Real estate deals of the week

Pabst Farms selects new mall developer. Bradley Center selects development partner. Sendik’s store planned for Greenfield

The massive Pabst Farms commercial and residential development at Interstate 94 and Highway 67 in Oconomowoc announced that it has selected Beechwood, Ohio-based Developers Diversified Realty Corp. to develop the project’s regional mall.

The 1 million-square-foot regional mall, to be called Pabst Farms Town Center, will be built northeast of I-94 and Highway 67 and is expected to be open by 2010. Construction is expected to begin in 2008. Originally, Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc., one of the nation’s largest mall operators, had planned to build the regional mall at Pabst Farms, but the company dropped out of the project, prompting Pabst Farms to look for a new partner. Developers Diversified Realty is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that develops, leases and manages retail and office space. The company owns and manages about 740 retail operating and development properties in 45 states, in addition to Puerto Rico, Brazil, Russia and Canada, totaling more than 160 million square feet.

The change in developers will not affect the project’s timeline, Pabst Farms spokesman Thad Nation said. "We still expect to have it open by 2010. That is part of the agreement we signed today," he said. "Obviously, to make a 2010 open date, construction is going to have to begin fairly quickly." The regional mall will be an open-air, lifestyle shopping center as originally planned, Nation said.

 

Ending approximately a yearlong search, the Bradley Center Sports & Entertainment Corp. announced that it has selected Indianapolis-based Lauth Property Group as its partner to help develop the vacant land around the downtown Milwaukee sports and entertainment facility. CB Richard Ellis helped the Bradley Center find the development partner. The Bradley Center, located at 1001 N. Fourth St., owns about six acres of developable land to the north and has some vacant land adjacent to the building at the corner of North Sixth and State streets. The development plans will focus on the land to the north of the building, but the corner of Sixth and State also holds great potential, according to Bradley Center spokesman Evan Zeppos. The Bradley Center wants to develop the vacant land to enhance the facility as an entertainment destination and to generate more revenue. The building eventually will need a new scoreboard, and the seats will need to be re-upholstered, Zeppos said. In addition, the Bradley Center will continue to look for ways to enhance the building that will generate more revenue for its tenants, the Milwaukee Bucks, Marquette University and the Milwaukee Admirals, he said.

Development around the Bradley Center could help attract more development to the Park East corridor, which is just north of the Bradley Center.

Larry Evinger, first vice president of retail development for Lauth and a former resident of the Milwaukee area, said the development team envisions a mix of retail and restaurant businesses that will make the Bradley Center more of a year-round destination.

"Lauth is looking forward to creating a unique destination that encourages people to arrive early and stay after events at the Bradley Center, or simply stop by to do a little shopping because they enjoy an open and exciting retail environment," Evinger said.

Lauth has developed and constructed facilities worth nearly $2 billion since it began in 1977, focusing on office, industrial, retail, and health care markets development.

"We conducted a thorough interview process with a wide variety of local and national firms and, in the end, Lauth was the clear choice (for a development partner)," said Steve Costello, president of the Bradley Center. "Our board was impressed with Lauth’s track record and experience in creating top-quality, pedestrian-friendly retail developments, as well as the company’s knowledge of the Milwaukee marketplace."

The Bradley Center and Lauth are in the process of finalizing a development agreement and preparing an initial development proposal, Costello said. No timeline has been set yet for when the development will occur, Zeppos said.

"We will work with Lauth to develop a specific plan that capitalizes on the great development and economic growth potential presented by the Bradley Center and the land around it," Costello said.

 

Devo Properties recently purchased the 90,000-square-foot shopping center at 7901 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield, from Town & Country Super Markets, Layton, Inc. Also, Sendik’s Food Market announced that it will lease 60,000 square feet of space in the shopping center, and plans to open a grocery store there next summer creating about 170 jobs. The space was previously occupied by a Jewel grocery store. The shopping center now has about 7,500 square feet of available space and will be renamed Sendik’s Commons. The Sendik’s store will be owned by Ted Balistreri, his brothers Nick and Patrick, and his sister Margaret Harris. Earlier this year they opened stores in Elm Grove and Franklin and also recently announced their plans to open a store in Germantown. They also own Sendik’s stores in Whitefish Bay, Wauwatosa, Meqoun and Grafton. "It’s wonderful that Sendik’s is putting its trust and faith in Greenfield," Mayor Mike Neitzke said. "The southwest side of town is a sleeping giant. We’re hoping for more opportunities there. I think the new Sendik’s will be the cornerstone of a renaissance along Layon Avenue and 76th Street. We’re elated."

 

An investors group, whose registered agent is James Schulhof of Milwaukee-based Schulhof Property Management LLC, recently purchased two apartment buildings on Wisconsin Avenue near the west end of the Marquette University campus. The buildings, Maryland Court Apartments at 2029-41 W. Wisconsin Ave. and The Patrician Apartments, 2101-15 W. Wisconsin Ave., have a total of 79 units and were sold by Maryland Court Apartments LLC to the investors group for $4.25 million. Ogden & Company brokers Mike Seramur, John Mazza and Sue Sardina brokered the deal for the buyers and the seller. The apartments are located across the street from 2040 Lofts (formerly the Bockle Building, which was recently converted into student housing) and near the Ambassador Hotel. "We have seen a surge of activity in the area," said Gordon Steimle, vice president of Ogden & Company Inc.’s commercial/investment division. "With the continued increase in enrollment at Marquette University and the need for student housing, the product and location created an ideal investment opportunity."

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