Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Investors group to reopen Root River Center
March 18, 2015 10:08 AM
A group of local investors plan to reopen the Root River Center in Franklin.

The 23,331-square-foot building, located at 7220 W. Rawson Ave., has a 16-lane bowling alley, a 250-seat banquet hall, a bar and eight outdoor sand volleyball courts.

Root River Center was owned and operated by St. Nikolas Association Inc., which operates the St. Nikolas Serbian Orthodox Church in Cudahy. Root River Center closed in 2013 and the property was taken back last year by Landmark Credit Union.

A representative of the local investment group, who declined to be named, said the group will buy the property from Landmark Credit Union and plans to make $500,000 to $750,000 in improvements to the interior of the building, which was constructed in 1980. The 3,000-square-foot bar area will be remodeled into a sports bar and grill capable of operating independently from the rest of the Root River Center operation.

Additional improvements to the exterior of the building are planned for next year.

The local investors group plans to reopen Root River Center in June.

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Costco buys site for Menomonee Falls store
March 18, 2015 10:49 AM
Cobalt Partners today announced that it has sold an anchor parcel, totaling about 15 acres, within its mixed-use White Stone Station development in Menomonee Falls to Costco Wholesale Corp.

The sale price was not announced. Construction of a Costco store on the site is expected to begin in June.
White Stone Station is a retail and mixed-use project that Cobalt Partners is developing within the 65-acre former industrial area west of the interchange of US 41/45 and Pilgrim Road in Menomonee Falls.

The retail portion of the project will feature several other retailers and restaurants to be announced in the next 30 days, according to Scott Yaulk, president and CEO of Cobalt Partners.

The project will also include 320 market-rate apartments that will be developed by Milwaukee-based Fiduciary Real Estate Development.

Road and utility infrastructure is currently being installed at the site.

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Chick-fil-A approved for Drexel Town Square
March 18, 2015 10:13 AM
The Oak Creek Common Council unanimously approved plans for a Chick-fil-A restaurant at the Drexel Town Square development.

The proposal will now be sent back to the city's Plan Commission for review of the final details of the project, Mayor Steve Scaffidi said.

"The Common Council said pretty clearly that they support the use there," Scaffidi said.

Drexel Town Square is the 86-acre mixed-use development, led by Wispark LLC, that is under construction southwest of Drexel and Howell avenues.

The 4,876-square-foot Chick-fil-A restaurant will be built at 150 W. Town Square Way, just west of the Water Street Brewery that is under construction.

The Oak Creek Plan Commission rejected the Chick-fil-A proposal because some members of the commission objected to having a fast food restaurant with a drive-through window in Drexel Town Square. They wanted to see more upscale restaurants.

However, several residents expressed support for Chick-fil-A and supporters of the proposal said it would help attract people to Drexel Town Square, which is intended to create a vibrant mixed use downtown for Oak Creek.

"(Aldermen) heard from their constituents overwhelmingly that they want this," Scaffidi said. "There were some concerns that it would be too popular. But that's what we want at Drexel Town Square. We want to create buzz and get people out to the site."

The Drexel Town Square development will also have a big box Meijer store, a Four Points by Sheraton hotel, a Froedtert medical center, a new City Hall and library building, a town square, a mixed-use Main Street and luxury apartments.

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Groundbreaking set for spec industrial building in Sturtevant
March 18, 2015 10:03 AM
A groundbreaking ceremony will be held on April 29 to celebrate the start of construction of a 376,000-square-foot speculative industrial building in Sturtevant.

The building will be the first of four built in the Enterprise Business Park, which is being developed by New York-based Ashley Capital on a site northwest of Durand Avenue (Highway11) and County Highway H, on the north side of the Canadian Pacific Railroad tracks.

When fully developed, the business park is expected to have a total of about 1.3 million square feet of industrial space.

The space in the business park is being marketed by Lee & Associates and Terry McMahon of Milwaukee-based The Boerke Company.

The development is the latest addition to the growing industrial real estate market in the I-94 corridor between Milwaukee and Chicago. In the fourth quarter of 2014 Racine County had an industrial space vacancy rate of 4.1 percent and absorbed 91,610 square feet of industrial space during the quarter and about 1 million square feet of industrial space during all of 2014, according to Xceligent data.

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South Milwaukee sets focus on downtown redevelopment
March 18, 2015 10:17 AM
The City of South Milwaukee is taking major steps toward the redevelopment of its downtown.

Mayor Erik Brooks announced the formation of a Downtown Advisory Committee of business, property owners and residents to provide guidance to the South Milwaukee City Council and Plan Commission on downtown redevelopment.

The members of the committee will include:
  • Jay Benkowski - Owner of Benkowski Properties, which owns and manages a number of downtown and area residential properties. He is based out of the downtown South Milwaukee Depot.
  • Brett Breisemeister - Owner of Breismeister Realty & Appraisal and member of the Plan Commission.
  • Kristin Drenzek - Owner of Drenzek Chiropractic.
  • Natalie Gajewski - Owner of The Revolution Hair Studio, Natalie is serving as one of the resident members of the committee.
  • Chris Haslam - South Milwaukee resident and Caterpillar employee with education in civil and structural engineering.
  • Timothy King - South Milwaukee resident with significant experience in real estate development and community revitalization as a developer, builder, operator, consultant, advisor and executive.
  • Nicole Maxey - Owner of MKE City Sippers.
  • Donn Powers - Owner of Donn Powers Jeweler.
  • Rachel Sorce - South Milwaukee resident and executive director of the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center.
  • The non-voting city council liaison on the commission will be Ald. Frank Van Dusen III.
“They are working on establishing a firm mission, vision and strategy for the committee and beginning to work on tackling the key issues facing our city center. It's a formalized voice we've lacked in this debate for a long time,” Brooks said. ”We're moving ahead on our comprehensive plan and downtown plan updates. At its meeting two weeks ago, the city council formally directed our city engineer to prepare and put out a request for proposals to planning firms. Proposals will be due by April 9, and we're asking that the plans be substantially complete by the end of the year.”

The city also has hired Robin Grams as its new economic development coordinator. Grams has a master’s degree in public administration (emphasis on urban planning and management) from Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis, where he also worked as a planning intern for the City of Indianapolis.

“All of these efforts - the formation of the downtown committee, development of the plan and hiring of dedicated economic development support - are key building blocks we need for South Milwaukee's future,” Brooks said.

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Taco Bell and Kwik Trip planned in Sussex
March 18, 2015 10:42 AM
A commercial real estate development planned for a 8.9-acre site southeast of Highway 164 and Main Street in Sussex would bring a Taco Bell restaurant and a Kwik Trip convenience store to the village.

The developer for the project is Roger Duchow. The site is currently occupied by a vacant building that was formerly occupied by Marchese’s Danceland, which closed about 10 years ago.

The development plans for the site include a 5,600-square-foot Kwik Trip building and a 2,000-square-foot Taco Bell building and a 4,000-square-foot building that is being targeted for a yet to be announced bank. About four acres of the site will be set aside for a building to be developed in the future.

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$40 million apartment development planned in Bay View
March 18, 2015 10:56 AM
A 307-unit, $40 million apartment complex development is planned for an industrial building site at 2151 and 2181 S. Robinson Ave. in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood.

The developer for the project will be a joint venture of Milwaukee-based WiRED Properties and Indianapolis-based Milhaus Development.

"They are an absolutely terrific mixed-use and urban multi-family developer," WiRED Properties owner Blair Williams said of Milhaus. "They look for sites like this Bay View site, underutilized urban sites. These guys are really talented. They have a remarkable financial capacity."

The property is currently owned by Steve Lindner. It is a 6.3-acre site, a block west of Kinnickinnic Avenue, with three to four attached industrial buildings with a total of 105,000 square feet of space. Sweet Water Organics formerly occupied a 40,000-square-foot space, that is currently vacant. Finnco Fabricating LLC occupies at 35,000-square-foot space. There are some additional smaller tenants in the building. Sweet Water Organics was an aquaponics urban farm business that raised fish and grew produce. It received a $250,000 city loan but went out of business in 2013.

Some components of the existing buildings on the site could be integrated into the new development, Williams said.

The property is under contract to be sold. Colin Hough of Anderson Commercial is brokering the property sale for Lindner.

The development will have four buildings and an internal grid of private streets. The apartments will be market rate luxury units, Williams said. The project will also have about 2,000 square feet of retail/commercial space.

At a recent neighborhood meeting on the project, Ald. Tony Zielinski expressed support.

"The businesses on (Kinnickinnic Avenue) that I've talked to are salivating about this development," he said. "Projects like this are going to continue to turn this area around."

The project will be the latest of several recent developments in the Bay View neighborhood.  Other projects include a proposed five-story 72-unit apartment building development planned by Dermond Property Investments at 2202 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

At the neighborhood meeting on the WiRED/Milhaus project, some residents expressed concern about the size of the development saying they worried that the added density and traffic would hurt the neighborhood.

But others said the additional population would boost retail businesses in the neighborhood and make the area safer with better lighting and more eyes on the street.

The developers said they are drawn to the positive qualities that Bay View already has, including numerous bars and restaurants.

"I'm very bullish on Bay View," Williams said. "Bay View is only going to get more attractive in the future."

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Former Pabst bottling building sold for $2.25 million
March 18, 2015 10:43 AM
The bottling building at the former Pabst brewery complex in downtown Milwaukee was sold for $2.25 million to a developer that will transform it into a multi-purpose educational facility.

The three-story, 237,000-square-foot facility is located at 1128 N. 10th St., along the north side of West Highland Avenue between North 9th and 10th streets. It was built in 1889 and has an assessed value of about $2 million, according to city records.

Blue Ribbon Management LLC recently purchased the building from The Brewery Project LLC, the entity formed by Zilber Ltd. founder Joseph Zilber to redevelop the former brewery complex into a mixed-use neighborhood.

Construction workers have been working for months on Blue Ribbon Management’s project to redevelop the former Pabst bottling building into a multi-purpose educational facility with housing for college students, hotel space, classrooms, an exercise facility and a food court. The facility will work with area colleges and universities to attract students.

The project is expected to be complete in the the summer of 2016.

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Metro Milwaukee home sales flat in February
March 18, 2015 10:46 AM
The number of homes sold in the four county metro Milwaukee area increased only 0.2 percent in February to 865, up from 863 in February of 2014, according to the latest report from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

However, in Waukesha County home sales were up 16.7 percent in February to 245, compared to 210 in February of 2014.

February home sales were down 4.0 percent in Milwaukee County to 498 and in Washington County home sales for the month were down 15.1 percent to 73.

Home sales in Ozaukee County were up 2.1 percent to 49 for the month.

“February sales are the result of negotiations and contracts signed around the holidays,” said GMAR president Mike Ruzicka. “The fact that the market as a whole was up in February, dramatically in Waukesha County, points to strong footing for the market. Buyers had confidence to purchase in the market during the slowest, coldest months of the year, which portends well as we move into the spring market.”

The number of homes listed for sale in the area was up 8.7 percent in February, but the inventory of homes of sale in the area is tight, according to GMAR. The metro area’s seasonally adjusted inventory level (the time it would take to sell all of the homes on the market at a given time) for February was 6.4 months.

“With the inventory level tight by all measures, the market is in need of more homes for sale to meet current demand,” Ruzicka said. “The increased listings we saw in February will certainly help as those listings become sales in March and April. However, available homes are still below the point brokers would like to see them in order to satisfy buyer demand.”

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March 18, 2015 10:22 AM


Allium IT LLC leased 2,800 square feet of space at 675 N. Barker Road, Brookfield.

Grunau Company expanded its space by 2,067 square feet at 731 N. Jackson St., Milwaukee.

DTZ Barry

Milwaukee Pretzel LLC leased 3,155 square feet of industrial space at 3950 N. Holton St., Milwaukee, from 525 Properties Limited Partnership.

Judson & Associates

Waukesha Window Cleaning leased 2,400 square feet of space and Sew What Supplies INc. leased 2,400 square feet of space at 404 Travis Lane, Waukesha, from Waucom Center LLC.

Republican Party of Wisconsin leased 1,500 square feet of space at 500 W. Brown Deer Road, Bayside, from 500 Brown Deer LLC.

NAI MLG Commercial

Country Financial leased 967 square feet of space at 3970 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood, from Wisconsin Robinson Family Limited Partnership.

Avada Audiology & Hearing Care leased 539 square feet of space at 813 Fox Lane, Waterford, from Main Street Waterford LLC.

RFP Commercial

Hexagon Metrology Inc. leased 3,166 square feet of space at Crossroads Corporate Center I, 20900 Swenson Dr., Waukesha.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin leased 1,500 square feet of space at 500 W. Brown Deer Road, Bayside.


Esch Construction Supply Inc. leased 3,202 square feet of space in the Westbrook Business Center at 2325 Parklawn Dr., Waukesha, from Westbrook Enterprises.

AIT Worldwide Logistics leased 2,700 square feet of space in the Oak Creek Technology Center at 9819 S. 13th St., Oak Creek, from St. John Properties Inc.

The Spark Group LLC leased 250 square feet of office space at 1150 Washington St., Grafton, from Washington-Sixty LLC.

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Real estate people
March 18, 2015 10:48 AM

Milwaukee-based Fiduciary Real Estate Development Inc. recently promoted Kathy Nettesheim to executive vice president of property management. Nettesheim has worked for the company for more than 20 years and has more than 25 years of property management experience total.

CBRE Group Inc. has added Alyssa Geisler as an associate in its office brokerage group. Geisler will work in the Milwaukee office and will focus on tenant and landlord representation assignments, lease negotiations and new business development. She previously worked as an office brokerage professional for CRESA Milwaukee.

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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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