CRE Spotlight: Muskego hungry for development

    Plans by Ace Industrial Properties to build a 486,161-square-foot distribution center for GE Healthcare in Muskego are being embraced by the city’s mayor, who says more commercial development is badly needed there. City officials also are gathering input from residents about what they think should be done to encourage development of the former Parkland Mall, located across Janesville Road from the Pick ‘n Save store at S74 W17005 Janesville Road.

    Muskego, with a population of about 22,500, has the lowest amount of commercial development for similar-sized cities in Wisconsin, said Mayor John Johnson. Only about 9.4 percent of Muskego’s equalized value is from commercial property.

    “Most communities our size are double that,” Johnson said. “Our community is behind the eight ball in economic development. We need to reach out and establish that (commercial) base that we’re lacking.”

    The GE Healthcare distribution center will be located on a vacant 35-acre site at the southwest corner of College Avenue and Moorland Road. About 125 people will work at the GE building. Each day, about 20 to 25 trucks will go to and from the facility, but the truck traffic will be going to and from I-43 and will spend little time in Muskego, Johnson said.

    To facilitate development in the area, the city plans to create a tax incremental financing (TIF) district to provide $8.9 million to extend sewer and water utilities to the area, expand Moorland Road to four lanes between College Avenue and Janesville Road, add lighting and landscaping to Moorland Road and create a gateway feature at the city’s border on Moorland Road. The utilities improvements will include a 1 million gallon water tower.

    Of the $8.9 million in TIF, about $5.4 million will be directly related to the GE Healthcare building.

    The area has remained undeveloped because of the lack of sewer and water services said Jeff Muenkel, planning director for Muskego.

    In addition to the GE Healthcare project, city officials expect the new infrastructure to attract development to some outlots near the building, and to about 50 vacant acres on the east side of Moorland Road. The east side of the road could be suitable for retail development and office, technology or light industrial development could be built near GE on the west side of the road, Johnson said.

    “(The GE building) establishes an anchor tenant for the commercial development over there,” he said.

    Without the TIF for the infrastructure, the GE facility would have been built elsewhere.

    “If we don’t put the infrastructure in, they’re not coming,” Johnson said.

    Attempts by the city to use TIF to stimulate development of the former Parkland Mall site have been unsuccessful. The mall was demolished in 2000, and the property has been vacant ever since. That year the city provided $2.7 million in TIF to stimulate development on several properties, including the former Parkland Mall site, but the site remained undeveloped.

    Later, several development proposals for the site fell through, in part because city officials and developers could

    not agree to what amount of TIF was necessary and reasonable to assist development there.

    The current owner of the property, Art Dyer, covered the site with pine trees and was able to change the land classification to agricultural, which resulted in a lower tax bill and less tax revenue for the city.

    City officials are gathering input from residents about what to do to stimulate development on the property. A town hall meeting was held recently on the matter. City officials have asked residents to give input on several options including the use of TIF funding and the city purchasing the property, possibly by condemnation.

    Some city officials want to see a mixed-use development on the site that would create a downtown for Muskego.

    Other commercial development is being planned in Muskego.

    Starla LLC plans to build two 29,376-square-foot multi-tenant buildings on a vacant lot at the intersection of Enterprise Drive, Mercury Drive and Saturn Drive. The buildings could be used for office, warehouse or light manufacturing.

    Kuehn Properties plans to build a 5,795-square-foot distribution center at the corner of Mercury Drive and Janesville Road in the Muskego Industrial Park.


    The 400,000-square-foot Grafton Commons retail development, being built northwest of Highway 60 and I-43 by Menomonee Falls-based Continental Properties Co. Inc., recently landed another tenant. A 17,397-square-foot Michael’s arts and crafts store will be part of the development. Mid-America

    Real Estate brokers Dan Cohen and Kevin McLoughlin represented Michael’s in brokering the lease. Michaels Stores Inc. has more than 900 stores in the

    U.S. and Canada. Other stores in Grafton Commons include a 151,000-square-foot Costco store that opened earlier this year, a 89,000-square-foot Kohl’s store that is under construction and a 20,681-square-foot PetSmart store that was recently approved by the village’s Plan Commission.


    Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Amusement Concepts LLC recently broke ground to build an 18,000-square-foot Monkey Joe’s indoor play and entertainment center at 2040 W. Bluemound Road. It will be the first location in Wisconsin for the Atlanta-based Monkey Joe’s chain. The indoor play and entertainment centers are designed for families with children between 2 and 12 years old, who can jump, slide and climb in the play area. It also features and area where parents can watch TV and use free high-speed wireless internet service. Monkey Joe’s serves pizza, beverages and other snacks and has party rooms for birthday parties or other events.


    Racine-based Educators Credit Union plans to build a new branch at 2034 Ivanhoe Place on the east side of Milwaukee. The three-story, 13,630-square-foot building would be built just east of Holligans bar. A vacant, three-story building on the site formerly used by Columbia St. Mary’s would be demolished. At the same time, a former gas station to the north of the property is being redeveloped into a 5,000-square-foot multi-tenant retail building by Milwaukee-based Boulder Venture LLC. “It’s a spec building,” said Boulder Venture managing partner Robert Schmidt III. “We’re in discussions with multiple tenants at this point.”

    Menomonee Falls-based Cousins Sub Systems Inc. recently opened a new 2,630-square-foot restaurant at 11401 W. Silver Spring Dr. Cousins has more than 160 stores in 10 states.

    Pleasant Prairie

    Prime Outlets recently added four more stores: Worth Collection, Ghiradelli Chocolate, Totes-Sunglass World and Sbarro Italian Eatery. Worth Collection specializes in women’s apparel and accessories and occupies 2,700 square feet of space. Ghiradelli Chocolate makes premium chocolate products and occupies 1,000 square feet. Totes-Sunglass World carries weather related accessories, such as gloves and umbrellas, and occupies 2,600 square feet. Sbarro Italian Eatery is a quick service Italian restaurant and is located in the Prime Outlets Pavilion Eatery.


    Seattle-based Starbucks plans to build a café within the Macy’s store at 2500 N. Mayfair Road in Mayfair Mall. The café will have its own walls, separating it from the Macy’s store, and will have an exterior entrance to the mall’s parking lot.

    Oak Creek

    Ener-Con Cos. LLC plans to build a 9,060-square-foot multi-tenant office building in the Corporate Square office complex at 7300 S. 13th St. It will be the fourth building in the complex.


    Boerke Company

    H&R Block leased 8,234 square feet of retail space at 2652 W. Fond du Lac Ave., Milwaukee, in the Community Financial Service Center Plaza from CFSC Properties LLC.
    H&R Block renewed its lease of 2,425 square feet of retail space in the North Avenue Commerce Center at 2600 W. North Ave., Milwaukee, from PIC Services LLC.
    Atlas Healthcare leased 823 square feet of office space at 2514 S. 102nd St., Suite 225, West Allis, from Westminster Lincoln LLC.

    CB Richard Ellis

    Infinity HealthCare Inc. leased 62,610 square feet of office space in the Chase Tower at 111 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, from BREOF BNK Midwest LLC.
    Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. leased 3,740 square feet of office space at 200 S. Executive Dr., Brookfield, from 200 S. Executive LLP.
    Cedar Creek Management Services Inc. leased 3,991 square feet of office space at 309 N. Water St., Milwaukee, from Water Street Lofts LLC.
    Waukesha Employment Services Inc. leased 1,200 square feet of retail space at 3560 S. Moorland Road, New Berlin, from New Berlin Associates LLP.
    ATC Financial LLC leased 839 square feet of retail space at 10400 W. Silver Spring Dr., Milwaukee, from 10380 W. Silver Spring (Milwaukee) LLC.

    Colliers Barry

    Home-Bound Inc. leased 4,000 square feet of industrial space at 11333 W. Becher St., West Allis.

    Conklin Real Estate Services

    First MidAmerica Investment Corp. leased 6,218 square feet of office space at 2675 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, from WILC/2675 N. Mayfair Road Limited Partnership.

    Mid-America Real Estate

    Beneficial Finance leased 1,764 square feet of space at 1122 S. Airline Road, Suite D, Mt. Pleasant.
    The Rec Room Plus leased 5,037 square feet of space in Pewaukee Corporate Preserve at 1343 E. Wisconsin Ave., Pewaukee, from Jentzsch Properties LLC.
    Michael’s Stores Inc. leased 17,397 square feet of space in Grafton Commons at Highway 60 and I-43 in Grafton from Continental Grafton LLC.

    Siegel-Gallagher leased 2,659 square feet of office space in 250 Plaza at 250 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, from East Milwaukee Operating Associates LP.
    La Causa Inc. leased 13,892 square feet of office space in the West Allis Center at 1126 S. 70th St., West Allis, from BGK Properties Inc.
    Building Trades United leased 2,078 square feet of office space in The Tradesman building at 500 Elm Grove Road, Elm Grove, from Infinity Investors LLC.

    CB Richard Ellis

    Coastal Partners LLC purchased a 70,700-square-foot building on 7.88 acres at N50 W13775 Overview Dr., Menomonee Falls, from W.C. Bradley Co.

    Colliers Barry

    Alice J. Ledesma purchased the 12,512-square-foot former Borgwardt Funeral Home property at 1817 W. National Ave., Milwaukee, from SCI Wisconsin Funeral Services Inc.
    CMK Inc. purchased the 76,800-square-foot industrial building at 3801 W. Green Tree Road, Milwaukee, from LJT Properties LLC.

    Dickman Company

    Ace Industrial Properties Inc. purchased a 125,000-square-foot industrial building at 420 W. St. Paul Ave., Milwaukee, from Frank G. O’Connor Jr. and Linda L. O’Connor.

    New construction

    Briohn Building Corp., Brookfield, was contracted to design and build a 59,410-square-foot warehouse addition for Beechwood Distributors Inc. at 5350 S. Emmer Dr., New Berlin. Also, Briohn recently completed the design and construction of a 105,820-square-foot building for Arch Aluminum and Glass Company Inc. at 5700 S. Moorland Road, New Berlin. Briohn also recently completed the design and construction of the 5,831-square-foot second phase of the AQS Inc. tenant space at 1320 Walnut Ridge Dr., Hartland. Briohn also recently completed the design and construction of an office build out for NAI MLG Commercial’s new downtown Milwaukee office on the fourth floor of Riverfront Plaza at 1110 Old World Third St., Milwaukee. Briohn was also selected to design and build a 12,000-square-foot tenant improvement for Hetzel Sanfilippo Inc. at N29 W23810 Woodgate Court West, Suite 300, Pewaukee. Briohn was also contracted to design and build a 5,440-square-foot retail building for Edgewood Center LLC at 4805 S. 74th St., Greenfield. Briohn also recently completed the design and renovation of the Pick ‘n Save grocery store at 2625 S. 108th St., West Allis, and the renovation of a 38,880-square-foot two-story building plus construction of a 6,400-square-foot addition for Capitol Crossing LLC at 225 W. Capitol Dr., Milwaukee.
    Lagina Plumbing Services is providing commercial plumbing services for construction of the $1.5 million, 8,000-square-foot McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant being built on the grounds of Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa.

    MEDC loans

    Pabst Boiler House LLC received a $550,000 MEDC loan to purchase the former boiler house building at 1243 N. 10th St., Milwaukee, in the former Pabst brewery complex. The owners of Pabst Boiler House LLC, Max Dermond and Charles Trainer, plan to redevelop the 43,696-square-foot building into office and retail space.
    Winter Services Inc. received a $218,000 MEDC loan to purchase the building at 6663 N. 40th St., Milwaukee.
    Journeyman Tool and Technologies Inc. received a $228,000 MEDC loan to purchase the 25,000-square-foot building at 5737 W. Hemlock St., Milwaukee.
    Professional Placement Services LLC received a $310,000 MEDC loan to purchase the two-story, 16,000-square-foot office building at 272 N. 12th St., Milwaukee.
    Progressive Machinery Inc. received a $500,000 MEDC loan to purchase the building at 11734 W. Park Place, Milwaukee.

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