Deal of the Week

VK Development sells Kenosha property along I-94 for $3.3 million
Next Partners I LLC, a Madison-based private equity real estate development firm, recently purchased a 123-acre site along I-94 in Kenosha from an affiliate of Brookfield-based VK Development Corp. for $3.3 million.The property is vacant and is located southeast of I-94 and Highway 142.
The sale was brokered by Ken Braden and James T. Barry III of Cassidy Turley Barry, who represented Next Partners, and Rob Pitts of Pitts Brothers & Associates LLC, who represented VK Development.
A representative for VK Development did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Several road improvements are being made around the site purchased by Next Partners. As part of the state’s reconstruction and expansion of I-94 between Milwaukee and Illinois, a new diamond interchange will be built at I-94 and Highway 142 and a new frontage road will be built along I-94 and the property’s west side. The city of Kenosha is rebuilding 38th Street, which is the southern boundary of the site, to accommodate truck traffic, some of which is associated with Gordon Food Service’s new 650,000-square-foot regional distribution center, located a quarter-mile east of the site.
The property’s proximity and easy access to I-94 is its top asset, said Phil Jennings, president of Next Partners.
It’s location between Milwaukee and Chicago is also attractive, especially for distribution operations, he said. Kenosha County has attracted several businesses in recent years that have moved north from the Chicago area, including Waukegan, Ill.-based Uline Inc., which is building a new corporate headquarters at I-94 and Highway 165 in Pleasant Prairie.
In addition the property is ready for development because sewer and water infrastructure has been extended to the site, Jennings said.
Next Partners plans to build a large commercial development on the site, primarily with office or industrial use. A small amount of retail development may be included. There will be no residential development on the site, Jennings said.
“It will probably be a campus or a collection of office and industrial buildings,” he said. “This is not destined to be a retail site.”
Next Partners paid cash for the property, which could help its development efforts.
“We have a patient, long-term orientation and, unlike many other development firms in the region, we have no operational or mortgage debt,” Jennings said.
“One of the things we’ve seen is leveraged land is causing some commotion in the markets,” Barry said. “I think (the cash purchase) indicates they have some staying power and can be fairly nimble in marketing the property to potential users.”
Barry said his firm will begin marketing the property “immediately.”

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