M&I Trust is seeking proposals for 100,000 square feet of downtown office space and 60,000 square feet of suburban office space, according to Jeffery Pyzyk, president of The Appraisal Resource Group Inc. Pyzyk made that statement during the 2004 year-in-review symposium held recently by the Wisconsin chapter of the Appraisal Institute.
"That's what I've heard from brokers in the marketplace," Pyzyk said. "I guess it's widely known in the brokerage community. Talking to several brokers who are active in the downtown market, that's what they told me. Quite honestly, it's broker rumor and it's unconfirmed."
Tom Bernacchi, president of the Downtown Milwaukee Business Improvement District (BID) board and vice president of Towne Realty, said the M&I Trust office space request for proposals (RFP) was put out several months ago.
"That's been on the street for a long time," he said. "I think they need some more space."
M&I Trust, the employee benefits division of Milwaukee-based Marshall & Illsley Bank, currently occupies a significant amount of space in the 1000 North Water Street building in downtown Milwaukee. The firm's lease for that space is up for renewal soon, Pyzyk said. M&I Trust may decide to remain in that space or may decide it has grown enough to need to move somewhere else, he said.
The request for office space may include other portions of Marshall & Illsley's operations, in addition to M&I Trust, Pyzyk said.
"(M&I Trust) is a big part of it,"
Patty Cadorin, corporate communications representative for Marshall & Illsley, confirmed the company is considering its future office space needs, but declined to disclose further details.
"M&I did send out an RFP this spring to explore all of our options regarding future needs for space," she said. "We are continuing to look at space alternatives as our business continues to grow."
Pyzyk predicts M&I Trust will choose the Milwaukee Center on Water Street to fill its need for 100,000 square feet of downtown office space. M&I Trust could fill space left vacant when the Bank of New York moved out, he said.
"Obviously, we want to keep them downtown," Bernacchi said. "Could they stay (at 1000 North Water Street)? Probably. Is there other space they could move into? Definitely, most likely the Milwaukee Center or the 411 (E. Wisconsin Ave.) building."
Ovation Plaza, a high-rise office building proposed by Irgens Development for the northwest corner of Water and State streets, could also be in contention for the M&I Trust deal, Pyzyk said. Irgens is looking for an anchor tenant for the building.
"I don't know if they can wait for the Ovation site," Bernacchi said. "I'd be surprised if that's something they'd be considering. It's possible."
As for the 60,000 square feet of suburban office space that M&I Trust is looking for, Pyzyk thinks the firm will look along Brown Deer Road and near the Park Place office complex on the far northwest side of Milwaukee, where M&I already has offices.
"They have a strong presence on Brown Deer Road," he said. "They have a data center at the northwest corner of Brown Deer Road and Arbow Drive. They also have a strong presence in Park Place."
Racine officials are thinking about creating an 11th tax incremental finance (TIF) district for the city in an effort to revitalize a key commercial area. The TIF district would include properties on the north and south sides of Washington Avenue (Highway 20) between West Boulevard and Grove Avenue. If the district is created, the city would spend about $1.5 million to install new infrastructure, plant trees, acquire seven blighted properties and demolish six dilapidated buildings. The cleaned up properties would then be sold to private developers.
"We're implementing portions of a west Racine redevelopment plan that was approved last year," said Matt Sadowski, principal planner for the City of Racine. "It identified this area as crucial to the health of the business district."
The West Racine Business District, which includes properties on Washington Avenue between West Boulevard and Blaine Avenue, has seen several businesses pull out in the last 10 years or so, Sadowski said, including jewelry stores, a bicycle shop and a hardware store.
"It was typically a pretty healthy business district supported by the neighborhood around it," he said. "Certain types of businesses moved out over the past 10 years. The businesses that were still there started to get worried. They didn't want to see the area deteriorate any more."
Businesses in the area and city officials are hoping new stores, restaurants and offices will be built within the TIF district after the properties are cleaned up and improved by the city, Sadowski said. "What the business district has stated they would like to attract is a sit-down, family style restaurant such as a TGI Fridays or a steakhouse," he said. "The study that was done for the area showed a capacity for more shop space with stores on a first floor and apartments on the second floor."
The Racine Common Council still must approve the TIF district.
The City of Milwaukee Redevelopment Authority is seeking proposals from developers to buy and develop a vacant property in the King Drive Historic District. The 11,250-square-foot property is located southeast of North Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Brown Street. The property is situated between the Reader's Choice Bookstore and a mixed-use structure housing the Milwaukee Times Newspaper offices. The city's asking price for the property is $45,000. City officials want to see the property redeveloped with pedestrian-oriented retail or commercial use on the ground floor. Residential use is preferred on the upper floors, but full commercial use of the building is acceptable. Proposals must be received by the Department of City Development, 809 N. Broadway, by 4 p.m., Jan. 24. The buyer will be given six months after selection to obtain plans and financing. Closing is contingent on the Redevelopment Authority's approval of final construction plans and financing.
Mason Wells, a private equity firm, moved recently to a new downtown Milwaukee location from 770 N. Water St. to 411 E. Wisconsin Ave. "We're growing and need more space," said Trevor D'Souza, managing director of Mason Wells. "We are planning on hiring new employees and needed to be in a spot where we could grow." The company has about 18 employees and plans to hire five or six more in the next two years, he said.
JBK Properties Inc., has relocated its offices to 777 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, from 7040 N. Port Washington Rd., Glendale.
A bank project proposed for the city's south side could be dead because city officials rejected the plans for a drive-thru window. National Bank and Trust wanted to locate a bank with a drive-thru window in half of a 6,300-square-foot building at 3012 S. Business Drive. The other half of the building is occupied by Verlow Mattress. City officials supported plans for the bank, but rejected the plans for the drive-thru window because there was not enough room there if vehicles were backed up at the drive-thru window, said Steve Sokolowski, manager of planning and zoning for the City of Sheboygan. Trudi Marquardt, vice president of operations for Fond du Lac-based National Bank and Trust, declined to say what the bank will do in light of the decision by Sheboygan officials. National Bank and Trust executives may be looking for another site. The bank currently has six offices in Sheboygan County, but none in the City of Sheboygan.
Pharmacist Dan Reynolds plans to open a pharmacy and a Subway sandwich restaurant in a former Hardees restaurant at 1170 W. Main St. The project still must be approved by city officials.
Andrew Weiland is the managing editor of the Small Business Times. Send news about commercial real estate to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
December 10, 2004, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI