Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Griffin buys Bergstrom's Milwaukee dealership property for $7.8 million
July 29, 2015 10:44 AM
A group affiliated with auto dealer Jim Griffin bought the Bergstrom Automotive Chevrolet dealership property at 11100 W. Metro Auto Mall on the far northwest side of Milwaukee for $7.8 million, according to state records.

The dealership was Neenah-based Bergstrom’s only location in the Milwaukee area.

Griffin also has a Ford dealership in Waukesha and a Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealership in Milwaukee.

The 11-acre Bergstrom Chevrolet dealership property on Metro Auto Mall has a 60,040-square-foot dealership building and a 1,300-square-foot car wash building, both constructed in 2004, according to city records. The property has an assessed value of $7.82 million, according to city records.

Also this week, Russ Darrow Group Inc. purchased a 10.6-acre site at 10851 W. Metro Auto Mall, across the street from the Bergstrom Chevrolet dealership property, for $750,000, according to state records.

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Community based office and retail development planned for National Ace Hardware building
July 29, 2015 10:34 AM
The owners of WiRED Properties and Phelan Development announced Tuesday that they plan to convert the National Ace Hardware property in Milwaukee into a “community based retail and office re-development.”

Hardware HQ LLC, a partnership formed by WiRED president Blair Williams and Phelan president Sean Phelan, recently purchased the National Acre Hardware store property at 1303 N. 4th St., just north of the Park East corridor downtown, for $2.5 million, according to state records.

The property consists of three buildings built between 1892 and 1910. Williams and Phelan plan to do a complete historic restoration of the buildings to create 40,000 to 50,000 square feet of office space and 10,000 to 20,000 square feet of retail space.

The development, which will be called Hardware Headquarters, will include a bar and restaurant on the first floor, traditional retail space and office space on the upper level floors. It will also include numerous shared amenities for the tenants, including a bier-garten gathering space, shared conference rooms, workout areas and a small theater.

“Our inspiration for the Hardware Headquarters is found in San Francisco and other markets where new work space environments are being created that are predicated on the creation of community within the building,” Phelan said. “The community brings creative companies from different industries under one roof, where they engage and collaborate with one another in a less formal way. The amenities are meant to engage those within Hardware HQ, as well as those outside the building. We are targeting local Milwaukee companies who share a vision for the city, creative energy, and a desire to be located in a building that provides more than just office space.”

“The over-arching ideal is to create a sense of community within the building,” Williams said. “We want to be able to provide space where individual companies’ productivity improves because their employees’ productivity improves because they like coming to work.”

The building is located just north of the mixed-use district that the owners of the Milwaukee Bucks plan to create around the proposed new arena.

“The arena district is an extremely high level amenity for our tenants,” Williams said.

Construction is expected to begin in late fall, with space to be available for tenants in the spring of 2016.

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Fulcrum to buy 250 Plaza office building downtown
July 29, 2015 11:01 AM
Chicago-based real estate investment firm Fulcrum Asset Advisors LLC has a contract to purchase the 20-story 250 Plaza office building in downtown Milwaukee, according to commercial real estate sources. The sale is expected to close this week, according to one source.

Located at 250 E. Wisconsin Ave., the 193,031-square-foot 250 Plaza building was constructed in 1973 and has struggled in recent years with a high amount of vacancy. The building’s current occupancy rate is just 31.6 percent, according to one source.

The building was acquired by Lone Star Funds in 2013 for $7.5 million, after the building had gone into receivership in 2009. Its current assessed value is about $7 million, according to city records.

Sources say the building needs significant renovations. But if improved, they say the new owner could take advantage of the building’s Wisconsin Avenue location and attached parking structure.

“It’s got everything going for it,” one source said. “It just needs a little TLC.”

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Ad-Tech Medical moving from Racine to Oak Creek
July 29, 2015 11:04 AM
Ad-Tech Medical Instrument Corp. is planning to move its 15,000-square-foot headquarters from Racine to a 35,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Oak Creek's Oakview Business Park.

The company anticipates moving into the new building, which will sit on approximately five acres, by spring 2017, according to chief operating officer Lisa Theama. She said the foundation is planned to be laid this year, but construction is slated to begin in spring 2016.

“We’re growing,” she said of the need to move. “We’ve grown out of our current facility. We manufacture electrodes for brain mapping and epilepsy surgery, and we’re one of three U.S. suppliers of these products. Business is doing well.”

Ad-Tech currently has approximately 100 employees and about 20 temporary employees. Theama said the company is continuing to hire lab personnel to manufacture the products, and it is currently looking to hire an international sales person who would work out of the new facility.

Groth Design Group out of Cedarburg and Rossi Construction from Racine are the contractors for the new building.

Ad-Tech has been located in its current facility at 1901 William Street in Racine for more than 30 years.

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City officials choose 10-story apartment development for downtown riverfront site
July 29, 2015 11:02 AM
Milwaukee Department of City Development officials have selected a 10-story apartment development proposed by Klein Development Inc. for a vacant site at 1027 N. Edison St. on the Milwaukee River downtown.

In March the city issued a request for proposals seeking development proposals for the vacant half-acre site on the east side of the river. The northern portion of the site has major communication lines underground and a sidewalk providing access to a pedestrian bridge. Therefore only the southern half of the site is considered easily develop-able.

In response to the RFP, Klein Development proposed a $15 million, 10-story building with 72 luxury apartments and 4,500 square feet of restaurant space on the ground floor. The project includes an extended Riverwalk and preserves access to the Highland Street pedestrian bridge. An urban greenspace would be on the north end of the site.

DCD’s selection of the project is subject to review and approval of the full Common Council.

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County Board panel approves sale of County City Campus to developer
July 29, 2015 10:55 AM
On Tuesday the Milwaukee County Board's Economic and Community Development Committee approved an agreement to sell the Milwaukee County City Campus, an outdated and vacant facility located on 27th and Wells St., for $272,000 to Wiegand Enterprises.

Wiegand Enterprises has agreed to purchase  and rehabilitate the property in partnership with the county. As part of the deal, the Near West Side Partners, Inc. and Milwaukee County will each contribute $800,000 to a matching grant program that will finance a variety of business development efforts, property improvements, and quality of life investments, all in or near the Avenues West neighborhood.

“Our partnership with Wiegand and the Near West Side Partners is a great example of the approach to economic development that Milwaukee County takes,” County Executive Chris Abele said. “By leveraging county funds and assets to catalyze local development, this deal creates a win for county taxpayers, local businesses, and the people of the Avenues West neighborhood.”

The agreement is subject to approval of the full County Board.

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ER Wagner considering move from Milwaukee to Menomonee Falls
July 29, 2015 11:06 AM
Milwaukee-based ER Wagner Manufacturing Co. Inc. is in the process of acquiring 32 acres of land in Menomonee Falls, according to president and chief executive officer Lew Schildkraut. The scheduled closing date is Aug. 20.
Still, he said the company has no specific plans or timelines for moving its operations. It could take a year to make the decision to move, and then another two years to build and move.

“It would be extremely unlikely that we would initiative a move this year. At the earliest it would be next year at some point,” Schildkraut said. “We made the decision to buy the land because there are very few sites available in spaces we like, so we decided it was in our best interest to buy the property to fit our needs.”

The property is located east of Highway 41/45 on Old Orchard Road.

The proposed building would consist of 135,000 square feet of manufacturing space, plus 22,000 square feet of office space. The property, however, allows for up to 45,000 square feet of additional manufacturing space.

ER Wagner would need 13 to 17 acres, but it bought about 32 acres, Schildkraut said. Fifteen acres of that are non-buildable wetlands, which he said adds a unique characteristic to the property.

Schildkraut said the company has been looking at the site for the last 18 to 24 months. He said it is attractive because it is near the Highway 41/45 corridor and it is centrally located for its employees. He said 40 percent of employees live in Milwaukee and 60 percent reside outside of Milwaukee from as far away as West Bend, Hustisford, and Illinois.

As the site is eight miles away from its current location, he said employees will not have to lose their jobs or relocate.

ER Wagner has been located in Milwaukee for 115 years, the duration of its existence, and Schildkraut emphasized the company would still be in the greater Milwaukee area if it moves.

Furthermore, Schildkraut said the potential move from 4611 N. 32nd St. has more to do with ER Wagner’s current facilities. The company occupies three adjacent buildings on the property that total 160,000 square feet, and they carry challenges like disintegrating floors due to their age.

ER Wagner is also in the process of negotiating benefits with the Village of Menomonee Falls, and a public hearing for it is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 3. In addition to the potential incentives from the village, Schildkraut said the site could be purchased at an attractive price because of the proceeds from the sale of the company’s caster and wheels facility in Hustisford and the Section 1031 Tax Deferred Like-Kind Exchanges for that property.

The Hustisford facility was sold and its operations were consolidated into ER Wagner’s Milwaukee site last fall. The company has 215 employees total, with 150 to 160 in the Milwaukee facility and the rest in Brookfield, Ill., at its continuous hinge product line facility.

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Silk Exotic again tries to open downtown strip club
July 29, 2015 11:00 AM
The owners of the Silk Exotic strip club in Milwaukee are again trying to open a strip club downtown.

Silk Exotic this week submitted applications to the city for tavern and restaurant licenses to open a location at 804 N. Milwaukee St. The four-story, 48,886-square-foot office building is located at the northeast corner of Milwaukee and Wells streets.

Silk Exotic, located at 11400 W. Silver Spring Road, has tried to open a strip club at several locations in recent years but has been unable to obtain city approval. In 2010, the Common Council rejected Silk Exotic strip club proposals at 730 N. Old World Third St. and at 117 W. Pittsburg Ave. in Walker’s Point. In 2013, Silk Exotic tried unsuccessfully to open approval for plans for a strip club in a city-owned parking structure at 4th Street and Highland Avenue, across the street from the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Last year the Common Council rejected two more Silk Exotic proposals in Walker’s Point at 505 S. 5th St. and 906 S. Barclay St.

Frustrated that they have been unable to gain approval for a location in or near downtown, the Silk Exotic owners sued the city and earlier this year a federal judge awarded the club a $435,000 judgement from the city saying previous ordinances governing the proposed downtown strip club were unconstitutional.

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Mixed-use development planned for former Parkland Mall site in Muskego
July 29, 2015 11:03 AM

Greenfield-based Ener-Con Companies Inc. is planning a $33 million, mixed-use development at the long-vacant former Parkland Mall site in Muskego.

The plans 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. The firm 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 has a contract to purchase the site from its current owner, Illinois-based Muskego Adventures Inc.

Ener-Con’s plans for the site include three retail buildings, a 30,000-square-foot building, a 14,000-square-foot building and a 10,000-square-foot building, along Janesville Road. The condo buildings would be four stories tall and would be located along Lannon Drive.

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Remodeling complete for Madam Belle’s tavern in Richfield
July 29, 2015 10:58 AM
Madam Belle’s tavern, located at W204 N14025 Fond Du Lac Ave. in Richfield has recently undergone an extensive remodeling.

The project was done to both update its amenities and embrace the establishment’s scandalous reputation that began at the turn of the 20th century. In the early 1900’s the current Madam Belle’s housed one of southeastern Wisconsin’s most infamous and lively brothels.

Madam Belle’s is part of Ride Entertainment Group’s family of restaurants. For months, owners Chaz Hastings and Jason Pipkorn have worked to assemble a large collection of historical photos, signage and imagery from the prohibition era. All of these updates will be highlighted this weekend as the venue hosts its first annual BBQ & Brew Festival on Saturday, Aug. 1.

“The past four years have been very hectic for us,” said Hastings. “We had the purchase, remodeling and opening three venues, Bier Stube, Old Town Inn and The Golden Anchor, virtually back to back. With that taking place, we know that Madam Belle’s didn’t get the attention and focus that we normally provide. This coming Saturday, we will unveil all the renovations and updates with a celebration featuring live music, car and bike show, samplings and fundraising for VA charities.”

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Real estate odds and ends
July 29, 2015 10:46 AM

Pleasant prairie spec industrial building
Centerpoint and Wispark joint venture plan to build a 204,387-square-foot speculative industrial building at the southwest corner of state Highway 165 and county Highway H in LakeView Corporate Park in Pleasant Prairie. The 12-acre site is currently vacant. No tenant has been identified.

Retail building at Highway 100 and Mayfair Road sold for $3.2 million
Manhattan Beach,Calif.-based Kawips Delaware Wauwatosa LLC recently purchased the 8,250-square-foot retail building at the northeast corner of Highway 100 and Mayfair Road in Wauwatosa for $3.2 million, according to state records. The building was sold by Angela Fugarino of Brookfield.
Tenants in the building include Qdoba, Peet’s Coffe & Tea, World of Beer and JoJo’s Martini Lounge. The building was constructed in 2004 on a one-acre site. The property has an assessed value of $2.15 million, according to Milwaukee County records.

Kenosha County gets $250,000 WEDC grant for YMCA building redevelopment
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has awarded a $250,000 grant to the Kenosha County to help fund the conversion of a historic YMCA building in downtown Kenosha into apartments. The Community Development Investment Grant will fill the remaining financial gap in the $12.3 million project to transform the landmark YMCA—which was built in 1929 and is now vacant—into a 46-unit apartment building in the heart of Kenosha’s Library Park Historic District. WEDC also has authorized up to $1.994 million in state historic tax credits for the project, a move that will leverage private investment to preserve the property’s historic materials and significance. In addition to the assistance from WEDC, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) is providing $5.1 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits for the project over the next 10 years. The redevelopment also is being supported by $300,000 in tax incremental financing from the City of Kenosha. Construction is expected to start this fall on the Residences at Library Park apartments. Developer David Nankin plans to renovate the building into 30 units of affordable housing and 16 units of market rate housing.

Dickey's BBQ to open Mt. Pleasant location
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, a quick-service authentic Texas barbecue restaurant, will be opening their eighth franchise location in the state of Wisconsin in the Village of Mount Pleasant. The new location in the Pleasant Pointe Commons which also features a Firehouse Subs, at 6012 Washington Avenue, is 2,000 square-feet and will offer the full Dickey’s menu and catering options. Nathan Powers, of  Milwaukee’s Cushman & Wakefield | The Boerke Company, represented the tenant in the lease transaction. Dickey's will join Firehouse Subs and Polished Nail Boutique, which plans on moving from their current space at 6800 Washington Avenue  and expand at Pleasant Pointe Commons. Dickey's plans on opening in January 2016, a few months after Polished Nail Boutique and Firehouse Subs open in early November 2015.

Container Store to open in September at Mayfair Mall
The Container Store this week announced that its grand opening at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12. 

Coffee Bean plans Water Street location
The Coffee Bean LLC this week submitted a restaurant license application with the city of Milwaukee for a location at 624 N. Water St.

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July 29, 2015 10:00 AM


DTJM Wisconsin, LLC leased 1,450 square feet of space at 3035 S. 108th St., West Allis, from Robert 100 LLC.

Americans for Prosperity Foundation leased 1,766 square feet of space at 10111 W. Capitol Dr., Wauwatosa, from S2 Real Estate Group.

Black Bear Bottling Group, LLC leased 25,620 square feet of space at 200 W. Vogel Ave., Milwaukee, from First Industrial, L.P.

ABM Onsite Services – Midwest, Inc. leased 3,734 square feet of space at 411 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, from FMC Investment Opportunities 411 East Wisconsin SPE LLC.

Mattress Firm, Inc. leased 4,008 square feet of space at 1310 Miller Park Way, West Milwaukee, from Motion Milwaukee, LLC.

Custom Cellular, Inc. leased 2,500 square feet of space at 1920 E. North Ave., Milwaukee, from HIS East Library Residential, LLC.

PH Hospitality Group, LLC leased 1,550 square feet of space at 10400 W. Silver Spring Dr., Milwaukee, from TCOMM LLC.

Dean Copoulos, D.D.S. leased 1,584 SF of space at 2600 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, from Mayfair Mall, LLC.

Colliers International|Wisconsin

Mr. Collin Hough leased 26,316 square feet of industrial space at 7323 N. 76th St., Milwaukee.

WOYC Inc. leased 3,662 square feet of flex space at 200 N Patrick Blvd. Brookfield.

Goes Studio leased 1,835 square feet of office space at 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee.

Total Nurses Network leased 974 square feet of office space at The Fairview at 10425 W. North Ave., Milwaukee.

NAI MLG Commercial

Discount leased 2,950 square feet and Ascend Technology Inc. leased 1,889 square feet of space at 250 Bishops Way, Brookfield, from Wisconsin Robinson Family Limited Partnership.

Creative CNC LLC leased 3,750 square feet of space at 712 Rose Dr., Hartland, from Crossroads Investments LLC.

Alternatives in Psychological Consultation leased 1,800 square feet of space at 5429 N. 118th Ct., Milwaukee, from Monterey Park Ltd. 

RFP Commercial

NCI Information Systems, Inc. leased 6,257 square feet at 150 N. Patrick Blvd. in Brookfield from 150 Patrick Boulevard LLC.

GS Systems, Inc. leased 9,827 square feet at 175 N. Patrick Blvd. in Brookfield from 175 Patrick Boulevard LLC.

Motor Dolly, Inc. leased 4,000 square feet at 1515 Ellis St. in Waukesha from Office Service Company, LLP.

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July 29, 2015 10:07 AM


CFT Developments, LLC purchased 4,472 SF of space at 1200 South Main Street, West Bend, from West Bend Real Estate Investment, LLC.

R2 830 Partners, LLC purchased 11,335 SF of space at 830 East Green Bay Avenue, Saukville, from Rage Development LLC.

Glendale TownHomes Inc. purchased 10,800 SF of space at 2310 Advance Road, Madison, from Donald E. Tranchita.

Inter-Med, Inc. purchased 29,924 SF of space at 2200 South Street, Racine, from Peter J. Mohrhauser 1998 Trust.

Judson & Associates

R&S Davis Investments LLC purchased 1,987 square feet of space at 675 N. Barker Road, Unit 15, Brookfield, from BMO Harris Bank.

NAI MLG Commercial

Feustel Enterprise Real Estate Holdings LLC purchased 5,275 square feet of space at 8680 N. 91st St., Milwaukee, from Raymond E. Scheffler 2008 Revocable Trust.

Azura LLC purchased 2.57 acres at 8870 Mayhew Dr., Oak Creek, from Mayhew Development LLC.

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New construction
July 29, 2015 10:52 AM

The Salvation Army is set to break ground on a new church and community center. A groundbreaking event will be held Wednesday at the project location, 2900 W. Coldspring Road, Greenfield. The new, 9,000-square-foot building will replace the existing church and community center at the same location. The facility will include a variety of features and amenities, including a chapel, offices, and a full-service kitchen. Construction is expected to be completed in February 2016, with demolition of the existing facility taking place soon after. Architectural planning and design and interior design services for the project were provided by Milwaukee-based Plunkett Raysich Architects, LLP.

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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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