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Whitestone Realty Eyes Spring Start for 127-Unit Senior Housing at Pabst Complex

18 Jan 2013, 7:59 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Milwaukee Pabst Senior Housing L.P., a venture led by Whitestone Realty Capital L.L.C., is moving forward with plans to develop a 127-unit senior housing facility on the site of the former Pabst Brewery in Downtown Milwaukee, the Business Journal reports. First proposed in 2011, the project would replace the Malt House and Malt Elevator buildings on West Juneau Ave.

Construction is expected to start by April and take 12 to 14 months. The developers plan to sell the complex to one of two nonprofit operators: United Housing and Community Services Corp. or Improved Living Foundation Inc.

Whitestone Realty is seeking $37 million in tax-exempt bonds through the Milwaukee Redevelopment Authority, Michael Zukerman, the company’s CEO, told the Business Journal. The project could also benefit from historic tax credits, he added.

In other news, the Schlitz Park office complex in downtown Milwaukee has recruited several new tenants and secured fresh commitments from existing occupants. According to BizTimes, the American Heart Association has signed a lease for 5,500 square feet of space in the RiverCenter building. The organization will relocate from 660 E. Mason St. in Milwaukee.

Yet another addition to the tenant roster at Schlitz Park is TransPerfect, which will move from 1661 N. Farwell Ave. in Milwaukee to 5,000 square feet in the Keg House building.

Additionally, iCare has expanded its lease in the RiverCenter building by 4,000 square feet, while Wisconsin DPI and Security Microlmaging Corp. Inc. have both extended their leases by five and 10 years, respectively. A Schlitz Park spokesperson reported that the 460,000-square-foot RiverCenter building is now 95 percent leased, while the 65,000-square-foot Keg House building has reached full occupancy.

Photo credits: milwaukeedailyphoto.com



Vintage Park East Warehouse Destined for M-F Makeover

7 Jan 2013, 10:18 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Milwaukee’s Park East Corridor could soon welcome a new residential development within the walls of a vintage building. The Business Journal
reports that Wisconsin Redevelopment LLC and Impact Seven Inc. are planning to transform a 106-year-old warehouse into a 70-unit mix of affordable and market-rate apartments.

The residential units would range in size from 900 to 1,200 square feet and will be served by 70 parking spaces. The project team is currently determining specifics of the renovation, which will employ environmentally sustainable construction practices.

Todd Hutchison, project manager for Impact Seven, told the newspaper that financing would include state affordable housing tax credits, as well as federal historic restoration credits.   The Milwaukee Planning Commission was scheduled to consider the proposal on Monday, Jan. 7.

Situated at the corner of North 4th Street and West McKinley Avenue, the four-story historic property is currently used by C. Coakley Relocation Systems and includes approximately 100,000 square feet of space.

In regional investment news, Meijer Inc. of Grand Rapids, Mich. has acquired two commercial properties in Wisconsin for a combined $35.85 million. According to the Business Journal, the company has paid $29 million for a distribution center in Pleasant Prairie and $6.85 million for 33 acres of undeveloped land in Grafton.

The 570,000-square-foot distribution center is located west of Highway 31, between Highway 50 and Highway 165. Meijer purchased the facility from Supervalu Inc. on Dec. 28 and plans a 254,000-square-foot expansion. Operations at the center are expected to begin by fall 2014.

In Grafton, the company intends to build a new store, which will be located on North Port Washington Road near Highway 60. That 191,350-square-foot facility is also scheduled to open in 2014.

Photo credits: www.destination360.com



Ramco-Gershenson Pays $10.4M for Phase 2 of Waukesha Retail Center

21 Dec 2012, 5:32 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

In a $10.4 million deal, Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust has acquired the second phase of The Shoppes at Fox River development in Waukesha from Opus Development Corp., the Business Journal reports.

The recently completed property features 47,000 square feet of retail space, as well as an adjoining 12.2-acre parcel. Tenants include T.J. Maxx, Ulta Salon and Cosmetics, Rue21 and Charming Charlie’s.

In Dec. 2010, Ramco-Gershenson purchased the 273,000-square-foot first phase of the asset from Opus for $23.8 million. That portion of the property is 100 percent occupied; tenants include Pick ‘n Save, Petco, Buffalo Wild Wings, Noodles & Company, Dollar Tree and Famous Footwear. Stand-alone buildings occupied by Target, Chili’s and CVS were not part of the transaction.

“We have a great relationship with Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust and are happy to be working with them again,” said Julie Ledger, vice president and general manager for Opus Development. “The success of each of the phases of this development is a testament to the strength of this retail center and the community of Waukesha and led to Ramco-Gershenson’s desire to purchase our latest addition to the development.”

In other news, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP has completed its move from the Honey Creek Corporate Center on Milwaukee’s west side to a new 68,000 square feet location in the US Bank Center downtown (pictured).

The public accounting and consulting firm signed the lease for the new space at 777 E. Wisconsin Ave. in February and was represented by Steve Palec of Cresa. Baker Tilly’s Milwaukee office currently employs about 225 people.

“Our move downtown has been greeted with much enthusiasm not only from our employees, but also from the community,” Bill Wertz, Baker Tilly’s Milwaukee office market leader, told BizTimes. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the warm welcome we are receiving from the US Bank building tenants and other downtown businesses.”

Photo credits: www.glasssteelandstone.com



Northwestern Mutual Unveils Plans for $300M Downtown HQ

8 Dec 2012, 6:27 am

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance has announced plans for a $300 million, 840,000-square-foot office tower in Downtown Milwaukee. Pending city approvals, construction could be complete by 2017. The project is contingent on $48 million in tax increment financing.

The new high-rise would replace Northwestern Mutual’s 34-year-old headquarters, the 451,964-square-foot, 16-story East Building at North Cass and East Mason streets (pictured). That facility currently houses about 1,100 employees. Northwestern Mutual expects to release renderings of the proposed tower by mid-2013.

“We believe in Milwaukee. It’s been our hometown for virtually all of our 155 years,” said Northwestern Mutual chairman & CEO John Schlifske. “This will be a signature development that makes a huge statement about the attractiveness of the whole Milwaukee metro area. We are going to be here, and continue to play a vital role in this community for generations to come.”

BizTimes reports that Northwestern Mutual considered several other options, including developing a new building at its Franklin campus, or building new facilities at both its Franklin and Downtown locations. Northwestern Mutual’s decision to develop the new office tower will add capacity for up to 1,700 new positions.

“Everyone in our region benefits when top employers like Northwestern Mutual make a long-term commitment to grow in Downtown,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “This is a once-in-a-generation chance to make an investment of this scale in Downtown Milwaukee.”

Photo credit: betf.blogspot



New State Office Building Gets $8M in Public Bond Financing

25 Nov 2012, 10:57 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The Milwaukee Redevelopment Authority has approved $8 million in public bonds to help finance the construction of a 64,000-square-foot state office building in Milwaukee. Klein Development Inc. of Wauwatosa, the project’s developer, will use the proceeds to obtain loans for the project through JPMorgan Chase Bank NA and BMO Harris Bank, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported.

According to the Business Journal, the two-story building (pictured) will be built on a two-acre city-owned parcel located at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and North 27th Street. In October, the Milwaukee Common Council agreed to sell the land to the developer for $1.

Excavation is under way. After construction is complete next summer, the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families will lease the building for 15 years.

In Downtown office leasing news, EmPowerHR, which provides integrated human resources solutions for growing businesses, and Laurus Strategies, a business consulting firm, have moved into shared space in Downtown Milwaukee’s Third Ward.

The companies will occupy 10,000 square feet on the second floor of the Warehouse No. 1 Building at 126 N. Jefferson. EmPowerHR and Laurus Strategies currently employ 25 people between them and plan to add staff in the near future.

“The Third Ward is an exciting place for us to bring the talents of our EmPowerHR and Laurus Strategies staffs together to further capitalize on the synergies of these two groups,” explained Scott Rasmussen, president of EmPowerHR. “We can more effectively serve the needs of any sized client, from start-ups to established Fortune 500 companies. As we continue to grow and expand our workforce we believe our presence in the Third Ward will make us an attractive employer of choice.”

Photo credits: Korb Tredo Architects



Westwood Financial Pays $15.4M for East Pointe Retail Center

13 Nov 2012, 7:59 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

In a $15.4 million deal, Los Angeles-based Westwood Financial Corp. has acquired the 58,000-square-foot East Pointe Marketplace near Downtown Milwaukee from Mandel Group Inc, the Milwaukee Business News reported.

“Sale of this mature asset allows our firm to harvest some of our invested capital, in order to reinvest in current and future developments in the area,” Barry Mandel, president and chief executive officer of Mandel Group., told the Business News. The Chicago office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler L.P. arranged the transaction on behalf of Mandel Group and its investment partner, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. Inc.

The retail center opened in 1993 and is anchored by a Pick N Save Marketplace. Einstein Bagels, Noodles & Company and Starbucks are also among the property’s tenants.

In other transaction news, East Bay Holdings L.L.C. has acquired Goll Mansion (pictured above), a 9,000-square-foot office building and Milwaukee landmark located on North Prospect Avenue on the city’s East Side. Association Bank sold the property for $835,000, the Milwaukee Business News reports. Michael Seramur of Ogden & Company, Inc. arranged the sale.

Currently, Goll Mansion is leased to Resolute Systems LLC, Craftsmen United Inc. and WebConduit Inc. New Land Enterprises acquired the building for $1.9 million in 2005. Three years later, New Land received city zoning approval to build a 26-story, 35-unit condo tower directly behind the historic structure. However, the project stalled during the economic downturn. Association Bank acquired the property in 2010 after New Land became unable to make loan payments.

One of the few mansions of its era remaining on the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, Goll Mansion was the residence of local merchants Frederick and Eleanor Goll. They commissioned a building that was meticulously designed to resemble an early 17th-century English manor house, complete with exquisite hard-carved stonework.

Photo credits: www.city.milwaukee.gov

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UWM Kicks off $75M Research Center; Bucks Extend Lease

29 Oct 2012, 5:26 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) broke ground on a $75 million research center on Milwaukee’s East Side that represents the university’s largest-ever investment in a single building.

Located northwest of Kenwood Blvd. and Maryland Ave., the 93,000-square-foot Kenwood Interdisciplinary Research Complex will be anchored by the physics department and include offices, research labs and instructional space. Upon completion in early 2015, it will be the first new academic facility on the university’s main campus in more than a decade.

The new center represents the first phase of a complex that will eventually expand to a second building on the southeast corner of Kenwood Boulevard and Maryland Avenue. In August, the Wisconsin Building Commission approved $44.9 million for the project. The university now plans to ask state officials to approve $35 million for the second phase of the facility.

In other news, the BMO Harris Bradley Center has reached an agreement with the Milwaukee Bucks on a six-year lease extension through September 2017. The agreement marks the longest deal between the arena and the team in more than a decade and the first multi-year extension since 2007.

“This six-year lease extension represents a long-term commitment between the BMO Harris Bradley Center and the Bucks, offering security for the next five years as the community continues to determine its potential path to a new arena,” commented Marc Marotta, BMO Harris Bradley Center board chairman.

According to Marotta, the financial support of the Center’s revenue generators and sponsorships from Milwaukee businesses made the multi-year agreement possible. The financial terms of the lease will not change during the six-year term, the company said.

Photo credits: www4.uwm.edu

For more market data on Milwaukee, click here.



Eaton Closes $12.9M Deal for New R&D Center

17 Oct 2012, 4:06 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Cleveland-based Eaton Corp. has purchased a new 105,000-square-foot research and development center in Menomonee Falls for $12.9 million. According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, the company plans to move 185 employees from its current Milwaukee building to the new facility by mid-November.

According to state records, in April the company sold its seven-story facility on North 27th St. in Milwaukee to Jonco Industries Inc. for $1.4 million—less than half the property’s assessed value.

Once Eaton has vacated the building, Jonco Industries plans to renovate the property and target high-tech and light-manufacturing firms as potential tenants. Jonco’s sewing division will also occupy one floor.

“The building is set up to be an industrial office complex,” Jonco president Thomas Ryan told the Business Journal. “I think it’s a spectacular building that Eaton has kept up to date with all of their latest technology.”

In regional news, Hovde Properties plans to develop a $60.6 million, 14-story mixed-use high rise near Overture Center in Madison. Plans call for 255 apartments, including studios and one- and two- bedroom units that will rent for prices ranging from $850 to $1,825 per month. Furthermore, the project features 11,000 square feet of retail space, 19,200 square feet of office space, and 303 underground parking spaces. The city has already agreed to pay $5 million for 30,000 square feet of space for the Madison Fire Department.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the locally-based developer is seeking $5.2 million in tax incremental financing for its new project. “We think it’s going to be a great addition,” Hovde President Mike Slavish told the newspaper. “It will be a tremendous complement to State Street businesses as well as the surrounding neighborhood.”

Photo credits: menomoneefalls.patch.com

For more market data on Milwaukee, click here.



Developers Plan 110-Key Element for Park East Corridor

28 Sep 2012, 4:10 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

MRH West L.L.C. plans to develop a 110-key Element hotel on the Park East corridor in Downtown Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Business Journal reports. The investment group is in negotiations with the Milwaukee County Board to purchase a site on Old World Third Street near the recently demolished Sydney Hih complex.

The property would be the city’s second extended-stay hotel and would rise across the street from a 160-key Aloft developed by MRH West. The investors are negotiating to have Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc., which also manages the neighboring Aloft, operate the proposed hotel.

To help finance the project, MRH West is proposing to use Midwestern Disaster Area bonds, a program which is set to expire by the end of the year. Jackson Street Management L.L.C.—which, like MRH West, is controlled by the developer Ed Carrow—is drawing on $43.5 million in bonds to build the Downtown Milwaukee Marriott. That $54 million, 204-key hotel is scheduled to open in mid-2013.

In multi-family development news, the Monona Plan Commission has approved construction of Treysta on the Water, a $17 million four-story luxury apartment complex. It will rise on Broadway west of Monona Drive along the Yahara River.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, plans call for 121 apartments, boat slips for tenants and the public, boats for rent, a commercial cafe in the apartment complex’s lobby, retail space and a restaurant. Amenities will include a 24-hour-a-day concierge service, Robin Pharo, president of Treysta Group L.L.C., told the publication.

With the help of $1.5 million in tax increment financing, the developer will build underground parking, remedy wet soil, upgrade utilities and improve fire safety. An extension of the riverfront boardwalk is also planned.

Photo credits: Jon Kline via Wikimedia Commons

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Schlitz Park to Wrap $30M Redevelopment By Creating 150 KSF of Office Space

31 Aug 2012, 5:43 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Construction on the third and last phase of a $30 million renovation project will begin by the end of this year at Schlitz Park, the 46-acre riverfront office complex near Downtown Milwaukee.

Preliminary designs for remodeling the property’s long-vacant Executive and Stockhouse buildings were unveiled by Gary Grunau, president of Grucon Group L.L.C., which is redeveloping Schlitz Park. Located on the park’s western end, the buildings will offer a combined 150,000 square feet of office and parking for 600 vehicles when construction is complete in fall 2013.

The renovation will also create 45,000 square feet of green space through the creation of Brewhouse Square. The park will be developed south of ManpowerGroup’s headquarters on the site of the Brewhouse building, which the developers determined cannot be preserved. Utility re-routing work is underway in preparation for the structure’s removal.

Leonardo Academy will conduct a sustainability audit of the campus and develop a strategy that will include pursuing LEED building certification. “Schlitz Park has already implemented numerous actions that demonstrate its commitment to making the office complex an energizing force that benefits both their tenants and the surrounding community”, Leonardo Academy President Michael Arny commented. Schlitz Park intends to pursue LEED certification for all renovated buildings on the property.

In the past year, Schlitz Park has renovated 105,000 square feet of space in three buildings, which has generated considerable leasing activity. According to BizTimes Milwaukee, only about 26,000 square feet of the 380,000 square feet of office space in the newly upgraded RiverCenter building is vacant. The Bottlehouse buildings have been connected and have a combined 140,000 square feet of space, half of which is vacant. New tenants could be announced soon, Grunau told BizTimes Milwaukee.

Schlitz Park is owned and managed by The Brewery Works, Inc., which represents the families that acquired the property in 1983. More than 4,300 people work at the site for such tenants as ManpowerGroup, and Time Warner.

Photo credits: www.schlitzpark.com

For more market data on Milwaukee, click here.



Downtown Office Move Opens Door to Wauwatosa M-F Project

17 Aug 2012, 1:52 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Bartolotta Restaurant Group plans to move its headquarters from Wauwatosa to a 17,400-square-foot Downtown Milwaukee building by the end of August.

Bartolotta purchased 520 W. McKinley Avenue to accommodate the company’s growth. VJS Construction Services of Pewaukee and Chamberlin Group of Brookfield are leading a renovation, which will provide Bartolotta with office and warehouse space. According to documents filed with the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp., Bartolotta estimates the total cost of the project to be around $1.05 million, including $850,000 for the acquisition of the building.

Bartolotta’s current  location at 6005 W. Martin Drive in Wauwatosa is being acquired by Waukesha-based HSI Properties LLC., which plans to demolish the structure and replace it with the Annex at Enclave, a $5 million apartment community (pictured in rendering above). The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that the 40-unit project will be the next in HSI Properties’ Enclave series of upscale apartment buildings. Construction is scheduled for a mid-October start, and residents are expected to move in next spring. Units will rent for about $1,000 a month, HSI principal Ryan Schultz told the newspaper.

“We feel fortunate that the sale of our current building will add a positive residential development for the community and give our company the opportunity to accommodate our growing warehouse and office space needs,” remarked Joe Bartolotta, president of the restaurant company.

In other news, the Milwaukee Water Council held a launch ceremony for a $22 million renovation of its 98,000-square-foot, seven-story warehouse loft in the city’s 5th Ward. According to the Business Journal, the building will house a water-related research and business accelerator center. Tenants include Badger Meter, A.O. Smith Corp., Veolia Water North America, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and UW-Whitewater.

More than 150 water technology-related businesses are located in the Milwaukee region and the goal of the Milwaukee Water Council’s is to develop a global center for fresh water research, education and economic development.

Photo credit: www.hsidevelopment.com

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$120M Mixed-Use Lakefront High-Rise Proposed

23 Jul 2012, 1:38 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The underused Downtown Transit Center could be replaced by a 44-story hotel and apartment development. BizTimes Milwaukee reports that developer Rick Barrett, architect Matt Rinka and county officials have unveiled plans for a $120 million tower overlooking Lake Michigan.

Called The Couture, the new high-rise would feature a hotel with 180 guest rooms, 179 high-end apartments, restaurants, retail space and 775 parking spaces. Upon completion, the building would be the third tallest in Milwaukee after the U.S. Bank Center and the 100 East office building. The Couture is expected to generate more than 4,400 construction jobs, 200 permanent jobs and an anticipated $2 million in tax revenue.

On July 23, the County Board’s Economic and Community Development Committee will meet to review the project. Barrett, who is currently developing the 30-story Moderne apartment high-rise in downtown Milwaukee, is among the four developers interested in the transit center redevelopment. Wauwatosa-based Irgens, Wauwatosa-based Wangard Partners and Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. have also responded to the County’s request for information, the newspaper reports.

In other news, the Forest County Potawatomi Community has broken ground on a $150 million, 381-room hotel at the site of the Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley.

Scheduled for a summer 2014 opening, the 20-story building will generate 230 permanent jobs and nearly 1,000 construction jobs. The hotel will include a full-service spa and restaurant, meeting space and two presidential suites spanning the entire length of the top two floors.

BizTimes Milwaukee reports that the Potawatomi Bingo Casino is the largest tribally owned facility in the country that lacks a hotel on site. After commissioning the consulting firm Pinkowski & Co.to conduct an economic impact study, the tribe concluded that the hotel would increase the number of regional visitors to its casino.

Photo credits: onmilwaukee.com

 

Photo credits: onmilwaukee.com