Real estate deals of the week

Cardinal Stritch buying the Cousins Center in St. Francis.

Cousins Center sold
Cardinal Stritch University
announced this week that it has reached an agreement with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to purchase the Cousins Center at 3501 S. Lake Dr., St. Francis. The 415,000-square-foot Cousins Center sits on a 44-acre property near Lake Michigan. The sale price was not disclosed. The sale is contingent upon city approval for rezoning the property and the final sale agreement must be approved by the Cardinal Stritch Board of Trustees and the administrative team for the Sisters of Saint Francis of Assisi, the university’s sponsors. Cardinal Stritch is currently landlocked at its Fox Point/Glendale main campus. The Cousins Center property would provide it a place for expansion and growth. The Archdiocese needs to sell the property because of financial problems caused by the priest sex abuse scandal.

Large Franklin building sold
Lake Forest, Ill.-based Westminster Fund VII recently purchased a 123,200-square-foot industrial building at 4700 Ironwood Dr., Franklin, from Oak Brook, Ill.-based CenterPoint Properties Trust for $5.8 million. Trent Poole of CB Richard Ellis represented the buyer and seller in brokering the sale. The building is occupied by General ThermoDynamics, which has a long-term lease. The building was built by CenterPoint in 1998 as a build-to-suit for General ThermoDynamics, which is part of Montgomery, Ala.-based ThermaSys Corp.

Fox Bay Cinema signs long-term lease renewal
Brian Henry, the owner of The Fox Bay Cinema Grill Theatre, recently agreed to a 10-year lease renewal for its space at 334 E. Silver Spring Dr., Whitefish Bay. The owner of the building is Milwaukee-based New Land Enterprises. The theater has been in operation since 1951 and was purchased in 2000 by Henry. A recent decline on the street, some business closings and the opening of a movie theater at Bayshore Town Center had threatened the continued operation of Fox Bay, according to New Land. "We are very pleased that we were able to work out a deal with the theater’s owners and take an important step towards keeping Silver Spring a viable neighborhood shopping and entertainment district," said Walter Shuk, a partner with New Land Enterprises. "We still have a long way to go to revitalize Silver Spring, but this is a step in the right direction."

New Land also announced the signing of a lease by Ryan and Marija Whitman and Vesna Madunic of the former Murray’s Wine and Spirits liquor store space at 342 E. Silver Spring Dr., Whitefish Bay, by a new full service restaurant called Berkeley’s Café. The space will undergo a $400,000 renovation and the restaurant is scheduled to open on Sept. 1. The Whitmans also own and operate Firefly in downtown Wauwatosa, and Gracious Events and Catering. "There is demand in Whitefish Bay for more eating and drinking establishments that are within walking distance," said Marija Whitman. "We look forward to creating a space that is as welcoming for families as it is for adults who want to relax with a cocktail or glass of wine. Our vision is to serve home-made food with quality ingredients in an atmosphere that has the feel of an upscale Los Angeles café."

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