Briggs & Stratton would occupy Germantown building planned by Zilber

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Milwaukee commercial real estate sources say Wauwatosa-based Briggs & Stratton Corp. is in negotiations with Zilber Property Group to occupy a 700,000-square-foot industrial building that Zilber is planning in Germantown.

The new building would combine operations from Briggs’ current warehouses in Milwaukee’s central city, according to sources. Briggs & Stratton has been looking for space for several months, turning down a deal for 500,000 square feet in Kenosha and the J.C. Penney Co, distribution center in Wauwatosa, which was recently purchased by Phoenix Investors, sources say.

Zilber’s brokers working on the project declined to comment. Briggs’ spokesman Rick Carpenter said there was “nothing yet to confirm.”

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“They are looking for a building more suited for distribution, along the interstate, as well as closer to the corporate headquarters in Wauwatosa,” one source said.

In  2016, Briggs & Stratton, a small engine manufacturer, leased 170,000 square feet of the former Aldrich Chemical Co. Inc. building at 4143 N. 27th St. in Milwaukee from Phoenix Investors for warehousing space.

The project planned in Germantown could become village’s largest industrial real estate development.

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On Monday, Chad Navis, director of industrial investments with Zilber, spoke briefly during a Village Board meeting about the 700,000-square-foot project, which would be built at Holy Hill Road and Interstate 41.

Navis was accompanied by Michael Kleber, director of leasing with Zilber Property Group. The two declined to name the client they are working with on the project.

The discussion was held as the Village Board approved a $5,700 feasibility study with accounting firm Ehlers Inc. to create a tax incremental financing (TIF) district for the project. The amount of public money that will be used to fund the project was not discussed.

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