Grand Avenue owners purchase large portion of ASQ building

Includes 150,000 square feet of office, retail space, 546 parking spaces

ASQ Center

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:51 pm

The owners of the Shops of Grand Avenue purchased a portion of the neighboring ASQ Center office building and parking structure for $19.9 million.

ASQ Center

Milwaukee developer Irgens sold the property on June 29, which includes 150,000 square feet of office and retail space and 149 parking spaces, said Tom Irgens, vice president.

Tenants in the building include architectural firm Kahler Slater, VISIT Milwaukee, Planet Fitness, City Year, The Aids Resource Center, CBRE Global Workforce Solutions and the Alliance for Strong Families.

The sale also included the 397-stall parking structure at 555 N. Plankinton Ave. Literacy Services of Wisconsin is the ground-level tenant in the building, Irgens said.

The sale does not include the ASQ building’s Residence Inn by Marriott hotel or the space occupied by the American Society for Quality, which owns its 100,000 square feet, Irgens said.

The ASQ Center was one of Irgens founder Mark Irgens’ first projects, with fellow developer William Orenstein. The two partnered to redevelop the former Gimbels building into The ASQ Center. The project was completed in 2001.

The buyers of the ASQ Center (excluding the hotel and the ASQ space) are affiliates of Milwaukee-based Interstate Development Partners LLC, run by Tony Janowiec and Minneapolis-based Hempel Cos., run by Josh Krsnak. Both companies partnered to purchase the Grand Avenue in 2015. The ASQ Center is connected to the Grand Avenue through the city’s skywalk system.

“It is a good time for us to exit the investment,” Tom Irgens said. “We felt very comfortable to sell to Josh and Tony. With their investment and redevelopment (plans for) the Grand Avenue, this is a natural extension for them. We believe in the plan for the Grand Avenue Mall and that they will be good stewards moving forward.”

In a written statement Janowiec said the purchase underscores his development team’s extreme confidence in the economic viability and future for Westown.

“ASQ Center tenants will find new value through our integration with the programming of our new suite of amenities within our redevelopment plans of the Shops of Grand Avenue; which the building was originally part of as the eastern mall anchor (Marshall Fields),” Janowiec said. “We believe in Westown and are excited to add this sound investment to our portfolio.”

Redevelopment work on the mall has begun. Construction is currently underway on the Plankinton Clover apartments on the mall’s second floor. The apartments will begin leasing in November and will be priced at $1,600 for an 830-square-foot one-bedroom apartment.

Mall owners are also working on a food hall for the first floor that will have a rotating slate of guest chefs.

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