American Family to move area office to Pewaukee

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:33 pm

American Family Insurance plans to move its Milwaukee area claims and administration office from Brookfield to a new three-story, 75,000-square-foot office building the company will build at Stone Ridge Drive and Busse Road in the City of Pewaukee. The Madison-based company has reached an agreement to buy a 14-acre property for the new building, said American Family spokesman Ken Muth. Construction on the $13 million building should begin this fall and be completed by the end of 2006, Muth said.
Durrant Architects will design the building, and Brookfield-based Hunzinger Construction Co. will be the general contractor.
Amercian Family will move about 250 employees to the new building from 440 S. Executive Drive, Brookfield, where the company currently leases about 70,000 square feet of office space. American Family has had an office in that building since 1980. The company’s lease there is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2006, about when American Family plans to move into its new building in Pewaukee.
"This new office will give our employees an updated workplace in a building that is exclusively owned and operated by American Family," Muth said.
Whenever a lease expires, the company weighs its options of leasing space vs. owning its own building, he said.
"The analysis here was that, long term, it would be a better situation to own a building rather than rent," Muth said.
The company’s Milwaukee-area office serves all or parts of 10 counties in southeastern Wisconsin. About 175 of the employees in the office handle claims for southeastern Wisconsin.
The new office, located near the Machine Shed restaurant, will be only about a five-minute drive from the Brookfield office, which is visible from Interstate 94 and is near Brookfield Square Mall.
"(The new location’s) proximity to the current office will ease the transition for the employees that work there," Muth said. "This is just a short drive away."
The new office also will provide more space for the employees and be easier to access via the freeway, he said.
Inland Companies set to begin two residential projects
Milwaukee-based Inland Companies plans to begin construction soon on a pair of residential developments that will bring more traffic to retail businesses on Brady Street on Milwaukee’s east side and in South Milwaukee.
Inland will demolish a 110-year-old, two-story apartment building at 1691-93 N. Marshall St. The building sits on a 60-foot by 120-foot double lot. A vacant lot sits between the property and the south side of Brady Street. Inland plans to build a four-story, 12,000-square-foot building with six condominium units to replace the four-unit, 3,128-square-foot apartment building and an adjacent parking lot at the site.
The condominiums will have two bedrooms each and will be between 1,637 and 2,147 square feet. All of the units will have three floors of living space, except one that will have two floors of living space. Each condominium unit also will have two indoor parking spaces, located in the first floor of the building.
"(Parking) is key for that area," said Christine Zipperer, development director for Inland Companies.
The prices for the east side condominiums start at $350,000.
Inland is the developer and general contractor for the project. The property is owned by Milwaukee resident Aaron Hootkin and Chicago resident Chris Wilcox.
"One of the reasons the investors bought the property was because they saw an opportunity for redevelopment because it was a double lot," Zipperer said.
The construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year, she said.
In South Milwaukee, Inland plans to redevelop a brownfield site at 2616 S. 9th Ave. The four-acre property was formerly the site of Rawson Plumbing. The City of South Milwaukee is providing about $1.1 million in tax incremental financing (TIF) funds for environmental cleanup and site work.
In a joint venture with Lifestyle Homes, Inland plans to build 32 residences on the property in 13 buildings. Inland will build 11 side-by-side ranch style homes, for a total of 22 units, and a six-unit townhouse building and a four-unit townhouse building.
Each of the units will be about 1,500 square feet. The starting price is $165,000.
Groundbreaking for the development, to be called Heritage Reserve, is planned for August. The development will be done in phases and will take about two years, Zipperer said.
Brookfield-based Cityscape Architecture/Development is the architect for both the Marshall Street and the South Milwaukee projects.
Anna’s Linens entering Milwaukee market
Anna’s Linens plans to open five or six stores in the Milwaukee area during the next year, said Peter Glaser, vice president of The Polacheck Co., who specializes in retail transactions. Each of the stores will be about 7,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet in size, Glaser said. The retailer is already planning to open a 10,800-square-foot store at Brown Deer and Green Bay roads, he said. Founded in 1988, Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Anna’s Linens has 180 stores in 13 states, but none in Wisconsin. The chain sells products for the home including bed linens, window coverings, and accessories for bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens.
West Allis-based Maritime Savings Bank plans to open a new branch at 3233 E. Layton Ave., Cudahy, later this summer. The bank currently has six branches, all in the Milwaukee area. The bank has about $315 million in total assets.
The City of Milwaukee is seeking proposals to purchase and redevelop a two-story, 4,074-square-foot building at 2403-05 W. Hopkins Ave., located at the southwest corner of Hopkins Avenue and North 24th Street in the Frankin Heights neighborhood. The building, constructed in 1908, sits on a 5,229-square-foot lot. The city’s asking price for the property is $22,200. City officials want to see retail or office use on the building’s first floor and office or residential use on the second floor. The city will not allow the building to be used for a tavern, tax-exempt use, check-cashing center, social service use, community organization center, day care center, dormitory, rooming house or a parking lot. Proposals are due by July 28 at the Department of City Development.
Cooperating Congregations of Waukesha County (CCWC), a non-profit ecumenical ministry, plans to move its business operations early next year to the former Rudolph-Larsen Brothers Funeral Home at 502 N. East Ave., Waukesha. The building is about half a mile from CCWC’s current location on West Main Street. The 4,411-square-foot main floor will be used for office space and the organization’s Career and Clothes Closet program. The 3,300-square-foot basement will be used for the meal program. A new kitchen will be built for the meal program. The Larsen family owned the building and used it as a funeral home from 1985 to 1999, when it was sold to an out-of-state company. David and Ted Larsen re-purchased the building in 2004. Earlier this year they approached CCWC with an offer to sell the building, and the deal was completed in June. "We wanted to sell the location to a non-profit as we found it was not necessary to have two funeral homes so close to one another," said Ted Larsen, one of the owners of Church & Chapel Funeral Homes. Church & Chapel has a funeral home at 380 Blue Mound Road in Waukesha.

Andrew Weiland is the Managing Editor of Small Business Times. Send news about commercial real estate to or by calling him at (414) 277-8181 ext. 120. News can also be sent to Andrew Weiland, Small Business Times, 1123 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202.

July 8, 2005, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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