Downtown Design Center building sold to Rosie’s owners

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:33 pm

The owners of Rosie’s Waterworks tavern, 1111 N. Water St., have purchased the Design Center, 1123 N. Water St., from former owner Scott Henry.
The 121,000-square-foot, four-story office building is located in the heart of the Water Street entertainment district. The building has an assessed value of $1.87 million. The sale price was not disclosed.
Jim Pack, one of the new owners of the Design Center, said he and his partners Darrell Sanderson and Brian James purchased the building as a property investment. The building houses Buffalo Wild Wings, Small Business Times LLC, Enserv Mechanical Inc., Milwaukee Jobs and Boer Architects Inc.
Their plan to buy more property started only as an interest in purchasing the parking lot between Rosie’s and the Design Center. Rosie’s owned half of the lot, and the Design Center owned the other half.
"As we looked into it more, it made sense on paper (to buy the Design Center building with the parking lot)," Pack said. "An investment in real estate is a good investment. Owning the whole parking lot is like gravy."
Bieck Management will continue property management at the Design Center, Pack said. Plans by Milwaukee Jobs to expand its space in the Design Center will result in some tenant relocations and will fill the available space in the building soon.
Rosie’s will use the parking lot space for its beer garden during Water Street festivals and on weekends in the summer months as it does normally, Pack said, for the next four or five years. He also hinted that Rosie’s might look to develop a more permanent beer garden in the parking lot area, similar to the Brew City Barbecue’s site across Water Street.
Long-term, Pack said he and his partners are interested in building a new five-story building on the parking lot site that could hold a restaurant, office space and parking spots. However, those plans are only conceptual for now, he stressed.
"We’ve got our short-term and long-term goals," Pack said. "We’ll probably start digging soon into what we can do for next year. And we hope to resolve any parking issues and still be able to accommodate our tenants. We want to keep them happy."
The basement of the Design Center will soon be vacant, Pack said, after The Woodwind Shop moves out. Pack said he and his partners would be willing to build to suit in the space if a bar or restaurant is interested in leasing there. If the space is not leased, the basement area could be used for storage.

June 10, 2005, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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