the Milwaukee County Research Park in Wauwatosa to the 17-story, 357,000-square-foot structure at 833 East Michigan Street according to BizTimes.

So far, the project’s pre-committed space totals approximately 155,000 square feet, including leases to the Godfrey & Kahn law firm and two unnamed tenants. “We’re pre-leasing the building to 50 percent to get financing,” said Mark Irgens, the company’s CEO & president.

Designed by Milwaukee-based architectural firm Kahler Slater, the tower will be located on the current site of the U.S. Bank Center’s parking garage. Irgens is planning to purchase the land from U.S. Bank, which will also finance the sale. The organization could also become one of the property’s tenants, the newspaper reports. Construction could begin this year and be complete by 2015.

The tower would provide panoramic views of Lake Michigan and Downtown Milwaukee,  LEED-certified design, an outdoor terrace overlooking the lake, a fitness center, a conference center, more than 400 parking spaces, and skywalk access to US Bank Center and the US Bank parking garage. Bill Bonifas of CBRE Group Inc. is marketing the property.

Notable projects completed by Irgens include ASQ Center, 875 East Wisconsin, and GE Healthcare Research Park. Additional company offices are located in Chicago and Phoenix.

Rendering: Irgens/Kahler Slater 

City Weighs $54M TIF for Northwestern Mutual’s 1.1 MSF Tower

29 Apr 2013, 3:08 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Milwaukee’s zoning, neighborhoods and development committee has unanimously approved a $54 million developer-funded tax increment financing (TIF) plan for Northwestern Mutual’s proposed 1.1 million-square-foot Downtown headquarters tower.

Estimated to cost between $350 million and $400 million, according to The Business Journal, the 33-story building would replace the financial services company’s office at 800 E. Wisconsin Ave. The company expects to begin demolition of the existing building this year and start construction on the new tower by fall 2014. Upon completion in 2017, the 550-foot structure will be the largest single building in Wisconsin.

“Building now in downtown Milwaukee is the right thing for us, just as 10 years ago it was right to add capacity in Franklin,” said John E. Schlifske, the company’s chairman & CEO. “We said then and I’ll say now, we expect over the decades to continue to grow at both campuses.”

Since Northwestern Mutual unveiled the proposed project in December, its planned size has increased about 30 percent. The facility will accommodate 1,100 Milwaukee employees and provide room for expansion. Northwestern Mutual’s long-term growth plans include adding 1,900 jobs by 2030.  

Under the proposed TIF agreement, the company will finance the entire cost of the development. Once the new building begins producing tax revenue at a level exceeding that of the current East Wisconsin Ave. property, Northwestern Mutual will recover $54 million over a period of 25 years. If the company meets its employment projections, it will receive 70 percent of the tax increment, while the city will use the remaining 30 percent to fund Lakefront Gateway projects. The full Common Council is expected to review the plan on April 30, BizTimes Milwaukee reports. 

Founded in Janesville in 1857, Northwestern Mutual moved to Milwaukee years later. The company’s home office includes two campuses with four buildings and 3,000 employees in downtown Milwaukee, as well as two buildings with 2,000 employees at the Franklin campus.

Photo credits: betf.blogspot

Blue Ribbon Management Plans June Start for 73 KSF Office Building at the Brewery

12 Apr 2013, 6:00 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Blue Ribbon Management L.L.C. is proposing to break ground in June on a 73,100-square-foot office building at the former Pabst brewery complex near Downtown Milwaukee. JSOnline, an online service of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, reports that the company will also manage the building on behalf of its owner, Blue Ribbon Redevelopment Fund III L.L.C. of Chicago.

Estimated to cost $10 million to $12 million, Pabst Business Center (pictured above) is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014. The five-story structure will rise on a vacant site at the North 11th Street and West Juneau Avenue. Plans call for 42,000 square feet of leasable office space on three floors, plus a two-level, 68-space parking garage.

Rinka Chung Architecture Inc. of Milwaukee is designing the building, which will feature dark brown bricks and wood details.

Oregon, Wis.-based Gorman & Co. will serve as the project’s construction manager. Elsewhere at the Brewery, Gorman redeveloped the former brew house and mill house as Brew House Inn & Suites, an extended-stay hotel scheduled to open this month.

Both Pabst Business Center and Brew House Inn & Suites are being funded through the federal EB-5 program, which offers residency to foreign investors and their families in exchange for financing job-creating projects in the United States.

Also on Blue Ribbon’s drawing board is the conversion of the former Pabst bottling house between N. 9th and N. 10th streets into apartments for foreign students. The two-story, 255,000-square-foot building’s footprint would cover more than half a block, making it the largest at the Pabst complex.

The 20-acre Pabst redevelopment district is one of the greenest neighborhoods in the world. The site, which includes apartments, offices, university facilities and a hotel, was recently awarded LEED Platinum designation from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Rendering of Pabst Business Center: Rinka Chung Architecture Inc.

Angelic Bakehouse Plans Move to Cudahy; Pabst District Earns Rare LEED Platinum Award

15 Mar 2013, 9:08 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Angelic Bakehouse Inc. is planning to move from Waukesha this summer to a $3.4 million, 22,000-square-foot office and production facility in Cudahy, BizTimes Milwaukee reports.

Located on Layton Ave., Angelic’s new facilities will be the former site of the Iceport, a planned multiple-rink project. Construction is expected to start in April and be completed by August. Executive vice president James Marino told BizTimes Milwaukee that Angelic intends to expand from 29 to 100 employees over the next three years.

The 40-year-old bakery—known until recently as Cybros The Sprouted Bakehouse—considered building the new facility in Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls. Angelic decided that Cudahy offers better access to Chicago and points east, as well as proximity to other food manufacturers. The city’s Community Development Authority is expected to review Angelic’s development proposal later this month.

In other development news, JSOnline reports that the Pabst Brewing Co. redevelopment project in Downtown Milwaukee has received LEED platinum designation from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The 20-acre site can now claim to be one of the greenest development clusters in the world. USGBC has awarded its LEED Platinum designation to only three neighborhoods in the United States and five worldwide. On Feb. 27, Mayor Tom Barrett accepted the award during a presentation held at the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health.

The Pabst redevelopment district includes the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Zilber School of Public Health, Cardinal Stritch University’s College of Education and Leadership, the Blue Ribbon Brewery Lofts apartment building, the Best Place pub, Brewery Point senior housing, office buildings, a parking garage, as well as a public park. The conversion of the former Pabst brew house to the Brew House Inn & Suites, an extended-stay property, is expected to be complete in April.

Photo: http://www.thebrewerymke.com

Kimpton To Plant Its First Wisconsin Flag With 158-Key Downtown Milwaukee Hotel

4 Mar 2013, 4:22 am

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

A 158-key hotel in Milwaukee’s Third Ward that would represent the first Kimpton flag in Wisconsin has passed its first regulatory hurdle. The Business Journal reports that the upscale property has won approval from a local architectural review board.

HKS Holdings L.L.C., the project’s developer, plans to build the eight-story hotel on the site of a parking lot at the northeast corner of Broadway and East Chicago Street. Milwaukee-based Kahler Slater Architects will design the project, which will include a rooftop bar, a fitness center, expansive meeting space, a ground-floor restaurant, as well as underground parking. Construction is expected to begin this fall.

Increased business travel is drawing new investment to Downtown Milwaukee’s hospitality market. Recent arrivals include the 128-key Hilton Garden Inn, which opened last fall; the 90-key Brew House Inn & Suites, scheduled for a May opening at the former Pabst brewery complex; and the 205-key Marriot hotel under construction at 323 E. Wisconsin Avenue.

“We’re seeing a growth demand for our style of boutique hotels in the market and have been attracted to Milwaukee for some time,” Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant Group CEO Mike Depatie said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be growing our Kimpton footprint in the Midwest. Milwaukee, in particular the Third Ward and its eclectic and artistic character, fits perfectly with our hotel collection,” The San Francisco-based company operates 58 hotels and 67 restaurants across the country.

Kimpton’s parent company, Kimpton Group Holding L.L.C. recently closed on a $203 million fund which will be used to acquire or develop more than $500 million worth of hotels over the next three years.

Rendering: Kahler Slater Architects

Multi-Family Projects Gear Up in Sussex, Brookfield

3 Feb 2013, 2:55 am

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Developer Arthur Sawall plans to build five 30-unit apartment buildings and 12,000 square feet of retail space in Sussex, The Business Journal reports.

The project would rise on a 10-acre parcel at the southwest corner of Main Street and Waukesha Avenue that has sat vacant for two decades. Sawall purchased the site two years ago, according to village administrator Jeremy Smith.

Construction on the first phase is expected to begin by May. The $8 million-plus investment will include two of the three-story apartment buildings. Part of the site preparation cost could be funded through tax-increment financing. Three more buildings will be developed as existing units lease up. Once the residential component is complete, Sawall plans to break ground on two retail buildings.

In other multi-family news, a development team is proposing 132 apartments and 12 condominiums on a 27-acre parcel in Brookfield owned by former executives of the shuttered Walters Wrecking Inc. The development team also includes Jonathan Ross and Peter Ogden of Ogden & Co. Investment Partners, as well as Middleton-based Parmenter Development Inc.

According to The Business Journal, the Sutter Creek residential project will be built at the corner of South Barker Rd. and North Greenfield Ave. Phase one would include two three-story buildings totaling 89 apartments ranging in size from 812 to 1,352 square feet. The next phase would bring a 43-unit building, while the final component would add 12 condominiums in six smaller buildings. Pending final approval from the city, construction could begin by May.

Photo credits: www.village.sussex.wi.us