Wednesday, August 27, 2014
GSA eyes St. Francis building for FBI office
August 27, 2014 10:47 AM
An office building on the lakefront in St. Francis appears to be the leading candidate to land the Milwaukee-area FBI office, according to commercial real estate sources.

The Milwaukee FBI office is currently located in an 80,000-square-foot space in the Plaza East Office Center, a multi-tenant office complex at 330 E. Kilbourn Ave. in downtown Milwaukee.

The federal government’s General Services Administration is considering plans to relocate the Milwaukee FBI office and is looking for about 82,000 square feet of space, according to GSA spokeswoman Cat Langel.

Three developers were known to be competing for the Milwaukee FBI office:

- Boca Raton, Fla.-based Proacci Development Corp. which submitted plans to purchase, renovate and lease a 105,000-square-foot building at W180 N7950 Town Hall Road in Menomonee Falls to the FBI.

- Milwaukee-based Mark Partners LLC, which submitted plans to purchase and lease the three-story, 103,553-square-foot office building at 440 S. Executive Dr. in Brookfield to the FBI.

- Las Vegas-based Molasky Group of Companies, which submitted plans to purchase and lease the Stark Investments building at 3600 S. Lake Dr. in St. Francis to the FBI.

However, a commercial real estate source said this week that the Menomonee Falls and Brookfield sites have been eliminated from consideration by the GSA.

In addition, other sources said the St. Francis building is the GSA’s preferred option for the FBI office. The building sits on a 8.5-acre site on the lakefront. The property has an assessed value of $8.5 million, according to Milwaukee County records.

Some commercial real estate sources say the St. Francis building, which once housed Harnischfeger Industries Inc., would need to be expanded to meet the needs of the FBI.

Staying put at the current downtown location remains an option, but that site no longer meets the federal government’s modern security requirements, which would ideally put the office in a standalone building with significant setbacks.

The GSA plans to make a decision on the location for the Milwaukee office “in the coming months,” Langel said.

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Retail tenants pitched for airport spaces
August 27, 2014 10:01 AM
Three retailers have submitted plans to open shops at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, according to reports submitted to County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic.

Taste Inc., d.b.a. Vino Volo, has submitted plans to open a wine shop in a 1,072-square-foot space in Concourse C.

Hudson Group Retail LLC has submitted plans to open shops in a 582-square-foot space in Concourse C and a 558-square-foot space in Concourse D. In those two spaces, Hudson is proposing their “affordable luxuries” store concept, consisting of handbags, wallets, belts, pashminas, jewelry, watches, gloves, hats, socks, sunglasses and travel comfort items. Most of the products sell for less than $15, with some high-quality accessories selling from $25 to above $100.

InMotion Entertainment Group LLC has submitted plans to open a 86-square-foot kiosk store in Concourse D selling headphones and other electronic entertainment accessories.

These stores would fill a total of 2,298 square feet of space four of the airport’s seven vacant retail spaces, which have a total of 4,390 square feet of vacant retail space.

The leases are subject to approval by the County Board.

Traffic at the airport, which plunged after Frontier Airlines eliminated its Milwaukee hub and Souuthwest Airlines acquired AirTran, has increased this year. For six consecutive months the airport has posted year-over-year traffic increases. Year-to-date traffic at Mitchell is up 2.7 percent this year, but traffic levels are still well below their 2010 peak at the airport.

“This year’s sustained passenger growth shows that demand is increasing for air travel at Mitchell, and we continue to serve as an outstanding alternative to O’Hare in northern Illinois,” said County Executive Chris Abele.

Southwest recently announced increase service on its routes from Milwaukee to New Orleans and Ft. Lauderdale and Frontier announced new non-stop service from Milwaukee to Orlando and Ft. Myers, Fla.

In other airport real estate news, the owner of Doctari Longlines LLP wants to lease a 3,700-square-foot storage building in Milwaukee County’s MKE Regional Business Park at the airport. The company produces and sells hunting equipment, primarily waterfowl decoy rigs. ACC Holding Inc., a cargo airline, wants to lease a 3,000-square-foot storage building at the MKE Regional Business Park at the airport.

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Genoa City storage facility sold for nearly $1.8 million
August 27, 2014 10:03 AM
Boulder, Colo.-based Red Dot Storage said Tuesday that it has acquired a 55,000-square-foot storage facility at 180 Elizabeth Lane in Genoa City in Walworth County.

The sale price was $1.775 million, according to state records. The property was sold by Madison-based 1900 A.D. Limited Partnership.

The facility has more than 175 storage units in a variety of sizes. It is the second property in the state acquired by Red Dot. “We are looking forward to an increased presence in Wisconsin and will continue to pursue new locations across the region,” said Seth Bent, president of Red Dot Storage.

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Northwestern Mutual kicks off office tower construction
August 27, 2014 10:11 AM
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. hosted a celebration Tuesday to mark the end of demolition work and the start of construction work for the $450 million, 32-story, 1.1 million-square-foot Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons office building on its downtown Milwaukee campus.

The new building will replace a 16-story, 452,000-square-foot office building on the campus that has been demolished. The demolition work began in December.

Planning for the new building began about four years ago.

“I’m so glad this day is finally here,” said Northwestern Mutual Chief Executive Officer John Schlifske. “All of the years of planning and demolition work is over. This is not a groundbreaking, because we broke ground long ago. But now we’re going to see something rise out of the ground.”

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett thanked Schlifske and the company’s board for investing in the city.

“(Schlifske) could have made the decision to build this anywhere,” Barrett said. “I believe that they decided to build here because they believe in this city. You have to have people that believe.”

Northwestern Mutual has committed to have at least 40 percent of the workers on the project be city residents and is supporting worker training efforts for construction workers for this and other future construction projects in the area. The project will employ about 1,000 construction workers.

“A lot of the work is going to be done by people that live in this city,” Barrett said. “A lot of people are critical of people in this city, but I have to tell you, they want to work.”

The city is providing $54 million in tax incremental financing for the project.

“We decided this partnership is critical to the future of the city of Milwaukee,” Barrett said.

The project will capitalize on the Northwestern Mutual campus location near the lakefront, Schlifske said. In addition to the building, the project will create a three acre public green space with gardens, trees, a water feature, tables, benches and walkways.

“We are in probably one of the most beautiful places in Wisconsin and maybe the United States,” he said. “(Investing in downtown Milwaukee) is the right thing to do for Northwestern Mutual. I’m so excited that the right thing to do for Northwestern Mutual is also the right thing to do for the City of Milwaukee.”

The new building will enable Northwestern Mutual to keep 1,100 of its employees on the downtown campus and will provide space to eventually add 1,900 additional employees. The company currently has a total of 3,000 employees in downtown Milwaukee.

The project is expected to be complete in 2017. The building will be 550 feet tall, about the same height as the 100 East building downtown and second to only the 601-foot tall U.S. Bank Center as the tallest building in the city and the state.

A team of Gilbane Building Co. and Milwaukee-based C.G. Schmidt Inc. is the general contractor for the project. New Haven, Conn.-based Pickard Chilton is the design architect for the project. Houston-based Kendall/Heaton Associates is the architect of record for the project.

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Associated Bank announces plans for Third Ward branch
August 27, 2014 10:16 AM
Green Bay-based Associated Bank on Tuesday formally announced plans to open a new branch at 102 N. Water St. in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward neighborhood.

BizTimes Milwaukee reported last week that Associated Bank had leased a 2,725-square-foot space in the River Renaissance building in the Third Ward.

Today, the company announced plans to open a branch in a 1,640-square-foot space in the building. Construction is expected to begin in October and the branch will open in March of 2015.

Associated Bank said its Third Ward branch location will “offer customers an enhanced banking experience in a revitalized and spacious layout, reflecting the updated Associated brand style.” The branch will offer 24/7 self-service banking solutions along with a digital demonstration zone allowing customers to sign up for online banking and interact with Associated Bank’s online and mobile applications.

“We’re really pleased to continue our development into Milwaukee’s vibrant Third Ward neighborhood,” said John Halechko, executive vice president, director of branch banking, Associated Bank. “Downtown Milwaukee represents an important market for Associated Bank, and we are committed to serving both our customers and the downtown community.”

On Monday, Associated Bank opened a new branch built at 1301 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., just north of downtown Milwaukee and the Park East corridor, in the city’s Haymarket Square neighborhood.

Associated Bank also has a downtown location at 401 E. Kilbourn Ave. and a location on the city’s East Side at 2590 N. Downer Ave.

The Associated Bank branch on the first floor of the First Financial Centre office building at 700 N. Water St. downtown closed recently.

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Alpine Valley Music Theatre is for sale
August 27, 2014 10:13 AM
Alpine Valley Music Theatre, a 37,000-seat outdoor concert venue on a 198-acre site near East Troy, is for sale. The asking price is $8,437,500, according to Stan Johnson Company, which says Alpine Valley is the second largest amphitheater in the U.S.

The property was put up for sale within the  last month, according to John Kersey, executive vice president of Milwaukee-based Zilber Ltd., which owns the venue.

“The asset has performed very, very well for us,” Kersey said. However, “moving forward we want to focus on our core competencies of industrial and office development and home-building.”

Alpine Valley is operated by Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Live Nation Worldwide Inc., which has more than five years remaining on its lease, according to Stan Johnson Company. The guaranteed minimum total annual rent, including minimum ticket rental, is $675,000. The lease requires no landlord responsibilities for the maintenance, repair and replacement of the property.

Alpine Valley is located about 40 miles from Milwaukee and 90 miles from the Chicago area and draws its audiences from both markets.

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Quest Products to move from Gurnee to Pleasant Prairie
August 27, 2014 10:20 AM
Another Illinois company is making plans to move to Kenosha County. Quest Products Inc., a Gurnee, Ill.-based consumer packaged goods company, plans to move to Pleasant Prairie.

An affiliate of the company recently purchased a vacant 44,398-square-foot building on a 4.7-acre site at 8201 104th St. in Pleasant Prairie for $2.85 million, according to state records. The building, constructed in 1996, has a two-story office area with a total of 22,267 square feet of space. The rest of the building has 22,131 square feet of industrial space, according to a CBRE flyer.

Executives with Quest Products could not be reached for comment, but an employee at the company and Pleasant Prairie Community Development Director Jean Werbie-Harris confirmed that the company plans to move to Pleasant Prairie.

“They’ve outgrown their existing building (in Gurnee). They have sold that buiding and plan to move to Pleasant Prairie in October,” Werbie-Harris said.

Quest Products, founded in 2001, has made Inc. magazine’s Inc. 5,000 list for the last seven years, ranking 3,787 this year. The company’s revenue has grown from $9.2 million in 2010 to $16.9 million in 2013, according to Inc.

Quest has about 30 employees and plans to double its workforce during the next three to five years, Werbie-Harris said.

“It’s a very nice business with a lot of growth potential,” she said.

Quest Products is the latest of several Illinois companies that have moved operations or have announced plans to move to Kenosha County in recent years including: Uline, Kenall Manufacturing Co., Hanna Cylinders, EMCO Chemical Distributors Inc., Konecranes, Ta Chen International Inc., L&M Corrugated Container Corp. and Good Foods Group.

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Good Foods Group to expand in Pleasant Prairie
August 27, 2014 10:21 AM
Good Foods Group LLC, which moved its corporate headquarters and production operations last year from Chicago to Pleasant Prairie now plans to expand in the Kenosha County village.

The company plans to add a 39,166-square-foot addition to its 56,333-square-foot building at 10100 88th Ave., said Pleasant Prairie Community Development Director Jean Werbie-Harris.

“They have experienced a significant amount of growth,” she said.

Good Foods Group manufactures all natural food products including hummus, salsa, dips and guacamole.

The company had about 50 employees when it moved to Pleasant Prairie. It could expand to 150 employees with the expansion, Werbie-Harris said.

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Pewaukee Pick ‘n Save building sold for $9 million
August 27, 2014 10:23 AM
Cole Capital, the Phoenix, Ariz.-based private capital management business of American New York-based Realty Capital Properties Inc., recently purchased the 55,000-square-foot Pick ‘n Save store building at 1405 Capitol Dr. in Pewaukee for $9 million, according to state records.

The building was sold by Pewaukee-based Falls Plaza LLC. The registered agent for Falls Plaza is Theodore Balistreri, according to state records.

Last year Cole Capital purchased the 58,730-square-foot Pick ‘n Save building in South Milwaukee at 2931 S. Chicago Ave. for about $7.5 million.

Recently Cole Capital purchased the two Red Lobster restaurants in Milwaukee County, one located in Wauwatosa and the other in Greenfield, for a combined $9.5 million. The restaurants were acquired as part of a $1.5 billion sale-leaseback deal announced in July in which American Realty Capital Properties acquired approximately 500 Red Lobster restaurants from Orlando-based Darden Restaurants Inc.

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Wisconsin Lutheran College to build parking structure
August 27, 2014 10:18 AM
Wisconsin Lutheran College announced Thursday that it plans to build a $5.5 million, 360-space parking structure on its campus, which is located on the border of Milwaukee and Wauwatosa.

The college said it has received a $5.5 million gift from a family, which has chosen to remain anonymous, to fund the project.

The parking structure will be built directly east of the college's Recreation Complex on what are currently several residential properties owned by the college, with a planned entrance on Wisconsin Avenue. The site is located within Wauwatosa.

The structure will be designed by HGA Architects and Engineers Inc. and it will be built by Catalyst Construction.

Construction is expected to begin in January or February and be complete by the end of June, said Jim Brandt, vice president of enrollment for the college.

“This is going to effectively double parking on our campus,” Brandt said. “We’ve had continued conversations with our neighbors. Concerns (about parking in the neighborhood) have been expressed with us. This is partially in response to that.”

More parking is also needed because the college’s enrollment has grown 60 percent during the last six years, Brandt said. Fall enrollment is expected to be 1,165. The college is also opening a new 200-bed residence hall this week to support its growing enrollment.

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Rogers Memorial Hospital buys Oconomowoc medical office building
August 27, 2014 10:19 AM
Rogers Memorial Hospital recently purchased a medical office building in Oconomowoc that was formerly occupied by ProHealth Care, and plans to shift its outpatient treatment program there from its existing Oconomowoc facility.

Rogers Memorial purchased the 20,988-square-foot building on a 2.5-acre site at 1205 Corporate Center Drive from an affiliate of Menomonee Falls-based Continental Properties Company Inc. for $1.45 million, according to state records. Ned Purtell and Kate Hanson of RFP Commercial brokered the deal for Continental Properties.

The building has been vacant for about eight months, Purtell said. ProHealth Care and its affiliated doctors gradually moved out of the building after ProHealth Care opened a larger facility nearby, he said.

Rogers Memorial plans to move its intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization program from its existing Oconomowoc facility at 34700 Valley Road to the Corporate Center Drive facility, said spokeswoman Sarah Meekma.

Rogers Memorial treats behavioral health patients and has facilities in Oconomowoc, Brown Deer, West Allis, Kenosha, Madison and Tampa, Fla.

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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 or call him at (414) 277-8181, ext. 120.

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