City Center at 735 to lose its largest office tenant

National Business Furniture will also move out of the Shops of Grand Avenue

The City Center at 735.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:03 pm

The City Center at 735 building in downtown Milwaukee will lose its largest office tenant in April when National Business Furniture moves to West Allis.

The City Center at 735.
The City Center at 735

The company, which leases more than 30,000 square feet of office space on four floors of the City Center building for its 105 employees, will move to 770 S. 70th St. in West Allis, the former home of C&H Distributors, which is owned by National Business Furniture’s parent company, Stuttgart, Germany-based Takkt AG.

Takkt AG sold C&H Distributors last year, but kept the West Allis building. The German company decided to relocate National Business Furniture there, allowing the furniture distributor to consolidate its Milwaukee offices.

National Business Furniture currently leases the entire fourth floor of the City Center building at 735 N. Water St.,  and portions of the fifth, seventh and ninth floors of the building.

The company also leases 14,000 square feet at the Shops of Grand Avenue, 275 W. Wisconsin Ave., for its virtual show room.

The West Allis building is about 68,000 square feet.

Kent Anderson, president of National Business Furniture, said he has worked in downtown Milwaukee for nearly his entire 36-year career and he is sad about leaving the city and its amenities.

On the flip side, moving to West Allis will be more centrally-located for his employees and he is looking forward to more green space and free parking, Anderson said.

“The City Center has been a great landlord and we like our neighbors,” Anderson said. “But our parent company owns the building and we need more space.”

Marnie Noel, director of business development and principal broker for the City Center, said until now, the 16-story,  385,123-square-foot building was 90 percent leased. Other tenants include Gold’s Gym,, Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership Milwaukee office.

Noel said she is thinking about relocating a current tenant who has outgrown their space into the National Business Furniture space and will also put the site on the market.

“We’ve had a waiting list for certain sized spaces so we don’t anticipate this being on the market for too long,” Noel said. “We were hoping they would stick around, and are sorry to see them go, but business is business.”

National Business Furniture was founded in 1975 and  has always been headquartered in Milwaukee. The company has 185 total employees with satellite offices in several cities including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Houston, Washington D.C. and Boston.

The company started by sending furniture catalogs solely to corporate offices and government agencies but has since expanded into the school, church, home office and health care markets with three different catalogs and five websites.

In January 2006, National Business Furniture was acquired by K+K America Corporation, the U.S. holding company for TAKKT AG.  TAKKT AG is a business-to-business direct marketing company for office, business and warehouse equipment in Europe and North America, which is represented in more than 25 countries.

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