Film school incubator in the works at The Brewery complex

Group co-founded by Abele purchases buildings from Joshua Jeffers

1037 W. McKinley Ave.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:12 pm

An investment firm, which was co-founded by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and invests in start-ups, has purchased the City Center buildings at The Brewery complex in downtown Milwaukee with plans to create a film school business incubator in the space.

1037 W. McKinley Ave.

CSA Partners LLC purchased the two buildings at 1037 W. McKinley Ave., for $3.2 million from Milwaukee developer Joshua Jeffers.

Jeffers, president of J. Jeffers & Co., only owned the property for seven months. He bought the buildings for $2.6 million in February from Cardinal Stritch University with plans to convert them into market rate apartments.

“It’s a pretty rare occasion (for us) to sell anything, let alone a building we’ve owned for (only) seven months,” Jeffers said. “This is a case study for highest and best use.”

Jeffers said he completed a market study and secured state historic tax credits to convert the buildings, which consist of a three story 27,754-square-foot office building and a three-story 14,093-square-foot building, into apartments but was approached by CSA with an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“Everything was coming together nicely; however, the new owner of the property is an owner-user so they don’t have any of the lease-up risk,” Jeffers said.

CSA was started by Abele and business partner Steve Mech as a real estate investment, development, and brokerage firm focused on civic projects.

Abele and John Ridley, a filmmaker and Milwaukee native, have been working together on a project they said they hope will have a positive impact on the community they both love. Both are on the board of Milwaukee Film, which Abele founded.

“This project is neither the beginning nor the end of our shared commitment to the community,” Abele said. “We look forward to sharing more news in the coming months as the details of this project come together.”

As for Jeffers, he said he was sad to see the building go, but he is going to focus his efforts on the other projects he is currently working on, which includes five properties currently under contract.

“The last several months new deals have kept coming in and everything has been working out,” Jeffers said. “The film school business incubator concept is great for Milwaukee and good for our region. I’m happy that I was able to at least facilitate it a bit.”

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