Milwaukee Tool's downtown Milwaukee office expansion took home two wins Wednesday night during the Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin's annual Deal of the Year awards. CARW each year recognizes major commercial real estate projects in Wisconsin during an annual awards ceremony. This year, the organization named Milwaukee Tool's downtown expansion the office deal of the year and also gave it the "Judges' Choice" award. Brookfield-based Milwaukee Tool brought its rapid expansion to downtown Milwaukee with the purchase of the former Assurant building at 501 W. Michigan St. The deal is a major win for the city and local real estate market. Renovations are underway, and the company plans to begin occupying the building in February. Brokers Barry Chavin and Mitch Starczynski of Newmark, and Max Rasansky of CBRE, were involved with the deal. “As one of the largest employers in southeastern Wisconsin, we’re thrilled to expand our presence in the city, as we continue to attract, retain and recruit from a diverse pool of local talent," Steve Richman, president of Milwaukee Tool Group, said in a previous statement. The industrial deal of the year winner was the build-to-suit project in Kenosha for Heartland Produce Co. The company is building a 205,907-square-foot warehouse that can expand to 420,000 square feet at 4550 70th Ave., in Greeneway Corporate Park. It is part of the larger development of the former Dairyland Greyhound Park dog track site, which is being redeveloped by the Forest County Potawatomi Community and Milwaukee-based Zilber Property Group. The retail deal of the year is Steinhafels Furniture's new location in the former Younkers space at Bay Park Square mall in Green Bay. Brokers Peter Glaser and Ben Weiland of CBRE worked on the deal. It was the $100 million sale of the new Leonardo DRS headquarters in Menomonee Falls that won the investment deal of the year. Andy Hess, Bob Flood and Kemp Collings of Founders 3 and Connor Weas of Weas Development represented the seller, Weas Development. The future Milwaukee Public Museum in downtown Milwaukee was the development deal of the year. MPM bought the site of its future museum, located northeast of West McKinley Avenue and North Sixth Street, for $8.1 million in February. The $240 million project is receiving $40 million from the state. Brokers James T. Barry III, David Barry and Kevin Barry of The Barry Co., and Scott Welsh of Colliers International | Wisconsin, were involved in the deal. "In a year when many may have expected the deals to be down — we had a near record of nominees," Tracy Johnson, chief executive of CARW, said. "The deals were different and unique and showcased the creativity and resilience of members within our industry." Deals considered for the 2021 awards closed between Aug. 1, 2020 and July 31 of this year. The CARW Foundation also at the annual awards event inducted two people into the CARW Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. They were Deborah Sobczak, founder of CARW, and the late Tom Bernacchi, of Milwaukee-based Zilber Ltd. The foundation will give scholarships in their names to a student at a four-year Wisconsin college who is studying real estate. Sobczak is directing hers to a student at UW-Milwaukee, while Bernacchi's will go to UW-Madison. Also at the event, CARW confirmed its 2021-2022 directors and officers. Hess is the new chairman. Mike Kleber of Zilber Property Group is chairman-elect, Keven Schmoldt of Newmark is treasurer, Jenna Maguire of Founders 3 is secretary and Adam Williquette of American Commercial Real Estate is immediate past chairman.
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