GSA eyes St. Francis building for FBI office

An office building on the lakefront in St. Francis appears to be the leading candidate to land the Milwaukee-area FBI office, according to commercial real estate sources.

The Milwaukee FBI office is currently located in an 80,000-square-foot space in the Plaza East Office Center, a multi-tenant office complex at 330 E. Kilbourn Ave. in downtown Milwaukee.

The federal government’s General Services Administration is considering plans to relocate the Milwaukee FBI office and is looking for about 82,000 square feet of space, according to GSA spokeswoman Cat Langel.

Three developers were known to be competing for the Milwaukee FBI office:

– Boca Raton, Fla.-based Proacci Development Corp. which submitted plans to purchase, renovate and lease a 105,000-square-foot building at W180 N7950 Town Hall Road in Menomonee Falls to the FBI.

– Milwaukee-based Mark Partners LLC, which submitted plans to purchase and lease the three-story, 103,553-square-foot office building at 440 S. Executive Dr. in Brookfield to the FBI.

– Las Vegas-based Molasky Group of Companies, which submitted plans to purchase and lease the Stark Investments building at 3600 S. Lake Dr. in St. Francis to the FBI.

However, a commercial real estate source said this week that the Menomonee Falls and Brookfield sites have been eliminated from consideration by the GSA.

In addition, other sources said the St. Francis building is the GSA’s preferred option for the FBI office. The building sits on a 8.5-acre site on the lakefront. The property has an assessed value of $8.5 million, according to Milwaukee County records.

Some commercial real estate sources say the St. Francis building, which once housed Harnischfeger Industries Inc., would need to be expanded to meet the needs of the FBI.

Staying put at the current downtown location remains an option, but that site no longer meets the federal government’s modern security requirements, which would ideally put the office in a standalone building with significant setbacks.

The GSA plans to make a decision on the location for the Milwaukee office “in the coming months,” Langel said.

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