Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Portillo's plans to open first Wisconsin restaurant in 2016
October 7, 2015 10:37 AM
Chicago-based Portillo's will open its first Wisconsin restaurant in 2016 as part of the Shoppes at The Corridor development on Bluemound Road, west of Calhoun Road, in Brookfield.

Portillo’s is an iconic Chicagoland restaurant known for its Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef. The company has more than 30 locations in the Chicago region.

The proposed Brookfield location will be approximately 9,000 square feet and have about 200 seats, said Nick Scarpino, director of marketing for Portillo’s. The restaurant will feature a modern take on a 1950’s diner, and incorporate elements of Bluemound Road’s history from that era.

Scarpino said the company has looked at multiple sites in Wisconsin, but Brookfield was the best fit.

“We see Wisconsin as a great opportunity for future restaurants,” Scarpino said. “If this one is successful, we see no reason why there couldn’t be more.”

Dave Arnold, executive vice president at Irgens, the firm constructing The Corridor, said the development is the perfect venue for Portillo’s.

Arnold thanked Dan Rosenfeld and Dan Cohen from Mid-America for their help in making the Shoppes at The Corridor Portillo’s newest home.

The Corridor is a 66 acre mixed-use development at the Ruby Farm site in Brookfield that will include office buildings, retail, health facilities and fitness centers. Pending approval from the Brookfield Plan Commission and City Council, Portillo's plans to open its restaurant in the second half of 2016.

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uBreakiFix opens third store in Milwaukee
October 7, 2015 11:11 AM
uBreakiFix, a tech repair store, opened a third Milwaukee location Oct. 1.

The store specializes in same-day repair services of small electronics, repairing cracked screens, water damage, software issues, camera issues and other technical problems.

Since its inception in 2009, the company has opened more than 130 stores. Each repair comes with a 90-day warranty.

This is the third uBreakiFix location for owner Rob Krecak, who plans to open six stores in the Milwaukee area. The newest store is located at 3654 S. 27th St., near the Point Loomis Shopping Center.  

"uBreakiFix is changing the way we look at technology," Krecak said in a written statement. "Our goal is to show people that a damaged device is not a lost cause. A broken device can still have a long and useful life. With our water damage repair process, we are able to recover important pictures and data for customers that would have otherwise been lost."

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R.A. Smith given permission by FAA to use unmanned aircraft system
October 7, 2015 11:16 AM
Brookfield-based R.A. Smith National has been granted an exemption by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allowing the company to use drones commercially.

The civil and structural engineering firm is one of only a few firms in Wisconsin to be granted this exemption, which is given to companies by the FAA on a case-by-case basis. It will allow R.A. Smith to operate commercially within the parameters and guidelines established by the FAA.

Moving forward, R.A. Smith National is talking to clients in both the public and private sectors to identify opportunities to use the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) on projects that are best suited to this technology.

According to the company, this exemption provides several advantages including enhanced data collection on a wide range of projects; ability to better map areas that may otherwise be difficult or unsafe to navigate; faster data delivery; and a more cost-effective means of collecting data versus traditional methods.

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ASI Doors expanding
October 7, 2015 11:17 AM
ASI Doors recently purchased a 32,715 square foot industrial building located at 9532 West Carmen Avenue, Milwaukee from a private investor. ASI Doors is a manufacturer of high-performance doors for pharmaceutical, commercial and security industries.

The company currently occupies a 50,000 square foot neighboring facility and plans to expand its business, said Kurt Van Dyke, of The Barry Company, who was the sole broker in the transaction.

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Northwestern Mutual confirms plans for 33-story mixed-use tower downtown
October 7, 2015 11:32 AM
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. confirmed a report from BizTimes Milwaukee earlier today, which said that the company plans to build a 33-story, mixed-use tower on the block bounded by North Van Buren, North Jackson, East Mason and East Wells streets.

BizTimes Milwaukee first reported the story Monday in the BizTimes Daily.

Northwestern Mutual says the $100 million development, adjacent to its downtown Milwaukee headquarters campus, will feature high-end residential apartments and retail space, while also addressing the company’s workforce parking needs.

View a photo gallery of the development renderings here.

“Northwestern Mutual believes more strongly than ever in Milwaukee and the vibrancy of our city,” said Tom Zale, vice president and head of Northwestern Mutual Real Estate, the company’s real estate arm and one of the largest such investors in the nation. “That’s why we’re creating a destination for future residents looking to live, work and play in the heart of an exciting city while providing convenient parking for our growing employee base.”

Features of the new building will include:
  • A 25-story residential high-rise with a total of 308 high-end apartment units and 16 penthouse units with extensive views of Lake Michigan and downtown. The building will have one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units.
  • A plaza at the corner of Mason and Van Buren that will invite activity from adjacent tenants and the community. Ground-floor retail space along Jackson, Mason and Van Buren streets.
  • An 8-story parking garage with 1,100 parking stalls below the 25 residential stories. Northwestern Mutual will make some spaces available for employees, with the remainder open to the public at market rates. The parking structure will feature dedicated space for bicycles and motorcycles, and charging stations for electric cars may also be included.
  • A glass exterior, a 9th floor rooftop swimming pool, an outdoor fire pit, an indoor golf simulator, and a large fitness center.  Additional underground parking stalls will be available exclusively for tenants.
“Milwaukee is experiencing a renaissance, and we’re proud to be one of a growing number of projects that are a magnet to draw even more talent and businesses to the city,” said Zale. “Our new building will also provide positive economic impact and contribute to the city’s tax base.”

Zale said that the development is also an important addition to Northwestern Mutual’s diverse investment portfolio that produces significant benefits to the company’s millions of clients.

Solomon Cordwell Buenz is designing the project with structural engineer Magnusson Klemencic Associates. Northwestern Mutual is working with development manager Hines to select additional professional services and contractors.

Demolition of buildings currently on the site will begin in January with construction starting in March. The building will be designed with environmental sustainability in mind, and the company expects the project to be completed and occupied by spring 2018.

The site for the 33-story, mixed-use building is located just northwest of where Northwestern Mutual is building the $450 million, 32-story, 1.1 million-square-foot Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons office building on its headquarters campus. That project is expected to be complete in 2017.

The company plans to add 1,900 employees to its downtown campus by 2030 and needs additional parking spaces as it expands employment there.

The company made an offer to purchase and improve the nearby O'Donnell Park parking structure from Milwaukee County to provide parking for its employees. But in December 2014 the County Board rejected the proposed sale of the O'Donnell Park parking structure to the company.

Northwestern Mutual then immediately announced that it planned to build a mixed use real estate development that would include 1,000 parking spaces, residences and retail space. The company said it would build the structure on one of two sites that it owns, including the site northwest of Mason and Van Buren.

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Caterpillar to close its Oak Creek corporate office complex, move jobs to South Milwaukee
October 7, 2015 11:30 AM
Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Inc. announced to its employees Monday that it plans to close its Oak Creek corporate office complex at 6744 S. Howell Ave. and move the 250 jobs there to South Milwaukee in the first half of 2016.

South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks posted the information on his blog Tuesday afternoon, and Caterpillar confirmed the move with BizTimes Milwaukee.

Caterpillar said the closure is part of its overall cost reduction actions, and it will sell the facility. The company expects to complete the shift by the third quarter of 2016. There will be no layoffs associated with the move.

The positions that will be relocating include salaried professionals who work in finance, human resources, legal and marketing. Many of those jobs were previously based in South Milwaukee at 1100 Milwaukee Ave., a Caterpillar facility that was formerly the headquarters of Bucyrus International Inc.

Brooks said it's hard to call this good news, because it will be a loss for Oak Creek, but it will strengthen Caterpillar's presence in South Milwaukee and should help businesses in that community.

“The move is not a surprise, given Cat's announcement last month of up to 10,000 global job cuts and other consolidations coming in light of a continuing slumping mining industry,” Brooks wrote in his blog.

Bucyrus International Inc. purchased the two-building, 120,833-square-foot former Midwest Airlines corporate headquarters office complex at 6744 S. Howell Ave. in Oak Creek for $9 million in June 2010.

Then Caterpillar acquired Bucyrus for $8.6 billion in November 2010 and moved the headquarters of its global mining division to the Oak Creek campus.

Caterpillar announced on Sept. 24 that it plans to cut 4,000 to 5,000 jobs between now and the end of 2016, with most of the cuts occurring this year. In total, the company plans to reduce its workforce by more than 10,000 through 2018 as part of a move to reduce annual costs by about $1.5 billion.

The company did not specify how many Milwaukee-area employees would be impacted.

As of the end of the second quarter, Caterpillar had 800 production and office employees in South Milwaukee and 1,300 total employees in Wisconsin. The global manufacturer has 111,247 employees globally.

“A company spokesman tells me that the South Milwaukee plant — now in the company's Surface Mining and Technology group — will be focusing on rope shovels and draglines going forward,” Brooks wrote. “Caterpillar continues to plan investments in the facility in the next three years to meet eventual demand.”

Oak Creek Mayor Stephen Scaffidi said Caterpillar officials contacted him late Monday afternoon with the news.

“I was surprised – obviously I’ve been paying close attention to what is going on with the mining business, but considering this is a newer location for them and an upgraded facility; I’m disappointed,” Scaffidi said.

The Oak Creek building consists of 120,833 square feet of office space in two buildings and 761 parking spaces on a 27-acre site.

Scaffidi said the site’s proximity to the freeway and the airport – as well as all of the recent development in Oak Creek, including the Drexel Town Square project at Drexel and Howell avenues, will make it an attractive property to a potential buyer.

“I’m sure Caterpillar will aggressively sell it and we’ll do whatever we can to assist,” Scaffidi said.  

When contacted by phone, Brooks said a lot remains to be seen regarding Caterpillar’s commitment to South Milwaukee, but he remains optimistic.

“It’s never a bad thing to have jobs move back in,” Brooks said. “I’m hopeful for a turnaround in the mining industry overall and for stronger days for Caterpillar for South Milwaukee and worldwide.”

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October 7, 2015 11:20 AM


Aquent LLC leased 2,000 square feet of space at 735 North Water St., Milwaukee from Compass Properties North Water Street, LLC.

WAC Management, Inc. leased 30,985 square feet of space at 411 East Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, from FMC Investment Opportunities 411 East Wisconsin SPE LLC.

Oxford Global Resources, LLC leased 2,442 square feet of space at 330 East Kilbourn Avenue, Milwaukee, from Plaza East, Inc.

Stone Ridge Law Office, LLC leased 2,139 square feet of space at N14 W23777 Stone Ridge Drive, Waukesha, from Stone Ridge II, LLC.

LeafFilter North, Inc. leased 4,800 square feet of space at 1020 James Drive, Hartland, from St. John Properties, Inc.

Sensient Technologies Corporation leased 22,100 square feet of space at 777 East Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, from U.S. Bank National Association.

Royal Box Group, LLC leased 44,000 square feet of space at 6551 West Mill Road, Milwaukee, from T. Ryan II, LLC.

Advanced Mobile, Inc. leased 1,600 square feet of space at 3454 52nd Street, Kenosha, from RB Resolution Properties, LLC.

7Summits, LLC leased 18,313 square feet of space at 1110 Old World Third Street, Milwaukee, from RFP Office LLC.

Acelero Learning Wisconsin, Inc. leased 11,320 square feet of space at 5805 South Packard Avenue, Cudahy, from GAR Cudahy LP.

Colliers International|Wisconsin

Reputation Partners has leased 2,024 square feet of office space at 322 E. Michigan St., Milwaukee.

Judson & Associates

Alan Douglas LLC and Doug Schwartz are leasing 2,487 square feet from Jim Rugg at 21500 W. Greenfield Ave. in New Berlin.

Mid-America Real Estate
rue 21 leased 6,600 square feet at Timmerman Plaza, 10442 W. Silver spring Drive, Milwaukee.

Massage Green leased 1690 square feet at Brownstones Shopping Center, 17440 W. Bluemound Road, Brookfield.

Chipotle leased 2172 square feet at Rivercrest Centre, W176  N9360 Rivercrest Drive, Menomonee Falls.

Papa Murphy's Pizza leased 1155 square feet at Village Square of Delafield, 3001 Village Square Drive, Delafield. 

Jamba Juice leased 1068 square feet at East Pointe Marketplace, 544 East Ogden Ave., #300A, Milwaukee.

Pure Barre leased 1752 SF at Autumn Grove Plaza, 12750 - 12950 W. Bluemound Road, Elm Grove.

Dermatology Associates leased 2816 square feet at Market Place at Pabst Farms, 1370 Pabst Farms Circle, Oconomowoc. 

Starbucks leased 1800 SF at 15550 W. National Ave., New Berlin.

Starbucks leased 1752 square feet at 15500 W. Greeenfield Ave., Brookfield.

Planet Fitness leased 14215 square feet at Oconomowoc Plaza, 1408 - 1450 Summit Avenue, Oconomowoc. 

NAI MLG Commercial

Familia Dental has leased 2,497 square feet at 142 E. Capitol Dr., in Milwaukee from Pieper Properties.

Ohio Farmers Insurance Company has leased 3,505 square feet located at N17 W24222 Riverwood Dr., in Pewaukee from Riverwood CW, LLC.

Netech Corporation has leased 3,973 square feet located at N17 W24222 Riverwood Dr., in Pewaukee from Riverwood CW, LLC. Tim Janusz and Rachel Schmidt handled the transaction.
Standex International has leased 77,029 square feet located at 16100 W. Beloit Rd., in New Berlin, Wisconsin from JLML Ventures, LLC.

Wildkarde Tagtical LLC has leased 1,600 square feet located at 5317 W. Burnham St., in West Milwaukee from Samuel Check Trust.

Henry J. Plum Law Office has leased 1,413 square feet located at 2665 S. Moorland Rd., in New Berlin from Park Crest Associates, LLC.

StoneCraft Studios, LLC has leased 13,940 square feet located at 2152 S. 114th St., in West Allis, from Becher Associates, LLC.

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October 7, 2015 11:26 AM

The Boerke Company

The Green Acres Nursery, 20203 W. Lawnsdale Drive in New Berlin was sold to John Spitz. The property is on 2.5 acres of land.


Hotel Madrid Restaurant purchased 5,084 square feet of space at 600-604 South 6th St., Milwaukee, from Gloria and Pedro Castillo.

Colliers International|Wisconsin

Sisko LLC has purchased a building at 4640 Ironwood Drive in Franklin for $2 million.

Judson & Associates

Jayme and Wendy Lippe purchased a 6,760 square foot building at 11016 W. Becher St., West Allis from the Claudia Deed Trust.  

PKC Properties, LLC purchased a 36,000 square foot building at 2450 S. 170th St. in New Berlin from WMI Milwaukee, LLC.

NAI MLG Commercial

Summit Packaging Systems Inc. has sold 48,400 square feet located at 1801 William St., in Racine, Wisconsin to 1711 South Street LLC.

Stonehammer LLC has sold 14,264 square feet located at 9770 S. 54th St., in Franklin to Bashir Ahmad.

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Andrew Weiland This exclusive news bulletin is compiled by BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Andrew Weiland. This bulletin is published every Wednesday morning. Send real estate news tips to or call him at (414) 336-7120.

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