Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Chicago firm buys adjacent Kenosha shopping centers
August 12, 2015 10:40 AM
Chicago-based Speedwagon Properties purchased the Southport Plaza and Indian Trail Plaza shopping centers in Kenosha from Northfield, Ill.-based Raymond and Associates.

The two neighboring shopping centers have more than 612,000 square feet of space and are located at the intersection of Highway 50 and Green Bay Road.

Details of Speedwagon’s acquisition of the two shopping centers were not immediately available. The deal involves multiple parcels including one that sold for $6.7 million and another that sold for $950,000, according to state records. One source said the total sale price for the Kenosha properties is likely significantly higher than that.

The Kenosha shopping centers are part of a larger portfolio, which including multi-family residential properties and office building properties in Illinois, that Speedwagon acquired from Raymond and Associates, the source said.

An executive at Speedwagon could not be reached for comment.

Southport Plaza was initially built in 1994 for Target, Kohl’s Department Store and Jewel Foods. Indian Trail Plaza followed in 2006, with Lowe’s Home Improvement Center. The anchors of the shopping centers today include Gordman’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Cinemark Theaters, Kohl’s, Hobby Lobby and Lowe’s Home Improvement Center. In addition, the shopping centers have more than 40 other retailers and more than 10 restaurants. Both shopping centers have a combined occupancy rate of 90 percent.

Mid-America Real Estate will manage and handle leasing for the two shopping centers.

“We are excited about the opportunity to manage and lease these two vibrant centers,” said Jim Vaillancourt, asset management director at Mid-America. “We’ve been successfully providing leasing services at Southport Plaza and Indian Trail Plaza for several years. Now by adding the asset management component, we will further enhance our ability to better serve the shopping centers and create value for the new owners.”

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Schlitz Park plans $76 million mixed-use expansion over the next five years
August 12, 2015 11:00 AM
Schlitz Park developer Gary Grunau announced plans for a $76 million multi-phase, mixed-use expansion over the next five years for the complex just north of downtown Milwaukee.

The projects planned for Schlitz Park would add 290,000 square feet of office space, a 140-room hotel and 140 apartments.

The first phase of the expansion will be a conversion of 50,000 square feet of warehouse space, formerly occupied by Assurant Health, in the Schlitz Park Rivercenter building into office space. Construction is expected to begin during the first quarter of 2016 and be complete by the end of the year. The converted office space will have room for 400 employees, Grunau said.

The second phase of the expansion would convert some existing space and add a four-story addition to the Schlitz Park Powerhouse building, which would create an additional 80,000 square feet of office space. The building addition would include terraces overlooking the Milwaukee River and the Brewhouse Square park. The new office space would provide room for 480 employees. Construction is expected to begin in 2016 and be complete in early 2017.

“(The Powerhouse building expansion) is being seen by a couple of tenants looking at moving in 2017,” Grunau said. Some pre-leasing of space will be necessary to get the Powerhouse building expansion going.

The cost of the first two phases of the Schlitz Park expansion is estimated at $20 million, he said.
For the third phase of the project, Schlitz Park plans to add a $25 million, four-story, 160,000-square-foot office space expansion on top of the four-story Rivercenter building. This project is targeted for a corporate headquarters and will need at least half of the space pre-leased to begin construction, Grunau said. The space could be available in 2017, he said. It would provide views of the river and the downtown skyline.

“We think that space would be spectacular,” Grunau said. “It would make a great corporate headquarters. We’re trying to see if we can get a corporate headquarters moving from the suburbs to downtown.”

Schiltz Park also plans to develop a $15 million, four-story, 140-room hotel targeted towards business travelers on a one-acre site along the Milwaukee River between the ManpowerGroup corporate headquarters and the Time Warner Cable building. The Brewery Works Inc., which owns Schlitz Park, would likely partner with a hotel developer for that project, Grunau said. Existing tenants in Schlitz Park, including ManpowerGroup and UMB Fund Services, would benefit from having a hotel nearby, he said.

Schlitz Park also plans to partner with a multi-family housing development to do a $16 million, 140-unit market rate apartment development on a vacant site north of Pleasant Street between North 1st and 2nd streets.

The expansion plans for Schlitz Park come after The Brewery Works invested $62 million in improvements to the 46-acre campus from 2011-14 and increased the occupancy of its 1.2 million square feet of space from 67 percent in 2010 to 98 percent in 2015.

Schlitz Park currently only has 15,000 square feet of available office space, although an additional 20,000 square feet of office space will be vacated by the relocation of The Previant Law Firm.

Schlitz Park is close to announcing new leases for the 18,000-square-foot fifth floor and the 17,000-square-foot fourth floor of the Stockhouse building, Grunau said. The fifth floor tenant will bring 110 employees to Schlitz Park, he said.

The expansion projects will create a need for more parking spaces. Schlitz Park is in the early stages of planning to add one or more parking structures, Grunau said.

“We have a lot of places that we could add parking decks,” he said.

Grunau’s group purchased the former Schlitz brewery in 1983 and converted it into an office complex. The campus had a high vacancy rate and needed an upgrade in 2010, so The Brewery Works invested $62 million in space and amenity upgrades hoping to take advantage of rising national trends of more people and businesses moving to downtown areas.

The latest expansion plans show that Grunau remains bullish that more residents and businesses will want to move downtown. The area around Schlitz Park is booming with several apartment projects under construction or planned along North Water Street. Plans for a new arena nearby and a possible King Drive extension to the planned downtown streetcar are also helping to attract interest in Schlitz Park, Grunau said.

“Milwaukee is on a roll right now,” he said. “We want to keep it going. Obviously, as a developer, you want to take advantage.”

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Mitchell Leather building in Third Ward to be converted to apartments and retail space
August 12, 2015 10:54 AM
An affiliate of Greenfield-based real estate development firm Ener-Con Companies Inc. purchased the 101-year-old Mitchell Leather Factory & Retail Store building in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward for $1.8 million, according to state records.

Ener-Con plans to convert the building into 12 luxury apartments and 7,000 square feet of first floor retail space. The basement will be converted into underground parking.

The four-story, 39,450-square-foot building, located at 226 N. Water St., has an assessed value of about $1.05 million, according to city records.

Mitchell Leather Factory & Retail Store was started by Jerry Mitchell in 1968. The business makes and sells custom-made leather products including briefcases, wallets and accessories.

Mitchell died in 2009 and his son, David, took over the business.

Mitchell Leather Factory & Retail Store will move to a 4,000-square-foot former post office building at 170 Green Bay Road in Thiensville, David Mitchell said.

The smaller building will be more efficient and more appropriate for the business, he said. It will still have a small showroom and store, but most of Mitchell’s sales are now done online.

“The vast majority of our business in online,” David Mitchell said. “We don’t need a big retail presence.”

The Third Ward store was somewhat of an impediment for the business because it attracted a lot of walk-in traffic that would interrupt production. Mitchell, his wife and his mother are the only employees for the business and they make the products.

Over the last few years the business has shifted its focus to briefcases and men’s accessories and has moved away from women’s products. It was too difficult for the business to keep up with rapid changes of women’s fashions, Mitchell said, so they opted to focus on a smaller product line.

The business will make the move to Thiensville in the next month. Mitchell said he is a little worried about the equipment, built more than 45 years ago, being damaged in the move.

“I’m going to carry my favorite sewing machine in my arms like a baby,” he said.

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Evereve to open store at Mayfair Mall
August 12, 2015 10:47 AM
Evereve, an Edina, Minn.-based women's clothing store, announced today that it has signed a long term lease for an 1,800-square-foot store space at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa. The store will open in November.

It will be Evereve’s second store in the Milwaukee area. The other location is at Bayshore Town Center in Glendale.

Evereve markets itself as a “casual contemporary women’s clothing boutique for the fashion-loving mom.” Evereve operates 55 stores in 20 states. Evereve plans to open 12 stores in 2016.

The Evereve store is the latest of several new stores coming to Mayfair Mall. Nordstrom will open its new department store there on Oct. 23. Children’s clothing retailer Hanna Andersson will open its first Wisconsin store this fall at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa. Mayfair Mall will also add a kate spade store in the spring of 2016. The luxury retailer is known for its women’s handbags, clothing, jewelry, shoes and fashion accessories.

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Sendik's store planned in Muskego
August 12, 2015 10:23 AM
A 30,000-square-foot Sendik's grocery store would anchor the $33 million, mixed-use development planned by Greenfield-based Ener-Con Companies Inc. at the long-vacant former Parkland Mall site in Muskego.

Devo Properties has a contract to purchase a pad site in the develop to build the store for Sendik’s.
The plans the entire development include three retail buildings with a total of 54,000 square feet of space and three condominium buildings, with a total of 99 units, with a park space in the middle of the site. Ener-Con is seeking $6.73 million in tax incremental financing assistance from the city for the project.

The 11-acre site at S74 W17000 Janesville Road has been vacant since the former Parkland Mall was torn down in 1999. The site sits at a key location in the heart of Muskego’s main commercial corridor.
Art Dyer, the previous owner of the property, controlled the site for years until finally losing it earlier this year in a foreclosure action.

Ener-Con is also planning a residential development for a four-acre site at S76 W18004 Janesville Road on the southern shore of Little Muskego Lake. The firm plans to split the property into 10 single family home sites, that will be sold for $250,000 to $525,000. Some of the sites are located along the property’s 350 feet of sandy beach frontage. All of the sites would have views of the lake.

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Brown Deer Road office building sold for $7 million
August 12, 2015 10:53 AM
An affiliate of New York-based Lone Star Funds purchased a 184,712-square-foot office building on Brown Deer Road, near the former Northridge Mall, for $7 million, according to state records.

The two-story office building, located at 7800 W. Brown Deer Road, was built in 1973. It was sold to the Lone Star Funds affiliate by an affiliate of Minot, N.D.-based Investors Real Estate Trust.

The building sold for half of its assessed value of $14 million, according to city records. The building has about 69,539 square feet of vacant space, a vacancy rate of about 37.6 percent, according to

The area around the former Northridge Mall has struggled with high vacancy rates since the mall closed in 2003.

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Steakhouse planned for 833 East building
August 12, 2015 10:58 AM
Madison-based Noble Chef Hospitality announced that it will open its first Milwaukee restaurant, to be called Rare Steakhouse, in the 17-story office tower that Irgens is building at 833 E. Michigan St. in downtown Milwaukee.

Irgens has said that it wanted to attract a “white tablecloth” restaurant to the ground floor of the building, called 833 East.

Rare Steakhouse will be a steak and seafood restaurant that will feature in-house dry aged Allen Brothers steaks and more than 400 different wines.

Noble Chef Hospitality was launched in 2006 and, in addition to Rare Steakhouse On the Square in Madison, operates Buck & Badger Northwoods Lodge on State Street in Madison; Capital Tap Hause on State Street; the Ivory Room Piano Bar on State Street; and Freiberg Gastro Pub on Monroe Street in Madison.

“We’re excited to be entering a new market and we believe 833 East is an outstanding location for our first Milwaukee restaurant,” said Jack Sosnowski, president and CEO of Noble Chef Hospitality. “Downtown Milwaukee is experiencing a renaissance in new development and the 833 East location in particular offers a wonderful location near the city’s evolving lakefront. Rare will offer a high-class dining experience for any occasion.”

The 17-story, 833 East building is expected to be completed by February, 2016. Rare is expected to open in early 2016 and will feature seasonal outdoor seating.

“833 is attracting a lot of attention from businesses interested in locating to Milwaukee’s newest office building in an area of downtown that’s undergoing incredible changes,” said Lyle Landowski, a partner with Colliers International Wisconsin and a leasing agent on the project. “Rare Steakhouse will provide a high-quality dining destination for business meetings or for those headed to entertainment venues along the lakefront.”

Josh Minkin, a principal with Alpine Commercial Real Estate Services, is serving as procuring broker on the project.

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First Industrial Realty Trust to develop business park in Kenosha County
August 12, 2015 10:48 AM
Chicago-based First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. announced that it will develop a business park called First Park 94 on a 309-acre site in the Town of Somers in Kenosha County. First Industrial recently acquired the site for $13.4 million.

The first phase of the development will include infrastructure work and a 600,000-square-foot distribution center building. In total, First Park 94 could accommodate 4.6 million square feet of development, according to First Industrial.

"We are excited to embark on First Park 94 through which we can provide a key distribution home for companies targeting customers in Chicago, Wisconsin and other nearby markets," said David Harker, executive vice president for First Industrial. "First Park 94 is well-suited for e-commerce and other companies requiring an efficient distribution location and access to a skilled and diverse labor force to meet demand from a large population base."

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Metro Milwaukee home sales up 12 percent in July
August 12, 2015 10:52 AM
Home sales in the four county metro Milwaukee area were up 12.1 percent in July, according to the latest report from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

There were 2,199 homes sold in July versus 1,962 the same month in 2014. July was the sixth month of positive sales and fifth month of double digit sales, both consecutive, this year.

“The housing market is functioning very efficiently,” said GMAR president Mike Ruzicka. “Buyers are out in force and very active. Sellers are pricing their homes correctly, with many homes in ‘move in’ condition receiving multiple offers. Overall, the market appears to be balanced, with neither the buyer nor the seller dictating pricing.”

Each month in the first quarter saw double digit increases in listings, but since then only one month had an increase. June’s 3.1 percent increase in listings, while welcome, was anemic compared to what the market was consuming, Ruzicka said.

The seasonally adjusted inventory level (the time it would take to sell all of the homes on the market at a given time) for July was 7.4 months, down from June’s 7.7 month level. The seasonally adjusted level was 8.5 months in July 2014.

“Tight inventory – the theme of the 2015 market – is holding back some buyers, causing them to delay their purchase a few weeks until a home is listed that is to their liking,” Ruzicka said. “This presents an opportunity for sellers who are thinking about getting into the market this summer and into the fall.”

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August 12, 2015 09:59 AM

Boerke Company

Ritz Nails leased 2,477 square feet of space at W61 N291 Washington Ave., Cedarburg, from Block Enterprises LLC.


SimplexGrinnel renewed its lease of 18,000 square feet of space at N58 W14772 Shawn Circle, Menomonee Falls.

Michael Sperling law firm leased 4,421 square feet of space at 100 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, from Hub Properties Trust.

SourcePoint Staffing leased 4,036 square feet of space at 12745 W. Capitol Dr., Brookfield.

Judson & Associates

Oshino Lamp America leased 2,880 square feet of space at W227 N937 Westmound Dr., Pewaukee, from Nagawicka View Dairy Farm Inc.

RFP Commercial

R.E. Johnsen LLC leased 2,575 square feet of space at Lincoln Center III at 10150 W. National Ave., West Allis, from Somerset Properties.

William Stathas DDS leased 2,414 square feet of space at 2323 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, from Decade Properties.


R.R. Donnelley & Sons leased 3,411 square feet of office space in The Forum at 3333 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, from Forum Mayfair LLC.

Envoy Mortgage leased 2,172 square feet of office space in the Crossroads XIV building at 20300 Water Tower Blvd., Waukesha, from Janesville Associates LLP.

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August 12, 2015 10:42 AM

DTZ Barry

Luteran Homes of Oconomowoc recently purchased a 23,000-square-foot industrial building at 45 Capitol Dr., Oconomowoc, from King Family Trust.

NAI MLG Commercial

Mount Pleasant Commerce Center purchased 2.5 acres in Mt. Pleasant from MLG/Highway 20 Limited Partnership.

Durand CRE LLC purchased the property at 7115 Durand Ave., Mt. Pleasant, from Mt. Pleasant Commerce Center LLC.

Pachowitz Realty

Larry Popp purchased a 20-unit apartment building at 6237 S. 13th St., Milwaukee, for $905,000.

S. 13th Street LLC purchased a 24-unit apartment building at 4800 W. Greenfield Ave., West Milwaukee, for $735,000.

S. 26th Street LLC purchased a 16-unit apartment building at 3039 W. Ruskin Ct., Milwaukee, for $680,000.

S. 13th Street LLC purchased a restaurant and apartment building at 5810 W. Beloit Road, West Allis, for $450,000.

S. 26th Street LLC purchased a four-unit apartment building at 4771 S. 13th St., for $240,000.

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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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