General Capital plans first Reed Street Yards building

Fox Point-based real estate development firm General Capital Group is working on plans to build a four-story, 80,000-square-foot office building in the Reed Street Yards.

Called Water Tech One, the building has a precertified LEED platinum designation from the U.S. Green Building Council, said Michael Weiss, president of General Capital Group.

The Reed Street Yards is a 18-acre area west of the Global Water Center at 247 Freshwater Way and between the Harley-Davidson Museum and the Iron Horse Hotel. In a partnership with developer Peter Moede, who owns the land, General Capital plans to create a water technology business park in the Reed Street Yards. The city provided $7 million in tax incremental financing to install infrastructure on the site, and now it is ready for vertical development.

Along with the Global Water Center, the Reed Street Yards is critical to the efforts to develop Milwaukee water technology cluster. The Global Water Center opened last year in a 98,000-square-foot former warehouse building. The facility is intended to be a hub for the area’s water technology sector and is expected to be an incubator for emerging water technology firms to grow and move into buildings in the Reed Street Yards.

When fully developed the Reed Street Yards could have nine office buildings and two parking structures.

“I think we’ve got something special in the Reed Street Yards and the whole water cluster concept,” said Weiss.

General Capital could break ground on the Reed Street Yards building this fall and wants to prelease more than 50 percent of the space before construction begins, Weiss said.

“We have had a lot of promising conversations (with potential tenants),” he said. “We have reason to be optimistic.”

One reason for the optimism is the fact that the Global Water Center only has about 1,000 square feet of available space, the rest is occupied or on hold for potential tenants, said Water Council CEO Dean Amhaus.

“We expect that (the Global Water Center) will be full by the end of the year,” he said.

However, none of the tenants in the building are expected to move into General Capital’s planned building in the Reed Street Yards, Amhaus said.

Weiss declined to disclose the cost of the Reed Street Yards building. He said General Capital is seeking financial assistance for the project from city officials, but declined to provide specifics saying the deal is still in negotitions.

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