Deals of the week

Chemical company plans to purchase Pleasant Prairie facility, City completes acquisition of former Tower property, County sells land for airport hotel project

Chemical company plans to purchase Pleasant Prairie facility

North Chicago, Ill.-based EMCO Chemical Distributors Inc. has a contract to purchase a 259,580-square-foot building at 8601 95th St. in Pleasant Prairie’s LakeView Corporate Park, from Hexion Specialty Chemicals, which ceased operations there earlier this year.

The purchase is pending EMCO’s due diligence procedures, which includes an environmental study, EMCO president Edward Polen said. The company will know in January if it will complete the purchase, he said.

“We think everything is going to be fine,” Polen said.

The company wants to purchase the building because it is located along a rail line. The company ships materials in via rail and ships them out on truck, Polen said. It is difficult to find facilities with easy access to rail lines, he said.

EMCO is not sure exactly what operations it will have in the Pleasant Prairie facility, Polen said. Pleasant Prairie village officials this week approved a conditional use permit for EMCO. Village officials said that EMCO plans to have 80 to 125 full-time employees at the facility for packaging and distribution operations.

Some of EMCO’s larger customers include Rust-Oleun, Exxon Mobile, Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore & Co., PPG Industries and Valspar.

Some of EMCO’s operations at its headquarters in North Chicago will likely be moved to the Pleasant Prairie facility, but the company has yet to determine exactly what will be moved, Polen said.

The company’s waste transfer and storage facility at 9114 58th Place, Suite 900, Kenosha, will not be affected by the addition of the Pleasant Prairie facility, Polen said.

City completes acquisition of large portion of former Tower Automotive property

The city of Milwaukee Redevelopment Authority recently completed its purchase of 84 acres at the former Tower Automotive site in Milwaukee’s central city for $3.5 million from Milwaukee Industrial Trade Center Inc.

The property is roughly bounded by West Capitol Drive, West Keefe Avenue, North 35th Street and North 27th Street.

City officials plan to redevelop the property and attract businesses to the site, similar to the city’s efforts to redevelop the west end of the Menomonee Valley. The Tower Automotive redevelopment project will cost an estimated $35.4 million. City officials are calling the project “Century City.”

The city plans to demolish some of the buildings on the site, install infrastructure and remove contamination from the site. City officials hope to attract a mix of uses to the site, primarily with a modern business park complemented by residential and retail space.

"Our goal is to design the Century City business park as an economic anchor in the 30th Street Industrial Corridor, returning jobs and opportunity to Milwaukee’s central city,” Mayor Tom Barrett said. “We are eager to get to work."

The Century City property could be available for businesses to move in by 2013, Department of City Development Commissioner Richard “Rocky” Marcoux said.

“Job creation and blight elimination are the bottom lines for this project,” Marcoux said.  “This site was the source of quality jobs for nearby residents for many years, and it’s our goal to replace between 700 and 1000 of those jobs at this property. We believe Century City will be a positive focal point for the community and a source of pride for the surrounding neighborhoods.”

The Century city project is the second redevelopment project done by the city at the former Tower Automotive site. In 2006 the Department of Public Works moved to a new facility on 24 acres at the site. The DPW moved to make way for the Harley-Davidson Museum project in the Menomonee Valley.

County sells land for airport hotel project

The Milwaukee County Board recently agreed to sell a 27,317-square-foot parcel of land at 5904 S. Howell Ave., Milwaukee, to Madison-based Raymond Management Co. for $213,000.

Raymond wanted to add the property to the adjacent former St. Stephens Church site, which it purchased from the church and where it is building a Hilton Garden Inn hotel.

Construction began recently on the three-story, 85,600-square-foot hotel building. It will have 143 rooms, 3,800 square feet of meeting space, a full-service restaurant, a full-service bar area, a business center, a fitness center and an indoor pool and spa.

The project is expected to be complete by the fall of 2010.

The area around the airport has attracted several new hotels this year and several existing hotels have done remodeling, including some that have also been rebranded. Three new hotels opened near the airport this year: an 82-room Sleep Inn & Suites at 4600 S. 6th St., a 100-room Candlewood Suites at 6440 S. 13th St. and a 120-room Fairfield Inn & Suites at 6460 S. 13th St.

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