Continuum Architects to renovate, move into Watts building

Will purchase building at corner of Mason and Jefferson streets, occupy second floor

The Watts building.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:21 am

Continuum Architects + Planners is intending to make renovations to and occupy the second floor of the Watts building in downtown Milwaukee.

The architectural firm, which currently has offices in the historic Mitchell Building at 207 E. Michigan Ave. downtown, earlier this week pulled a permit with the city to make commercial alterations to the building, located 751-765 N. Jefferson St. The application, which names Continuum as the future occupant of the space, also states the renovations would be made to 7,714 square feet of the building. The estimated construction cost is $750,000.

Officials at Continuum confirmed with BizTimes that it would be purchasing the Watts building for $1.5 million and would be moving into the second floor space, once occupied by the Watts tea room.

In a news release, Bob Barr, principal and co-founder of Continuum, said that as the firm was searching for a new office space that it could also own, it was never a question that it would remain in the city.

“We knew from the beginning that we are a Milwaukee firm and absolutely needed to stay in the city,” he said. “The question was where?”

Falamak Nourzad, co-founder and principal, said the downtown area was attractive due to all the development activity taking place.

Nourzad said of the firm’s new digs, “Everyone knows what it is and where it is. Not only does the building have its own historical story, but this space will keep us engaged in the urban activity and heartbeat of downtown Milwaukee so we can continue ours.”

Continuum moved into its current space at the Mitchell Building in 2017, after spending 20 years in the Walker’s Point neighborhood.

Dan Walsh of Transwestern represented Continuum in the building acquisition. He is also working with the firm to find a tenant to lease the available 5,000 square feet on the lower level of the building.

“It’s a beautiful building surrounded by tremendous pedestrian traffic,” Walsh said in the release. “Truly Milwaukee’s retail destination at its best.”

The Watts building is the former home to Milwaukee luxury gift retailer George Watts & Son Inc., which had a showroom space and Watts Tea Shop there. The company shut down in 2016. Walny Legal Group also formerly occupied 2,500 square feet of office space on the second floor, but the firm moved its Milwaukee offices to 250 E. Wisconsin Ave. in November.

Current tenants in the Watts building include Kesslers Diamonds on the first floor and DeLind Fine Art Appraisals on the second floor.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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