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Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Fortune 500 company to expand office space in West Allis
March 26, 2014 10:00 AM
Melville, N.Y.-based Henry Schein Inc. plans to convert 30,000 square feet of warehouse space into office space at its West Allis facility at 10920 W. Lincoln Ave. The 109,000-square-foot building is owned by H&S Properties.

Henry Schein is a Fortune 500 company that claims to be the world's largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners.

The firm needs additional space for office, support, sales and customer service functions, according to a city of West Allis report. It has moved its Service Parts Distribution Center out of its West Allis facility and plans to convert the 30,000 square feet of space into office space, which will include offices, conference rooms and training centers.

The cost of the project is estimated at $800,000.

The company's existing office area in the building will be remodeled into a design center with new offices, conference rooms, a break room and restrooms.

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Third Ward Blount Orthopaedic Clinic building sold
March 26, 2014 10:00 AM
Brookfield-based Alpha Realty LLC recently purchased the Blount Orthopaedic Clinic building in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward for $1.135 million, according to state records.

The two-story, 13,378-square-foot office building is located on a 0.3-acre lot at 625 E. St. Paul Ave., at the southwest corner of St. Paul Avenue and North Van Buren Street. The building was constructed in 1961. The property has an assessed value of $1.07 million, according to city records.

Representatives for Blount Orthopaedic Clinic and Alpha Realty could not be immediately reached for comment.

In addition to the Third Ward location, Bount Orthopaedic Clinic also has a location in Mequon.

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Pewaukee Plan Commission rejects industrial building proposal
March 26, 2014 10:00 AM
Member of the Pewaukee Plan Commission last week informed Brookfield-based 2000 Development Corp. that the firm’s proposed for a 100,000-square-foot industrial building on a 15.6-acre site between Highway 16 and Blue Mound Road, north of the former Fatima Drive, would not gain approval.

The site is zoned for residential use and Plan Commission members said the site could not be re-zoned on its own.

2000 Development President Brandon Bergman declined to comment on the project.

The Pewaukee Plan Commission’s rejection of the plans demonstrates the difficulty in finding acceptable, quality sites for new industrial development in Waukesha County.

Last year 2000 Development presented submitted plans to build a 120,000-square-foot, multi-tenant industrial building on an 11-acre site at the northeast corner of Commerce Circle and Watertown Road in the city of Pewaukee. Bergman declined to give an update on that project as well.

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Parking structure planned for Renaissance Faire building in West Allis
March 26, 2014 10:00 AM
Milwaukee-based Van Buren Management Inc. plans to build a four-story, 570-space parking structure at the Renaissance Faire office building at 801 S. 60th St. in West Allis.

The cost of the project is estimated at $5.25 million, according to a city staff report. Construction is expected to take place this summer.

The property includes a main building with 182,000-square-foot western portion and a newly renovated 178,968-square-foot eastern portion, and a 24,000-square foot free-standing fitness center building.

About 250,000 square feet of space in the main building is occupied by tenants, said Van Buren Management owner Joel Lee. Tenants in the main building include U.S. Bank (70,000 square feet of space), Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare (45,000 square feet) and WDJT-TV CBS Channel 58 (30,000 square feet of space).

If a significant amount of additional space is leased, “we’re going to need additional parking,” he said.

The parking structure will be built on the southwest corner of the site. Once complete, the entire property will have about 1,500 parking spaces.

Van Buren Management bought the building in 1985 and has invested $15 million in upgrades, Lee said. The eastern portion of the building was formerly occupied by a Sam’s Club store, but Van Buren converted it into two stories of office space.

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Mequon Town Center construction to begin soon
March 26, 2014 10:00 AM
The Ruby Tap will open a location in the Mequon Town Center, and the developer for the project says construction could begin within the next 30 days.

Located in Wauwatosa, The Ruby Tap serves wine, beer, cheese, charcuterie and desserts. The Mequon location will be the second for The Ruby Tap.

"We wanted to look on the east and north side for the right spot," said Brooke Boomer, co-owner of The Ruby Tap. "There’s not a whole lot of restaurants and places for people to go in Mequon in that area."

Mequon Town Center is a mixed-use redevelopment project on a three acre site at the northwest corner of Mequon and Cedarburg roads. It will consist of five buildings: an American Legion building, a free-standing restaurant building, two buildings with lower level retail space and apartments on upper floors, and a two-story building with retail space on the first floor and commercial space on the second floor.

Other tenants will include a Colectivo café and a Lowlands Group restaurant.

Plans for the project are coming together and construction should begin within the next 30 days, said Blair Williams, president of WiRED Properties, the developer for the project.

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Adventure Rock could boost North Avenue
March 26, 2014 10:00 AM
Mandel Group Inc. plans to build a mixed-use building, on a site southwest of East North Avenue and Commerce Street, that will have 46-apartments and a 18,000-square-foot space leased to Adventure Rock Climbing Gym Inc.

It will be the second location for Adventure Rock, in addition to its location at 21250 W. Capitol Dr., Brookfield.

Within the three zip codes around the North Avenue site, Adventure Rock has about 3,000 customers and 232 members who drive out to Brookfield to climb, said Manager Eric Olson. The Brookfield facility has 2,600 active members and attracts about 2,200 visitors a week, he said. Similar numbers are expected at the North Avenue site.

“It’s always busy," said Robert Monnat, chief operating officer of Mandel Group. "It will be an incredibly relevant business for that (North Avenue) corridor. This gymnasium could be a regional draw. It will really be a state-of-the-art facility."

The site is also attractive because there are two University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student housing buildings nearby, Olson said.

The North Avenue Adventure Rock is expected to have 24 employees.

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Reader’s Digest to move Milwaukee area office to Schlitz Park
March 26, 2014 10:00 AM
The Reader’s Digest Association Inc. will move the offices of its Enthusiast Brands division from Greendale to the Schlitz Park office complex in downtown Milwaukee. The move will bring 200 employees to Schlitz Park, and will fill 54,000 square feet office space on the first and second floors of the Bottlehouse A building in the complex.

Reader’s Digest will move out of its current location at 5400 S. 60th St. in Greendale, which it recently sold to Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin. Goodwill plans to move its headquarters to the 164,800-square-foot Greendale building. The nonprofit organization plans to remodel the facility and will move its administrative support functions and missions services there. It will have about 500 employees at the site.

The Greendale building was originally the home of Reiman Publications. Reader’s Digest Association bought Reiman Publications in 2002.

Titles in Reader’s Digest’s Enthusiast Brands division include Taste of Home, Birds & Blooms, Country, Country Woman, Farm & Ranch Living, and Reminisce. The division’s new Schlitz Park space will include offices, test kitchens and photography studios and will overlook the planned 45,000-square-foot Brewhouse Square Park.

“We’re thrilled to welcome RDA’s employees downtown where they’ll find a vast offering of amenities at Schlitz Park and in our surrounding neighborhoods that will energize their workday,” said Gary Grunau, Schlitz Park’s co-developer. “Schlitz Park offers tenants the best of both a suburban and downtown setting with green space, walking trails and free parking right outside their door and dining, shopping and entertainment onsite and just steps away.”

“This is an exciting and timely development for RDA’s Milwaukee team and the Enthusiast Brands,” said Robert E. Guth, chairman and CEO of Reader’s Digest Association. “Our Enthusiast magazines have incredibly large, loyal and growing followings across all platforms, and our continued investment in these publications is an important part of our ongoing strategy."

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Bear Development buys historic Button Block building
March 26, 2014 10:00 AM
Kenosha-based Bear Development has purchased the 122-year-old Button Block building in downtown Milwaukee, according to Siegel-Gallagher. The sale closed earlier today.

Patrick Gallagher and Matson Holbrook of Siegel-Gallagher brokered the deal for the seller, Button Block LLC. The registered agent for Button Block LLC is Gary Taxman.

“It’s a neat, iconic building in Milwaukee,” Gallagher said.

The sale price of the building was not disclosed by Siegel-Gallagher. It had been listed for sale at $2.1 million. It has an assessed value of $2.19 million, according to city records.

Located at 500 N. Water St., at the northeast corner of Water and Clybourn streets, the seven-story 67,200-square-foot building is today best known for Joey Buona’s Italian Restaurant, which occupies the first two floors. At one time that space was occupied by Brett Favre’s Steakhouse. Other prior tenants in the building include Park Avenue and Mad Hatter.

The third through seventh floors of the building are currently vacant. Bear Development plans to convert those floors into apartments.

The sale includes the vacant site to the north of the building.

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Hobby Lobby store planned in Menomonee Falls
March 26, 2014 10:00 AM
A Hobby Lobby store is planned for a former Pick ‘n Save store space in Menomonee Falls.

The store would open in a 61,010-square-foot space in the Crossroads Shopping Center at N96 W18501 County Line Road, according to plans submitted to the village.

In addition, a Guaranty Bank branch would open in a 2,940-square-foot space in the shopping center.

The shopping center, located southwest of County Line Road and Appleton Avenue, is anchored by a JC Penney’s store and a new Pick ‘n Save store, which opened in January.

Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. is an Oklahoma City-based chain of arts and crafts big box stores. The company has 546 stores in the U.S., including locations in Racine, West Bend, Kenosha and Sheboygan.

In addition, Hobby Lobby will open a new store on Friday at the Shoppes at Fox River development at 1160 W. Sunset Dr. in Waukesha.


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Tarantino & Co. plans $20 million senior housing development in Grafton
March 26, 2014 10:00 AM
Waukesha-based Tarantino & Company announced today that is plans to build a $20 million senior housing community on the site of the former Manchester Mall property in Grafton’s south commercial district.

Developer James Tarantino said the project, to be called Village Pointe Commons, will be similar to the company’s other developments in southeastern Wisconsin, including Gables of Germantown, which features a memory care building called Matterhaus, opening next month.

“Village Pointe Commons is unlike anything available in the Grafton and Cedarburg markets. Our goal is that Village Pointe Commons will contribute to high quality of life for seniors here,” said Tarantino. “We’re in the early stages of designing and developing a campus of more than 200 premier senior housing units with different levels of services and care driven by the residents’ demand.”

Capri Senior Communities, which manages more than 1,300 units in a dozen senior living apartment communities and special housing developments in Wisconsin, will operate Village Pointe Commons.

Village Pointe Commons is planned for the South Commercial TIF (tax incremental financing) District, on the property of the unfinished Highland Ridge project. A shopping center anchored by a Pick ’n Save grocery store built in 2009 is the only structure completed on the 12-acre site. A planned 17-building complex including townhouses and condominiums was never built and the developer recently sold the land to Tarantino.

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Group plans to re-open Modjeska Theatre in November
March 26, 2014 10:15 AM
The Modjeska Theatre Project LLC, which owns the Modjeska Theatre at 1124 W. Historic Mitchell St. on Milwaukee’s south side, plans to reopen the 90-year-old theater in November.

The Modjeska Theatre has been closed for about four years.

Larry Widen was recently named executive director of the theater. Previously, he operated the Times Cinema in Milwaukee and the Rosebud Cinema in Wauwatosa from 2006-12.

“I’m excited about the opportunities before us with the Modjeska,” Widen said. “We want to be the destination for eclectic, creative and multi-cultural entertainment. The Modjeska is there for everyone and the programming will reflect that. We want the theater to become the provider of music, film and other events to a wide variety of tastes and cultures.”

The theater’s initial programming will include movies, comedy acts, plays, performances by local bands and lucha libre (Mexican wrestling, similar to American professional wrestling).

“(Lucha libre) is lots of fun,” Widen said. “It appeals to the neighbors. One of my goals is to embrace all of the cultures that live around the theater.”

Most of the work that needs to be done to re-open the theater involves building clean-up, Widen said.

“We have to get the theater fit for human habitation,” he said. “The goal right now is to get the theater cleaned and make sure it is all up to code.”

Also joining the Modjeska board is Rob Meiksins, who will act as a consultant to the theater’s fund development effort. Meiksins will also serve on the board of the Friends of the Modjeska, a philanthropic group raising money for ongoing operational costs. Meiksins started out in professional theater in New York City, later moving to Milwaukee to work with the Milwaukee Rep as the dramaturg.

The Modjeska Theatre Project LLC is operated by the not-for-profit group Mitchell Street Development Opportunities Corp. Governing board members include John S. Kesselman, commercial property broker; Herbert M. Hillman, CPA and Mitchell Street property owner and manager; Jesus Enrique Nanez, owner of DropZone, a web and print design firm; Robert Sheehy, design and construction management consultant; and Thomas Vavra, owner of Vavra Design LLC, an architectural design and planning firm.

Additional candidates for the board are currently being considered.

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Andrew Weiland BizTimes Real Estate Weekly is compiled by BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor Andrew Weiland. This bulletin is published every Wednesday morning. Send real estate news tips to Andrew.Weiland@biztimes.com or call him at (414) 277-8181, ext. 120.

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