Physicians Realty Trust buys Third Ward office building

Milwaukee-based Physicians Realty Trust, a health care real estate investment trust, on Friday closed on a deal to purchase the seven-story Renaissance on Water office building in the Historic Third Ward. Physicians Realty Trust will move its headquarters to about 7,500 square feet of space in the building.

The 132,480-square-foot building, constructed in 1896, is located at 309 N. Water St.

Jack Jacobson of Milwaukee-based NAI MLG Commercial brokered the sale for the seller, El Segundo, Calif.-based Athene Asset Management L.P.

Jacobson declined to disclose the sale price, and there was no asking price. The building has an assessed value of about $7.6 million, according to city records.

The building was previously owned by Bob Patch, who lost the property to foreclosure in 2009 to Aviva U.S. Corp., which was later acquired by Athene.
Since December of 2010, “a lot of money went into the building to get it ready for sale,” Jacobson said.
The building, considered by some to be one of the most attractive historic buildings in the Third Ward, was listed for sale in February. There was significant interest in the property, Jacobson said.

“We had a large number of people who were interested in the building,” he said. “I had nine tours of qualified buyers in two weeks, which I didn’t expect. There was a lot of competition for the building. (Athene) got a good price.”

Physicians Realty Trust is currently located at 735. N. Water St. in downtown Milwaukee and needs more space, Jacobson said. A representative for Physicians Realty Trust could not be reached for comment.

“They want to expand; they own real estate,” Jacobson said. “This accomplishes two goals for them.”

The building is currently about 72 percent occupied. NAI MLG Commercial managed the building for Athene, and will continue to do so for Physicians Realty Trust, Jacobson said.

The occupancy rate should improve under new ownership, he said.

“There’s a lot of activity in the market,” Jacobson said.

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