Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Barrett says city could be “partner” on arena project
January 28, 2015 11:03 AM
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said he supports Gov. Scott Walker's $220 million state funding proposal to help build a new arena in downtown Milwaukee and said the city could “partner” with the Milwaukee Bucks on the project.

For the arena project the state would borrow $220 million, which would be paid for with future growth of the income taxes paid by NBA players to the state, under a plan unveiled Tuesday by Walker. NBA players currently pay about $6.5 million a year to the state in income taxes. That amount of tax revenue would continue to be used for the state’s general budget purposes, but future growth in tax revenue from NBA players above and beyond $6.5 million would be used to pay for the arena borrowing.

“We’re going to help the Milwaukee Bucks pay their own way to a new arena,” Walker said.

“(Tuesday) we took a step forward in funding a new arena for the Bucks,” Barrett said on Twitter. “Allowing the players to pay their own way is a win-win for all involved.”

The NBA says a new arena is needed for the Bucks to stay in Milwaukee beyond 2017. The new owners of the Bucks, and former owner Herb Kohl, have pledged about $250 million toward the project.

Barrett said he appreciates Walker’s funding proposal for the arena.

“The announcement…by the governor was clearly a significant step forward in meeting the goal of many people of creating a new home not only for the Milwaukee Bucks, but for a new entertainment center for southeastern Wisconsin,” Barrett said. “I appreciate the governor’s actions on this. As I listen to what he said, it was clear to me he was making the case to the entire state and the entire state Legislature as to why this was good the state. I agree with his analysis.”

The state Legislature will review Walker’s arena funding plan, which will be part of his budget proposal. Some legislators may want the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County to contribute to the arena project.

“It’s important to note that in order for the state to be a partner in this endeavor, we would expect the city and county to be part of the equation as well,” said state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester).

Barrett said the city is open to being a partner in the project.

“I’ve already had conversations with the Bucks’ ownership team,” Barrett said. “I anticipate we will have more conversations with them on how the city will partner as well. I anticipate the city will be a partner…we want to make sure this happens.”

The city invested $35 million in infrastructure  improvements when the Bradley Center was built in 1988, Barrett said.

“A lot of those costs are still there,” he said.

The Bucks have not announced where they want to build the arena, though many expect they will choose a site north of the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The site selection will impact what role the city and county will play in the project, Barrett said.

“I have met with the Bucks’ ownership many times and they are trying to work through a lot of the issues on their end,” he said. “The foremost issue being the site. What the city does or what the county does will be dependent in large part on the site. If there is one site there may be some things we do and if there is a different site there will be other things we do. That is a conversation we are anxious to have with the Bucks’ ownership because we want this to move forward and we want to make sure this gets built.”

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Lawmakers ask Walker to reconsider rejection of Kenosha casino
January 28, 2015 10:58 AM
A group of 10 state lawmakers, most from the Kenosha and Racine area, sent a letter to Gov. Scott Walker today asking him to reconsider his decision to reject the proposed Hard Rock Hotel & Casino project in Kenosha.

“As you know, we are greatly disappointed in your announced decision to deny the Hard Rock Casino application in Kenosha County,” the letter to Walker says. “To be frank, the vast majority of our constituents are more than disappointed in your action. We urge you to take the full time allowable before Feb. 19, 2015 to give this fluid and rapidly changing situation your full consideration.”

The letter is signed by Sen. Van Wanggaard ( R-Racine), Assembly Speaker Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester), Sen. Bob Wirch (D-Somers), Rep. Samantha Kerkman (R-Salem), Rep. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), Rep. Tod Ohnstad (D-Kenosha), Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine), Rep. Dave Craig (R-Town of Vernon), Rep. Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz) and Rep. Tom Weatherston (R-Caledonia).

The Menominee Indian Tribe intended to partner with Hard Rock International and its parent company, The Seminole Tribe of Florida, to develop the $800 million Hard Rock Hotel and Casino project at the former site of Dairyland Greyhound Park. The proposed project included a 100,000-square-foot gaming floor with 3,100 slot machines, 75 table games, a 5,000-seat multi-purpose entertainment venue, 50,000 square feet of retail space, restaurants and a 400-room hotel.

But the project was rejected last week by Walker, who said that gaming compacts negotiated by former Gov. Jim Doyle with other tribes, including the Forest County Potawatomi, put the state at risk of losing “hundreds of millions of dollars” long term if a casino is approved in Kenosha.

“After a comprehensive review of the potential economic impact of the proposed Kenosha casino project, the risk to the state’s taxpayers is too great,” Walker said.

The Menominee and its partners had agreed to post a bond to protect state taxpayers if the state was required to reimburse the Potawatomi for lost revenue from the Kenosha casino.
The Potawatomi filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior on the grounds that the Bureau of Indian Affairs exceeded its legal authority in denying the tribe’s proposed gaming compact amendment with the state of Wisconsin. Earlier this month the BIA rejected a proposed amendment to the tribe’s gaming compact that would have required the state to reimburse the tribe for any losses incurred at its Milwaukee casino if a competing casino is opened in Kenosha.

In their letter to Walker today, the lawmakers said “it is extremely unlikely that the Potawatomi will be successful in its lawsuit against the Bureau of Indian Affairs.”

“Fear of litigation, or the risk of losing litigation, should not be a factor in your decision,” the legislators’ letter to Walker says. “The Hard Rock Casino is in the best interests of the state, given the economic magnitude of the project it is also worth the court battle.”

“This is an opportunity for an $800 million investment in our state, thousands of jobs, millions of tourists and a billion dollars to the state treasury over the coming years. The 9,000 Menominee tribal members and thousands looking for work in southeastern Wisconsin are depending on this development to lift them out of poverty. The benefits are too great, the opportunity is too extraordinary, for you to not give this a second look.”

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Global Water Center space filling up
January 28, 2015 11:02 AM
The Global Water Center, the 98,000-square-foot facility created in a seven-story former warehouse building in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood, is running out of available space.

The building, located at 223 W. Pittsburgh Ave., provides office space, laboratories and other facilities for businesses, universities and start-up firms involved in water technology.

The $22 million project to create the Global Water Center was completed in 2013. Less than two years later, space in the building is filling up.

“It’s getting tighter,” said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council.
Marquette University will occupy most of the space on the sixth floor of the building, Amhaus said. Another tenant, whom he declined to name, will occupy the remaining space on the floor.

The Water Council has also added more space in the building adding about 400 square feet of space on the fifth floor, Amhaus said.

“We are sort of squeezing people in here and there,” he said.

There is 1,000 square feet of space available on the fourth floor. Amhaus said a potential tenant, that he declined to name, is considering the space.

Three suites are available on the fifth floor and potential tenants are considering two of those suites, Amhaus said.

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Katz Properties buys East Side apartment tower for $9.65 million
January 28, 2015 11:15 AM
An affiliate of Bayside-based Katz Properties Inc. recently purchased The Lodgewoods Apartments tower on the East Side of Milwaukee for $9.65 million, according to state records.

The 15-story, 76-unit building was constructed in 1954. It is located at 1121-25 N. Waverly Place, at the southwest corner of Waverly and East Juneau Avenue.

The building was sold by Mequon-based Lodgewood Apartments LP.

The building sold for well above its assessed value of $5.1 million, according to city records.

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Irgens seeks $7.6 million in TIF for The Corridor
January 28, 2015 11:16 AM
Milwaukee-based real estate development firm Irgens is seeking nearly $7.6 million in tax incremental financing for The Corridor, the mixed-use project that the firm plans to develop at the Ruby Farm site in Brookfield.

The TIF funds will be used for roads, utility infrastructure, preservation of the Ruby House and Ruby Barn and a recreation trail, according to a report from the city.

The Corridor is planned for a 65-acre site between Bluemound Road, Calhoun Road, I-94 and Brookfield Lakes Corporate Center.

Irgens plans to develop the site with 500,000 square feet of office space, 135,900 square feet of retail space, 183,000 square feet of mixed use space. A hotel, possibly with a conference center, is also planned for project. The total amount of building space planned for the project is 823,000 square feet.

The value of the development planned in the entire project is estimated at $49.3 million by the city.

The northern portion of the site, near Bluemound Road, will have mid-box and outlot retail buildings. The central portion of the site will be mixed use with retail space, medical offices, wellness and fitness centers, and would be the site for the hotel and conference center.

The southern portion of the site is planned for office buildings, which could include multi-tenant buildings or corporate headquarters buildings.

“Irgens looks forward to moving into the next phase of The Corridor mixed-use development project and continuing to work with project stakeholders to make this a great and successful project,” said Mark Irgens, CEO and manager of Irgens. “There still is much work to do in making this a reality and getting the TIF entitlement process successfully completed is important to the project’s feasibility and ultimate success. The Corridor development plan is a commitment to create new and high value, state of the art product and quality development for Brookfield and our tenant clients, the ultimate users of the site.”

Infrastructure construction work at the site and construction of retail space is expected to begin in the spring. The infrastructure and some of the retail space could be complete this fall.

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Saukville Super 8 Hotel sold for $1.3 million
January 28, 2015 11:10 AM
The 70-room Super 8 Hotel in Saukville was sold for nearly $1.3 million to Hartford-based Yogiraj LLC, according to state records. The registered agent for Yogiraj LLC is Chandrakant Patel, the owner of the Silver Bell Motel in Hartford, according to state records.

The two-story Super 8 Hotel in Saukville is located at 180 S. Foster Dr. It was built in 1987. Amenities include a meeting room seating 65 people, indoor whirlpool spa, a fitness area, and sauna.

The hotel was offered for sale in an online auction at in November. It was sold by Mequon-based North Shore Investment I LLC. The registered agent for North Shore Investment I LLC is Balbir Bagga.

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Wangard fills retail space at Avenir
January 28, 2015 11:18 AM
Wauwatosa-based real estate development firm Wangard Partners Inc. announced that a Zoup! soup restaurant franchise will lease a retail space in the Avenir Apartments building, a new development under construction at 1437 N. Jefferson St. in the Park East corridor on Milwaukee’s Lower East Side.

Zoup! has more than 70 locations in 15 U.S. states and Canada. The restaurant has hundreds of soup recipes.

The Milwaukee Zoup! location will lease 2,230 square feet of space in the Avenir Apartments building.

The addition of Zoup! fills up the last available retail space in the Avenir Apartments building. The other retail tenants are Great Clips, which is already open; eliteNutrition, which will open in mid-February; Jimmy John’s, which will open in March; and JK Nails, which will also open in March.

The building has a total of 7,045 square feet of retail space and 104 market-rate apartments. The apartments will open within the next few weeks, according to Wangard Partners.

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Waukesha State Bank opens new Waukesha branch
January 28, 2015 11:12 AM
Waukesha State Bank has opened a new freestanding branch at 1640 E. Main St. in Waukesha.

The 5,000-square-foot branch replaces the bank’s in-store branch at the Pick ’N Save at 1535 E. Moreland Blvd. in Waukesha, just a few blocks away.

All 15 employees have moved to the new branch, which opened on January 12, immediately after construction was finished.

The additional space will provide room for loan officers to meet with customers, and allows the bank to offer additional amenities, including safe deposit boxes. It’s also in a high-traffic area near a Culver’s restaurant and a Woodman’s grocery store.

"We're excited to provide customers with this new location, giving them easier access to the office," said Ty Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Waukesha State Bank. "We're looking forward to continuing to serve the Waukesha community with the same friendly, one-on-one, personalized approach to banking."

Waukesha State Bank has 14 branches in the area, five of which are in Waukesha.

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January 28, 2015 11:09 AM


Lake Country Eye Care LLC leased 2,992 square feet of space at 520 Hartbrook Dr., Hartland, from DHCH Properties LLC.

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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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