Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:56 pm
Brookfield-based Fiserv Inc. has narrowed its search for a new corporate headquarters to four locations and will likely make a decision on its new location by the end of the month, according to numerous commercial real estate sources.
The Fortune 500 financial services technology developer has been considering proposals from several real estate developers since April to develop a 120,000 to 150,000-square-foot Class A office building.
The four area sites the firm is eyeing, according to sources are:
- The Corridor development in Brookfield, which is being developed by Milwaukee-based Irgens.
- UWM Innovation Campus in Wauwatosa. The building would be developed by Milwaukee-based Weas Development.
- Schlitz Park in downtown Milwaukee.
- Reed Street Yards in Milwaukee, where Fox Point-based General Capital Group has been developing a water technology business park.
Fiserv could also opt to simply stay put at its current location, 255 Fiserv Dr., located off of North Corporate Drive in the Brookfield Lakes Corporate Center in Brookfield.
Another possibility is for the global company to move its headquarters out of state. In Alpharetta, Georgia, Fiserv has approximately 2,000 of its employees, more than it has at its corporate headquarters in Brookfield.
Fiserv had $5.5 billion in revenue in 2016, and has about 23,000 employees at 120 global offices. Fewer than 4 percent of the company’s employees are in Brookfield.
However, during an earnings call in May, Jeffery Yabuki, Fiserv’s president and CEO said the company was looking “primarily within the Milwaukee-area” for a possible new corporate headquarters location.
“As the company has transformed, we’ve also transformed the associate experience that we’re creating and so we’re looking for what are the best ways that we can deliver the right experience for our associates to make sure that we’re an employer of choice and have both the interesting work, but the right kind of work environment for our people,” Yabuki said in May. “We’re also looking at opportunities just overall – what’s the right place for us in terms of recruiting the people to help us get to where we want to be over the long period of time.”
In Brookfield, officials have been vocal about wanting to keep Fiserv in the city. The firm is considering a relocation to The Corridor, a mixed-use development along I-94, just east of Brookfield Lakes Corporate Center, by Irgens. The Corridor Corporate & Technology Park includes plans for more than 400,000 available square feet of Class A office space along I-94.
Dan Ertl, Brookfield’s director of community development, declined to disclose what incentive the city is offering Fiserv to say but did say it was a “significant economic development grant” to sustain the Fortune 500 company.
“They want their own branding and imaging and this site would be a stand-alone office building that would be built-to-suit and closer to the freeway than they are,” Ertl said.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Real Estate Foundation’s Innovation Campus was started in 2011, on a 60-acre site northeast of U.S. Highway 45 and Watertown Plank Road. The campus was launched as a collaborative effort between industry and UWM researchers, who hoped the site’s proximity to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center and Milwaukee County Research Park would make it a significant catalyst for economic development in the region. The idea of Innovation Campus was to attract businesses that would want to collaborate with UWM researchers and health care researchers and resources at the Regional Medical Center.
In 2013, Milwaukee-based Zilber Property Group developed the first private sector building at Innovation Campus, a three-story, 95,000-square-foot office space for Zurich, Switzerland-based ABB Ltd. to house its business operations. Other development that has occurred at Innovation Campus includes the Echelon Apartments by Milwaukee-based Mandel Group and a Residence Inn by Marriott hotel. But the amount of economic development that had been hoped for at Innovation Campus has not come to fruition over the past six years.
In 2015, Schlitz Park developer Gary Grunau unveiled plans for a $76 million, multi-phase, mixed-use expansion of the office complex, which is located just north of downtown. The plans included a $25 million, four-story 160,000-square-foot vertical expansion to the Rivercenter building that would provide views of the Milwaukee River and downtown skyline.
At the time, Grunau said he was targeting the Rivercenter building expansion project for a corporate headquarters, saying the space could be available in 2017.
“We think that space would be spectacular,” Grunau said at the time. “It would make a great corporate headquarters. We’re trying to see if we can get a corporate headquarters moving from the suburbs to downtown.”
Grunau would not comment on his pursuit of the Fiserv deal.
Milwaukee’s Reed Street Yards, is a 17-acre former rail yard in Walker’s Point that was developed into a business park by General Capital Group and Peter Moede in 2014. The intent was to create a hub for the water technology industry.
In 2013, The Global Water Center at 247 W. Freshwater Way opened. The following year, the Riverwalk along the Menomonee River Canal and a public plaza, landscaping and public parking was completed creating a public/private venture fund to provide incentives for new business developments in the Reed Street Yards. At that time, the city approved a $7 million TIF for Reed Street Yards.
In 2015, Zurn announced it would move its headquarters from Pennsylvania to Reed Street Yards and brought 120 jobs to the city. Zurn received a $1 million grant for site issues and a $900,000 forgivable loan for relocation expenses.
City officials would not comment on either site being considered by Fiserv.
Fiserv spokeswoman Britt Zarling would not confirm the specific locations being considered.
“We do not have anything new to report – we continue to explore options,” Zarling said.