New Assurant building owner hopes to land large corporate tenant within 6 to 18 months

Downtown Milwaukee office building will be redeveloped, expanded

HQ501. Rendering: Rinka

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:32 pm

The new owner of the former Assurant headquarters is launching a nationwide effort to entice a large corporate user to move into the downtown Milwaukee building.

Scott Lurie, president and founder of Milwaukee-based F Street Group, announced last week his firm had acquired the Assurant building at 501 W. Michigan St. He also unveiled plans to redevelop the building, which he re-branded as HQ501.

“We plan to create a new form of urban campus, appealing to a corporate user and connecting to what is all around 501,” Lurie said in a news release announcing the acquisition.

F Street purchased the 370,000-square-foot building for $4 million, said spokesman Mike Doney. The building is assessed at $17.12 million, according to city records.

Doney said that in its search for a new building tenant, F Street will at first seek a large client to take over the space. If after some time those efforts aren’t fruitful, the developer could turn its attention to splitting up the space among smaller companies.

“At this point, we are in the process of launching a national search campaign to find a large corporate client to move in to the area and take over the office space within the building,” he said in an email. “If, after a sufficient amount of time, we are unable to find one, we will consider small company contracts and splitting the space to accommodate.”

Doney added, “The search is underway and we’re hopeful to begin work on the building soon, while ideally finding our new tenant within the next (six to) 18 months.”

F Street is working with Alyssa Geisler, senior associate of CBRE Wisconsin, and Patricia Algiers, president and project manager of Chemistry in Place, in marketing and leasing of the building. The firm is also working with Milwaukee-based architecture firm Rinka on redeveloping the building.

Geisler said marketing efforts are already underway, and the new HQ501 website showcasing the opportunity to prospective tenants went live last week.

She said the vacant building was well-maintained and is immediately available in the case that a corporate user would want to lease the space and move in right away.

Otherwise, the five-story structure could be further expanded with the addition of up to four stories. According to the release and project website, redevelopment plans also include a re-imagined entry to the building with expandable pedestrian-focused plaza and an “action-ready” rooftop area. The website also shows the building has large open floor plates of up to 64,200 square feet on a single level.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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