New York investor buys its second Park Place office building

Liberty 1 building purchased for $1.6 million

Liberty 1. Photo courtesy of Colliers International | Wisconsin
defaultLiberty 1. Photo courtesy of Colliers International | Wisconsin

New York-based Sovereign Partners LLC has acquired the Liberty 1 building in the Park Place office park on Milwaukee’s far northwest side for $1.6 million, according to state records.

This is the second building in the office park acquired in recent months by the real estate investment firm, which specializes in repositioning so-called undervalued properties.

An affiliate of Sovereign Partners closed on the property last week. It acquired the building and some surrounding land from affiliates of Westport, Connecticut-based Greenfield Partners LLC.

Tom Shepherd and Jennifer Huber-Bullock of Colliers International | Wisconsin represented the seller in the transaction.

Liberty 1 is located at 11414 W. Park Place. It totals 91,000 square feet and was built in 2000, according to city records. Sovereign Partners purchased the property at replacement value, Shepherd said. The city’s assessed value of the property totals roughly $11.2 million.

The building is 27% occupied, said Shepherd. Kansas City-based engineering firm HNTB Corp. moved out of the building last fall when it relocated its regional office to downtown Milwaukee.

It is the second property Sovereign Partners owns in the office park. In January, the firm acquired One Park Plaza for $5.75 million. That 210,700-square-foot building was also acquired at a discount, as it had an assessed value of $11.24 million.

According to the Sovereign Partners website, the firm’s expertise lies in “exploiting opportunities in undervalued properties.” The firm acquires properties, repositions them through things like capital improvements and lease-up strategies, then sells them once they have stabilized.

It primarily targets assets that have been impacted by circumstances such as lack of capital investment, poor management of the leasing base and inefficiencies in capital markets, among other things.

Shepherd said there is a lot of attention being paid by investors to Park Place, adding that he expects the office park will eventually bounce back. He noted there is a surge of industrial, retail and multi-family development happening in the northwest submarket of metro Milwaukee.

Significant developments happening nearby include the new Western Building Products headquarters at the Joy Farms site, the new Leonardo DRS manufacturing facility in Menomonee Falls and Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp.’s multi-purpose campus, also in Menomonee Falls. Both the Leonardo DRS and Milwaukee Tool projects are located in the village’s Woodland Prime office park.

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Alex Zank covers commercial and residential real estate for BizTimes. Alex previously worked for Farm Equipment magazine and also covered statewide construction news at The Daily Reporter. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied journalism, political science and economics. Having grown up in rural western Wisconsin, Alex loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, four-wheeling and hunting.

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