Outback Steakhouse plans several Milwaukee area restaurants

    Tampa, Fla.-based Outback Steakhouse Inc. is planning to make a significant splash in the Milwaukee area by opening several new restaurants.
    Carrabba’s Italian Grill, a chain of casual Italian restaurants owned by Outback Steakhouse Inc., will tear down the former Ground Round restaurant building at 4765 S. 76th St. in Greenfield and build a new 5,600-square-foot restaurant in its place. It will be the first Carraba’s location in the state.
    Carrabba’s had considered the site for a restaurant earlier this year, but a deal with the property owner, John O’Malley, fell through. Then, restaurateur Nick Tsioustsiopoulos, whose family owns the Brisco County Wood Grill in Menomonee Falls, planned to open a restaurant in the former Ground Round building. However, that deal also fell through, and a new deal was struck with Carrabba’s.
    "We were negotiating a lease, and there were some snags," said Jamie Butler, land development manager for Outback Steakhouse Inc. "It came back to us, and we got the terms resolved."
    Construction of the new restaurant is expected to begin in March and Carrabba’s will open around June 1, Butler said.
    "(Carrabba’s is) a traditional Italian restaurant with a heavy emphasis on the grill," Butler said.
    The restaurant serves chicken, steak and fish off the grill and cooks handmade pizza in a brick, wood-burning pizza oven.
    The Ground Round restaurant on South 76th Street closed earlier this year. The new Carrabba’s restaurant will be a significant aesthetic improvement to the property, said Greenfield planning director Chuck Erickson.
    "It’s going to be a tremendous difference," he said.
    The new restaurant will be built closer to the street, with extensive landscaping and a new parking lot.
    "We’re taking down the old Ground Round," Butler said. "It’s dated. It must be 30 years old. The parking lot is falling apart. It has virtually no landscaping."
    The restaurant building will be a version of a classical Tuscan Italian house, Butler said.
    Outback Steakhouse Inc. also is planning to open a Carrabba’s, combined with a Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant, at 18365 W. Blue Mound Road in Brookfield. The property is the former site of a Chi-Chi’s restaurant that closed when the Louisville, Ky.-based Mexican restaurant chain went bankrupt.
    Chi-Chi’s financial problems were compounded last year when more than 600 people contracted hepatitis "A" from green onions at Chi-Chi’s restaurants in several states. Four people died from the outbreak.
    Outback Steakhouse Inc. paid $42.5 million to acquire the rights to 76 Chi-Chi’s restaurants through bankruptcy court. Outback has exercised its option to acquire about 50 of those restaurants, including the Brookfield location, Butler said.
    The Brookfield location would be the second location in the state for both the Carrabba’s and Cheeseburger in Paradise chains. The other Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant is located in Middleton, a western suburb of Madison. The restaurant serves, of course, cheeseburgers, traditional American favorites, New Orleans-inspired entrees and Carribean-themed fare.
    In addition, Outback Steakhouse Inc. is "aggressively pursuing" another location in Brookfield to build a Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, Butler said. He declined to disclose the location of that site. It would be the first Wisconsin location for Fleming’s, which services steaks, seafood, chicken and salads.
    Outback has an option to acquire the closed Chi-Chi’s restaurant at 5005 S. 74th St. in Greenfield, but has not decided if it will do so, Butler said. If the firm acquires the property, it would likely become a Cheeseburger in Paradise, he said.
    An Outback Steakhouse also is being built in Fox Point in the River Point Village Center at 8617 N. Port Washington Road. It will be the third Outback Steakhouse in the Milwaukee area, the others are in Brookfield and Greenfield.
    More Greenfield development
    Menomonee Falls-based Russ Darrow Group plans to build a new Suzuki dealership at 4201 S. 108th St., relocating the business from the Mazda/Suzuki dealership at 3520 S. 108th St. The project will provide Russ Darrow more space for selling Mazda and Suzuki vehicles at the two locations. Russ Darrow plans to demolish a house that was converted to the Greenfield Gallery collectibles store Gallery to make way for the Suzuki dealership.
    Factory Card Outlet, a greeting card and party supplies store, will occupy a 12,000-square-foot addition that will be built onto the west side of the T.J. Maxx store in Spring Mall at 4200 S. 76th St.
    Sheboygan
    Wal-Mart, which gave up trying to build a restaurant in Franklin due to citizen outcry, is having better luck in the City of Sheboygan.
    The Sheboygan Common Council recently approved the construction of a 212,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter on 39 acres at Taylor Drive and Germaine Avenue. The store will replace the existing Wal-Mart store at 609 S. Taylor Dr. in the Taylor Heights shopping center. The new store is expected to open by the end of next year.
    However, Wal-Mart isn’t having as much luck in the Town of Sheboygan, where the Bentonville, Ark.-based discount retail giant wants to build another 212,000-square-foot Superstore on 49 acres at Highway 42 and Interstate 43.
    Residents in the Town of Sheboygan, much like Franklin residents, have opposed the proposed Superstore. Critics residents say the Wal-Mart Superstore would add noise and traffic, reduce property values and diminish the rural character of the town, similar to concerns expressed by Franklin residents who opposed a Wal-Mart Superstore in their community.
    Lake Geneva
    Ryan Cos. U.S., a Minneapolis developer, has presented preliminary plans to Lake Geneva officials for a large retail development north of the Home Depot store at Highway 12 and Highway 50. The development would include a 120,000-square-foot, big-box store, a 60,000-square-foot store and an 8,000 multi-tenant retail building. All of the development would be connected, said Barry Brugger, zoning administrator and building inspector for Lake Geneva. Ryan Cos. needs the city to change the zoning and master plan designation for the land from residential to commercial use. Brugger said it will probably take at least a year for the developer and city officials to complete negotiations for the project.
    Fairwyn Ltd. of Lake Geneva plans to build an 8,000-square-foot, multi-tenant office building at Townline Road and Veterans Parkway.
    Kenosha
    Robert Watring, president of Kenosha-based R ‘n M Lakeshore Investments, wants to build a nine-story, mixed-use building at the southwest corner of 57th Street and 4th Avenue. The building would be almost 100 feet tall, and it would have about 4,500 square feet of retail space on the first floor and parking for 45 vehicles on the first and second floors. The building would have 34 condominiums on the third through ninth floors, including seven one-bedroom units and 27 two-bedroom units. Watring said he has pre-sold 22 of the units. The price range is $160,000 to $360,000. About 80 percent of the units will have lake views, he said. The City of Kenosha owns the downtown property, which is located near the Harbor Park condominium and townhouse development. City officials want Watring to decide by the end of the year if he is going to buy the property from the city, so the developer is trying to get the project approved during December before closing on the purchase, said city planner Brian Wilke. "The place is right for it," Wilke said. "It’s going to be something that definitely spurs more development in the downtown area." Watring also is looking for a site in downtown Racine to build a 12-story condominium highrise. He is currently considering four different sites. "Kenosha and Racine are coming into their own," Watring said. "I’m offering something that Chicago and Milwaukee have always enjoyed, and now it’s time for Kenosha and Racine to come on board. Our units will be half the price you would get in Chicago and Milwaukee, and you are within an hour (of those cities) either way." Watring also plans to do similar projects in Green Bay and Wisconsin Dells.
    Pewaukee
    Arcadia, Wis.-based Ashley Furniture plans to open a store in the 62,000-square-foot former Festival Foods location at 1230 Capitol Drive. Festival Foods closed the store about one year ago, Village of Pewaukee deputy clerk Paul Boening said. The only other Ashley Furniture store in the Milwaukee area is at 6801 S. 27th St., Franklin.
    A 2,900-square-foot Taco Bell/Long John Silver’s restaurant has been proposed for the northeast corner of Capitol Drive and Westfield Way. The restaurant will be built on a one acre outlot on the Capitol Cinemas property. Village officials still must approve the plans. The Long John Silver’s quick service seafood chain has 1,200 locations, but only three in southeastern Wisconsin, located in West Allis, Saukville and Kenosha.
    Franklin
    Brookfield-based North Shore Bank is planning to build a 3,380-square-foot branch at 7151 S. 76th St. The bank would be located about three miles south of a North Shore Bank branch at 5101 S. 76th St. in Greendale. The Greendale location will remain open, even after the Franklin branch opens next fall, said Darrel Eisenhardt, vice president in branch administration for North Shore Bank. "One of the things we do annually is survey customers," Eisenhardt said. "One of the things that came out of that is, ‘When are you going to build in Franklin?’" This is a market in need of our banking services." The Franklin location is expected to draw more of its customers from the east and the south.
    Pleasant Prairie
    The Pleasant Prairie Village Board recently approved a request to rezone 55 acres of land at the southeast corner of 116th Street and 88th Avenue, which is owned by Village President and State Representaive John Steinbrink. Milwaukee-based Wispark LLC plans to buy the property. The village board has also approved a conceptual plan by Wispark to build three industrial buildings on the property, a 480,000-square-foot building and two 60,000-square-foot buildings, said Jean Werbie, Pleasant Prairie community development director. Wispark vice president Gary Rosecrans said the firm does not have any tenants for the buildings yet. The property is just south of where Wispark has developed the 2,263-acre LakeView Corporate Park.
    Milwaukee
    Paul P. Mueller plans to open a tavern and banquet hall at 818 S. Water St.
    Robert Tuttle plans to open an antique store at 2216 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. in Bay View.
    Semen Melikhov plans to open a new and used jewelry store at 275 W. Wisconsin Ave.
    Andrew Weiland is the managing editor of Small Business Times. Send news about commercial real estate to andrew.weiland@biztimes.com or by calling him at (414) 277-8181 ext. 120. News can also be sent to Andrew Weiland, Small Business Times, 1123 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202.
    Leases
    Apex Commercial
    Stewart Title Services has leased 736 square feet of space, Gavin Walwork has leased 770 square feet of space and Salon 2100 has leased 1,759 square feet of space at 2100 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, from 2100 Mayfair Road Limited Partnership.
    Perry Capital Management has leased 2,316 square feet of space at One Park Plaza, 11270 W. Park Place, Milwaukee, from Transwestern Investment Co.
    Wonderlic Mortgage Corp. has leased 6,782 square feet of space at 205 Bishops Way, Brookfield, from Arbor Terrace Associates Ltd.
    Noble Communications BBDS has leased 6,758 square feet of space, Boldt Group has leased 1,968 square feet of space and Big Bang, LLC has leased 3,531 square feet of space at 1110 N. Old World Third St., Milwaukee, from Riverfront Plaza Joint Venture.
    Kenneth Aronson has leased 2,897 square feet of space, William Ikpi has leased 677 square feet of space and Heart & Health has leased 1,440 square feet of space at 1011 Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, from 1011 Mayfair Road Limited Partnership.
    Ambulatory Epilepsy has leased 875 square feet of space at 2401 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, from 2400 Mayfair Road Limited Partnership.
    James T. Barry Co., Inc.
    International Delivery Solutions has leased 25,175 square feet of space at 7340 S. Howell Ave., Oak Creek, from Mahn Court LLC. Inland Companies represented the landlord.
    Nitragin, Inc. has leased 35,000 square feet of industrial space at 4801 W. Woolworth Ave., Milwaukee, from GFP Warehousing II. The Dickman Co. represented the landlord. Nitragin plans to reconfigure its warehousing and distribution operations in the new space in order to create greater efficiency.
    Zizzo Group Advertising has leased 10,884 square feet of office space and ENV Designs leased 840 square feet of office space in the ASQ Center at 648 Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee. The building is now 98 percent occupied with only 4,500 square feet of office space available and up to 10,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space available on the first floor including a 7,000 square foot suite with riverwalk frontage and access.
    The Dickman Co.
    Ritter Technology Inc. has leased 27,000 square feet of space and American Pasteurization Co., LLC has leased 25,846 square feet of space at 2880 N. 112th St., Milwaukee, from Hansen Storage Co.
    Lake Country Plastic & Hand Surgery S.C. has leased 2,937 square feet of office space at N19 W24075 Riverwood Dr., Pewaukee, from M-P Group, LLC.
    Mid-America Real Estate
    Pinto’s Mexican Grill has leased 3,000 square feet of space at Ruby Isle Shopping Center, Brookfield, from Ruby Realty.
    Playmakers has leased 5,316 square feet of space at 4601 W. North Ave.
    EB Games has leased 1,358 square feet of space at The Shoppes at 100, West Allis, from Zabest Commercial Group. EB Games joins Starbucks, Nextel, Nothing But Noodles, Cold Stone Creamery and Nick-N-Willy’s at the newly constructed center.
    Fox Learning Center and Wireless Intel each have leased 1,360 square feet of space at Falls Plaza in Menomonee Falls.
    Starbucks has leased 1,673 square feet of space at The Pavilion, Grafton.
    Sales
    James T. Barry Co., Inc.
    Ibrahim Mahmoud and Salam Alramahi have purchased the 12,900-square-foot former Tracer facility at 4344 W. Capitol Dr., Milwaukee. They plan to use the building for an auto stereo business.
    BBD Woodmill New Berlin LLC has purchased the 37,200-square-foot industrial building at 17155 W. Glendale Dr., New Berlin, in the New Berlin Industrial Park, from 17155 LLC. BBD Woodmill plans to establish a new expanded location for Woodmill Products, which manufactures commercial and architectural woodwork. 17155 LLC has moved its operations to a new facility in Sussex.
    Baivier Properties LLC has purchased the 11,150-square-foot industrial building at 7802 W. Florist Ave., Milwaukee, from Braunreiter Trust. Baivier plans to move its business, Unity Casket Company, into the building.
    Erv Staacke and Tracy Woznicki have purchased the 15,140-square-foot industrial facility at 16995 W. Victor Road, New Berlin, in the New Berlin Industrial Park. Staacke and Woznicki plan to relocate a portion of their operation from a nearby property in the industrial park.
    Boerke Company
    Roethel Enterprises LLC, has purchased 6,000 square feet of industrial space at 5100 W. Good Hope Road, Milwaukee, from Gail Company.
    The Dickman Co.
    MT Land, LLC, has purchased 12,750 square feet of industrial space at 4430 S. Kansas Ave., St. Francis, from Oland, LLC. The sale price was $466,000.
    Mid-America Real Estate
    MRED Associates has purchased the former Kohl’s Food Store at 1200 Green Bay Road, Mt. Pleasant, from Wisconsin Kohl’s Venture, LP.
    New Construction
    Briohn Building Corp., Brookfield, has been contracted to design and build a new 60,328-square-foot building for Create-A-Pack Foods, Inc. at W1344 Industrial Dr., Ixonia. Create-A-Pack is a food processing and packaging facility. The firm will move to Ixonia in the spring from its location in Oconomowoc, which it has outgrown.
    MSI General Corp., Oconomowoc, is building a new church for Fox River Community Congregational Church at N34 W23575 W. Capitol Dr., Pewaukee.
    National Survey and Engineering, Brookfield, are provided site work engineering and land surveying for an A.J. Wright store and an Applebee’s/Pizza Hut at Midtown Center, located northeast of Capitol Drive and 60th St. in Milwaukee. The A.J. Wright store opened recently and the Applebee’s/Pizza Hut will open in December.
    Haag Muller, Inc., Port Washington, and McKee Associates are remodeling the McDonald’s restaurant on Falls Road in Grafton. The new design will look like the original 1950s style McDonald’s. Haag Muller is the architect and project designer.
    Bukacek Construction, Racine, has begun work on a 10,500-square-foot $600,000 warehouse in Franklin Industrial Center IV. The facility will be completed in February, and it will accommodate two future tenants whose build-to-suit needs will be met later. Stephen Perry Smith Architects designed the building. Milwaukee Warehouse and Office LLC, of Franklin, hired Bukacek to build the warehouse.
    November 26, 2004, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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