Group plans 14-story building in Third Ward

A group of real estate investors has a contract to purchase a five-story building in the Third Ward and eventually plans to build a 14-story building next door.

60 North H.B. LLC, a group of real estate investors, has a contract to purchase the five-story, 43,200-square-foot, 108-year-old O.C. Hansen Building at 341 N. Milwaukee St. in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward and the adjacent parking lot at 331 N. Milwaukee St.

The group has submitted plans to the city indicating that it eventually wants to build a 14-story, 186,169-square-foot mixed-use building with 54 residential units and 4,600 square feet of commercial space on the parking lot site. "Such new construction will be consistent with the Third Ward Neighborhood Comprehensive Plan," according to a document filed with the city.

60 North H.B. first plans to redevelop the existing five-story building at 341 N. Milwaukee St. with one to two commercial units on the first floor and 24 residential units on the upper four floors, according to documents filed with the city. The firm also plans to create a pocket park on the eastern edge of the parking lot at 331 N. Milwaukee St. (located just south of the 341 N. Milwaukee St. building).

60 North H.B. LLC is buying the property from Badger Pacific Equity Partners, which bought it in 2005 for about $1.9 million. The firm did some renovation work to the 341 N. Milwaukee Street building, but has not attracted any tenants.

Badger Pacific’s Milwaukee area partner Craig Stoehr in June rejoined his former employer, the Latham & Watkins law firm, and moved to the Middle East in mid-July, where he is heading up the firm’s new office in Doha, Qatar. He also is spending some time working out of the firm’s new office in Dubai.

"(The) Antique Center rehab finished some time ago and remains available for lease or sale," Stoehr said. "(We) have had a number of tenants looking but the market is extremely soft – as you know."

"We have enjoyed working with the prospective buyer thus far and are fully supportive of their plans for the property, which we believe would be beneficial to the Historic Third Ward and the City of Milwaukee. Obviously, the prospective sale makes sense for our investor group or we wouldn’t be doing the deal."

According to sources, former NBA and Michigan State basketball players Mike Peplowski and Matt Steigenga are involved with 60 North H.B. LLC. Peplowski’s career included a brief stint with the Milwaukee Bucks Nobody with the investors group could be reached for comment.

The projects proposed by 60 North H.B. will be reviewed by the City Plan Commission on Oct. 13.

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