Milwaukee-based Irgens Partners LLC
is under contract to purchase the former Boston Store building at Brookfield Square mall and plans to tear down the building and redevelop the site into a mix of uses, including offices.
Mark Irgens, chief executive officer and manager of Irgens Partners, said he expects to close within a month on the sale of the 200,000-square-foot building, located southwest of West Bluemound and North Moorland roads.
"We'll take that building down," Irgens said during BizTimes Media's Commercial Real Estate and Development Conference this morning. "That (site) is 16 acres, and we'll have a mixed-use development on that location, consisting of office, perhaps medical office, and other complementary commercial uses."
Irgens said following the event that the project is still in the early stages. Irgens Partners entered into a contract this week to purchase the property, and it will demolish the Boston Store building "as soon as possible."
But, the firm has another six months of planning work before it has a better idea of what the development will all entail, he said.
Irgens said he's looking to create about 400,000 square feet of new development at the site. The goal is to create more density, but the exact density will be driven by the amount of parking. The firm plans to build a new parking structure there.
Market demand will determine the size and design of the office portion of the project, Irgens said.
Beyond that, other uses could include housing and hospitality. Irgens said there might be limited new retail space, but he does not want to compete with the mall and other existing area retail.
"We're looking at creating kind of a walkable, suburban office environment, along with some other uses that will use the amenities that are already there," Irgens said.
Irgens Partners has been working with the city on acceptable development layouts and land uses. Irgens pointed out the city rezoned the site in recent years to encourage as much density as possible there.
The firm has also spoken about its plans with Chattanooga, Tennessee-based CBL Properties, the owner of Brookfield Square, and is working with Milwaukee-based architecture firm Kahler Slater
on some conceptual ideas.
Irgens said he likes the site because of its size and that it's next to a mall that has reinvented itself in recent years. Ongoing or recent developments at or near the mall include a new hotel and conference center
, a 231-unit apartment project
, an Orthopaedic Associates clinic
, a Marcus Theatres Movie Tavern
and a WhirlyBall
He added Brookfield has a good business environment. Irgens Partners has other ongoing projects in the city, specifically two new office buildings
under construction at Golf Parkway Corporate Center.
Irgens said his firm first signaled interest in the former Boston Store property when it, along with two other Milwaukee-area Boston Store properties, were put up for auction
. None of those vacant buildings were sold at that time, but Irgens said his firm has worked with the owner after the auction.