411 East Wisconsin Building sold for $74.3 million

Stamford, Conn.-based Five Mile Capital Partners LLC announced today that it has purchased the 30-story 411 East Wisconsin Building in downtown Milwaukee for $74.3 million. The building, the second largest office tower in downtown Milwaukee, was previously owned by NNN 411 East Wis 6 LLC, a tenants in common ownership group.

The 654,165-square-foot office building, built in 1983 and located at 411 E. Wisconsin Ave., sold for significantly less than its $87.7 million assessed value, according to city records.

However, Five Mile plans to spend $17.5 million to enhance and improve the building’s elevator systems, HVAC system, lobby, roof and adjacent parking structures. The sale announced today includes the building’s two parking structures.

Also today, the building’s anchor tenant, Quarles & Brady LLP, announced that it has extended its lease of 186,000 square feet of office space on the top eight floors of the building for 10 more years.

Other major tenants in the building include Von Briesen & Roper s.c., which leases about 70,000 square feet of space on three floors.

The new ownership of the 411 East Wisconsin Building and the plans for a major renovation could make the building more competitive in the downtown Milwaukee office market. The building currently has 154,182 square feet of vacant space, a vacancy rate of 23.57 percent (compared to 9.1 percent for the entire class A office market in the downtown east area), according to Xceligent. Last year a report by NAI MLG Commercial said the firm did not consider 411 East Wisconsin to be part of the downtown class A office market building because of its tenants in common (TIC) ownership structure. The building was owned by dozens of investors and it was very difficult to negotiate a deal that met all of their approval, the firm said. That should change with the new ownership.

“(The new ownership) should be a really good thing,” said NAI MLG Commercial principal Jack Jacobson. “If they in fact upgrade the building and do deals it will be a class A building again. It will be interesting to see what impact that has on the class A (office) market.”

The renovation project planned for the building will also include renovation and technological upgrades to Quarles & Brady’s space.

“We always have been and plan to continue to be a major part of Milwaukee’s downtown, and the 411 Building is the ideal location for our local operations,” said Kathie Buono, Milwaukee office managing partner of Quarles & Brady. “The new owner’s willingness to make a significant investment in the building only solidified our firm’s commitment to sign on as a long-term tenant and further invest in downtown Milwaukee.”

Quarles & Brady has been a tenant of the building since 1986, and the firm has a sign on top of the building. More than 500 attorneys and staff work at the firm’s Milwaukee office.

“The 411 Building is in the heart of downtown’s business district,” said Jeffrey Patterson, president and CEO of Riverview Realty Partners. “With Quarles & Brady’s commitment as an anchor tenant for the long term, we look forward to investing in the building to attract additional tenants and ensure 411 is repositioned to be a solid Class-A building in the (central business district) for the long term. Downtown Milwaukee is becoming increasingly vibrant, with additional residential housing, hotels and other amenities, and we are happy to be part of that vitality.”

Chicago-based Riverview Realty Partners, an affiliate of Five Mile Capital Partners, will be the asset and property manager of the building. CBRE will handle leasing for the building.

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