The latest occupant moving into the Park Place office park on Milwaukee's far northwest side is a local church, rather than an office space user.
Its new home was purchased from a national real estate investor that has now disposed of all of its office properties in the office park less than two years after acquiring them.
An affiliate of Enduring Love International Church this summer acquired the vacant building at 11301 W. Lake Park Drive for $1.53 million, according to state records.
The church is making improvements to the building. Contractors recently applied with the city to make alterations to the property. Work would include kitchen improvements and a training center area, according to project plans.
The project team includes Cedarburg-based Groth Design Group and Milwaukee-based Catalyst Construction.
A representative of ELI declined to comment.
On its website, the church lists the Lake Park Drive addresses as its new permanent location. It also lists a P.O. Box in Greenfield.
The 11301 W. Lake Park Drive office building was constructed in 1987 and is assessed for $1.27 million, according to city records. It totals 40,020 square feet.
It was part of a portfolio of office properties that Portland-based investor Felton Properties Inc. acquired in early 2019. The portfolio deal included three Park Place buildings, among others in the metro area.
Felton Properties has remained active in the Milwaukee office market, including the acquisition of the Warehouse No. 1 building in the Historic Third Ward. But it has pulled out of its investments in Park Place.
Matt Felton, president of Felton Properties, said his firm sold its Park Place buildings in part because of "softness of the market."
The company sold its other two buildings at Park Place about six months ago, he said. Both had long-term leases.
"I was uncomfortable with the softness of the market, which got softer since we acquired them and had several distressed sales that would enable other landlords to be very competitive with rates if we were ever faced with vacancy years from now," Felton said in an email. "I just didn’t like the bet so we cashed our chips."
One of those buildings, at 7800 N. 113th St., was sold in April for $19.7 million to Beverly Hills, California-based investors group Milwaukee Lexington Properties LLC. The other, at 11100 W. Liberty Drive, was sold in June for $9.05 million to an affiliate of Madison-based SARA Investment Real Estate, according to state records.
As for the Lake Park Drive building, Felton said he opted to sell that at a cheap price rather than holding onto a vacant building for potentially years and paying operating expenses on it.
Park Place appeared to be on the radar of out-of-state investors at recent years. The strategy appeared the same: buy underused buildings at a discount, in the hopes of making some upgrades and leasing them to new tenants in order to turn a profit.
Beyond Felton Properties, New York-based Sovereign Partners LLC bought a couple Park Place buildings of its own recently. Around January 2020, it bought One Park Plaza at 11200-11270 W. Park Place. Following that was the acquisition of the Liberty 1 building at 11414 W. Park Place in April 2020. Those were both sold for well under their assessed value.
Park Place was again in the news in October, when Milwaukee-based staffing and training firm Mindful Staffing Solutions LLC leased the vacant building at 11700 W. Lake Park Drive. That building changed hands locally earlier in the year. Elm Grove-based Luther Group bought if from Milwaukee-based Irgens Partners LLC in January 2020 for $225,000.
Luther Group is active in that market area. It owns other flex industrial buildings in the office park, and is also developing a 90,000-square-foot industrial building at 11601 W. Bradley Road.