J.C. Penney’s Wauwatosa distribution center sold for $31.3 million

Phoenix Investors planning to renovate, re-lease property

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An affiliate of Milwaukee-based Phoenix Investors purchased the JCPenney Logistics Warehouse and Furniture Outlet Center in Wauwatosa for $31.25 million.

The JCPenney Logistics Warehouse and Furniture Outlet Center in Wauwatosa.

The 2 million-square-foot building is located on 77 acres at 11800 W Burleigh St., just west of I-41. The property is assessed by Milwaukee County for $22.8 million

J.C. Penney Co. announced on Feb. 13 it would close the distribution center and call center beginning this summer and lay off a total of 670 employees.

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Phoenix Investment plans to renovate the buildings internally and externally and re-lease them.

“These buildings are in exceptional condition given their age,” said David Marks, Phoenix’s president and CEO. “Once complete, they will look and function like a newly constructed industrial facility. Beyond the tangible brick and mortar of this facility, Phoenix was drawn to the demographics of the workforce that has sustained this facility throughout its history.”

“While our formal marketing has not yet begun, we have already had overwhelming interest in the JCPenney property from virtually every regional brokerage firm on behalf of their clients,” said Kurt Jensen, senior vice president of Phoenix. “The demand exceeds the available space. We are in active discussions with over a dozen quality companies for portions of the complex.”

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In 2017, JCPenney closed about 140 stores. The Wauwatosa distribution center portion will close on July 1 and the customer care center will close on Sept. 1.

The Plano, Texas-based company will sell the building and transfer its operations to facilities in Lenexa, Kansas, and Columbus, Ohio, according to an email from JCPenney.

“Virtually everyone in the metro Milwaukee knows someone that either worked at the facility or had a relative that worked there,” said Phoenix’s chairman, Frank Crivello. “As the largest owner of industrial warehouse and manufacturing space in Wisconsin, we are uniquely qualified to re-position these buildings in a manner that will result in a number of new high-quality companies occupying portions of the complex.”

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Phoenix’s affiliate companies hold interests in approximately 20 million square feet of industrial, retail, office, and single tenant net-leased properties across 23 states.

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