Postal Service wants eviction case dropped

Developer seeking to evict USPS from downtown Milwaukee building

The front entrance to the downtown Milwaukee U.S. Postal Service facility.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:49 pm

The lawsuit seeking to evict the United States Postal Service from its downtown Milwaukee location should be dismissed, the agency says.

The front entrance to the downtown Milwaukee U.S. Postal Service facility.

The U.S. Postal Service filed a motion to dismiss in U.S. District Court Tuesday. This is the first time the agency has commented publicly on the eviction notice since property owner Matt Garrison, managing principal of Chicago-based R2 Companies, filed it in August.

Garrison alleges that since April 26, the U.S. Postal Service has known about “deficiencies in maintenance of the building,” violating the lease agreement, which dates back to 1970, that requires the tenant to keep the building in acceptable condition.

But according to the Postal Service, the agency is “under no obligation to perform repairs on demand or under any time frame other than what the Postal Service decides, in the sole discretion to keep the property in proper condition.”

The Postal Service also said Garrison failed to say what damages the building actually suffered. The USPS could remain in the facility until 2040 under its current lease.

Garrison’s attorney, Eric Van Schyndle, an attorney with Quarles & Brady LLP, could not be reached for comment Tuesday or Wednesday.

Garrison purchased the downtown Milwaukee Post Office building at 341 W. St. Paul Ave., for $13.1 million in October 2015 from a group of private investors based in Wauwatosa. At the time, he announced a dramatic redevelopment plan for the building once the Post Office’s lease was up. The plans included 980,000 square feet of office space between renovations to the existing structure and a new office tower that would be built on its west end. A new 282,000 square-foot residential tower would be built on its east end, according to the plans. Restaurants and entertainment venues were also planned.

Since the purchase, R2 has continued to invest in Milwaukee. Garrison was one of the non-named buyers in the ASQ Center in downtown Milwaukee in July, partnering with Minneapolis-based Hempel Cos. on the $19.9 million purchase. In addition, R2 purchased the Tannery Complex in Walker’s Point for $25.4 million earlier this month.

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