New Schlitz Park owners consider new amenities at office park

Joint venture closed on acquisition from The Brewery Works last week

Schlitz Park

Changes may be in store for Schlitz Park, though the office complex’s new owners said any such plans aren’t geared toward a significant overhaul.

Schlitz Park

Last week, the joint venture consisting of Detroit-based Crestlight Capital and TPG Real Estate, the real estate platform of San Francisco and Fort Worth, Texas-based TPG, announced they had officially closed on the acquisition of Schlitz Park, a 32-acre office park just north of downtown Milwaukee.

The firms purchased the property from The Brewery Works, the development and ownership group led by the Grunau and Sampson families who originally transformed the former Schlitz brewery into the office park. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but state records indicated the sale price was $101.25 million.

John Coury, principal at Crestlight, said on Monday the new ownership group is considering some changes to the office complex. He said the group is currently surveying tenants to find out what they’d like to see added in the way of amenities.

Specifically, he said more food and beverage options may be added.

“We are still in evaluation mode given we just closed last week,” Coury said.

Schlitz Park reached 100 percent occupancy last year following $30 million worth of renovation efforts in recent years. Still, there is more land at the site that could be developed further, and former owner Gary Grunau had previously talked of adding more office space or even building a hotel.

Coury said no significant improvement or expansion plans are in the works for Schlitz Park, at least in the near term, other than adding new amenities.

“This is not a major overhaul, this is a, ‘How do we enhance what’s already working?'” said Coury.

Coury emphasized that whatever improvements his group does end up making, they will keep in mind the historic significance that comes with the site. Schlitz Park was established in 1870 as a brewery for the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company, and was purchased by The Brewery Works in 1983 after the brewery was shut down in 1981.

“We want to respect the history Schlitz Park has,” Coury said, adding that Milwaukee’s history of brewing beers is comparable to Detroit’s history of manufacturing vehicles.

“Milwaukee is obviously a beer town, and Schlitz Park is very recognizable given its name and what it is in the Milwaukee community,” he said.

The new owners are also bringing in Lincoln Property Co., a relatively new entrant into the Milwaukee market, to manage Schlitz Park. in December the Dallas-based firm and Barrett Lo Visionary Development announced the formation of Lincoln Boulevard, which would serve Milwaukee and Wisconsin starting specifically with Barrett Lo properties.

The firm would manage the Modern high-rise near the Fiserv Forum and the Emerald Row apartments in Oak Creek’s Drexel Town Square. In addition, it would also manage the 322-unit Couture high-rise on Milwaukee’s lakefront and the Parterre, the 240-unit project representing the second phase of Emerald Row, once those projects are completed.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

No posts to display