Chase Tower is for sale

The Chase Tower, a 22-story office building at 111 E. Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Milwaukee, is for sale, according to numerous commercial real estate sources.

This is the third time that the building’s owner, Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management Inc., has tried to sell the Chase Tower since it bought the 472,507-square-foot building in 2006. The building was part of a portfolio of buildings that Brookfield Asset Management acquired from JPMorgan Chase.

The firm paid $45.8 million to purchase the Chase Tower in 2006, but the building now has an assessed value of $21.89 million, according to city records.

The Chase Tower was built in 1961. It was originally known as the Marine Plaza building and was the largest office building in Milwaukee until the 42-story U.S. Bank Center (originally the First Wisconsin Center) was built in 1973.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. remains the anchor tenant in the building. Other tenants in the building include Infinity Healthcare, WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio and the law firm of O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing.

The building also has three retail tenants: Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, Dunkin’ Donuts and Café Dulce.

JPMorgan Chase currently leases about half of the building, or 235,000 square feet. The firm recently restructured its lease to reduce its footprint in the building down to about 175,000 square feet, in exchange for elimination of a clause in the lease that would have allowed it to terminate the lease in 2016, according to a source. JPMorgan Chase will reduce its footprint in the building by the end of 2015. Its lease expires in 2021.

The building is currently about 84 percent leased. The reduction of the JPMorgan Chase lease will reduce the occupancy rate to about 72 percent.

The elimination of the termination clause for the JPMorgan Chase lease could make it easier for Brookfield Asset Management to sell the building.

In addition, Brookfield Asset Management is making significant improvements to the parking structure, located on the block south of the building. The firm is in the middle of a two-year structural reinforcement project for the parking structure, according to a source.

Brian Nagle, executive vice president of Cushman & Wakefield’s Chicago office, is marketing the building for Brookfield Asset Management. He declined to comment for this report.

“We don’t comment on market rumor and speculation,” said Andrew Willis, spokesman for Brookfield Asset Management.

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