J.P. Cullen to move Brookfield office to downtown Milwaukee

Will relocate 40-50 employees to the Fortress Building

Milwaukee Fortress Building

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:55 pm

Janesville-based construction firm J.P. Cullen & Sons will relocate its Brookfield office to the Milwaukee Fortress Building, just north of Schlitz Park near downtown Milwaukee next spring.

Milwaukee Fortress Building

The move will bring between 40 to 50 employees from the suburbs to downtown Milwaukee and allow the firm to continue to grow, said Larry Rocole, vice president of J.P. Cullen & Sons.

J.P. Cullen will occupy between 12,000 to 13,000 square feet on the first floor of the building in late March or early April 2018, Rocole said.

The space will be double the size of J.P. Cullen’s Brookfield office at 13040 W. Lisbon Road, which is 6,500 square feet.

“It’s something we’ve been looking to do for the last five years,” Rocole said. “I started the Milwaukee division in 1998, and this is the right thing to do for our company and for any company that wants to be part of the Milwaukee area.”

The contractor recently completed the $31 million Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Science Center for the Milwaukee Bucks and is working on a $40 million project for the Franklin Public School District. The company is also the general contractor for the redevelopment of the Milwaukee Fortress Building.

“We’re in a growth spurt,” Rocole said. “We’re going to do $90 million this year (in the Milwaukee-area) and $100 million next fiscal year.”

J.P. Cullen’s decision to relocate its regional office to downtown Milwaukee is the latest in a growing list of companies that in recent years have decided to move downtown from the suburbs, including several from Brookfield. Brookfield-based Hammes Company is building a five-story office building at the northeast corner of Knapp and Water streets downtown for its future headquarters. Earlier this year, marketing firm Bader Rutter relocated its headquarters from Brookfield into the former Laacke & Joys site along the Milwaukee River. In 2016, commercial real estate firm JLL moved its regional office from Brookfield to the Two Fifty East building in downtown Milwaukee. In 2014, Logicalis, a London-based IT firm, moved its Brookfield office to the Pabst Professional Center downtown.

J.P. Cullen is working with Madison-based developer, The Alexander Company on a $43 million project to renovate and redevelop the Milwaukee Fortress Building, the 125-year-old former F. Mayer Boot and Shoe Co. building, located at 100 E. Pleasant St. in the Brewers Hill neighborhood.

Most of the six-story, 193,988-square-foot warehouse will be transformed into 132 market rate, loft-style apartments, which will likely be available by January 2019, said Joe Alexander, president of the Alexander Company.

The company plans to break ground in October.

The project will also include 25,000 square feet of commercial space on the first two floors of the south side of the building, for J.P. Cullen and other tenants.

“We plan to start heavily marketing the commercial space after we start construction, and hope to bring in community amenities that will complement the neighborhood,” Alexander said, adding that there has been some interest from a microbrewery. “We’re eager to get started, and excited to deliver something so distinctive to the Milwaukee market.”

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