Ruvin to buy former Third Street Pier building

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:40 pm

Mequon-based Ruvin Development Inc. plans to purchase the Riverfront Plaza building, which is the former home of the Third Street Pier restaurant, at 1104-21 N. Old World Third St. in downtown Milwaukee, and two, one-acre parking lots in the Park East corridor along the Milwaukee River.

Mequon-based Ruvin Development Inc. plans to purchase the Riverfront Plaza building, which is the former home of the Third Street Pier restaurant, at 1104-21 N. Old World Third St. in downtown Milwaukee.

"We have it under contract," said Ruvin Development owner Rob Ruvin. "We’re going through our due diligence. We like the property." Ruvin said he plans to close on the purchase in June.

The six-story, 105,328-square-foot building was built in 1923 and is owned by Hoffman Management Co. Ruvin said he is working with Hoffman Management to attract a tenant to the space in the Riverfront Plaza building that was vacated by Third Street Pier, which was owned by Hans Weissgerber III and closed in October. "There’s been a high level of interest," Ruvin said.

The building is also the home of Lucille’s Rockin’ Pianos. The upper five floors have office space that is about 80 percent occupied, Ruvin said. According to city records, the building has an assessed value of $8.8 million. Ruvin declined to disclose the purchase price.

However, an even more significant part of the deal could be two parking lots that Ruvin Development will acquire with the building. The parking lots, and the building, sit along the west bank of the Milwaukee River. One of the parking lots is at the southeast corner of Old World Third Street and Juneau Avenue and the other is at the northeast corner of the intersection.

Each parking lot is about one acre is size. The lots are in the Park East corridor, where a freeway stub was torn down to clear land for development, which is now starting to occur. The lots are in a prime location, about two blocks from the Bradley Center and about two blocks from where Manpower Inc.’s new corporate headquarters is under construction.

Ruvin said he plans to eventually develop the parking lots. "They’re in the development pipeline," he said. "Eventually those will get developed. We’ve been in some brief discussions, but nothing concrete yet."

Ruvin Development partnered with Milwaukee-based Fiduciary Real Estate Development Inc. to convert the apartments in the former Blatz brewery in downtown Milwaukee into condominiums.

Ruvin Development is also partnering with Dallas-based Gatehouse Capital Corp. to do a mixed-use development of the Sydney Hih block. The block is located in the Park East corridor across Old World Third Street from one of the parking lots Ruvin is acquiring from Hoffman. Most of the block is vacant and is being sold to Ruvin and Gatehouse by Milwaukee County.

Some of the Sydney Hih building, located at the northwest corner of Juneau Avenue and Old World Third Street, will be demolished and the rest will be redeveloped, Ruvin said. As part of the project, the former Gipfel brewery building will be moved from 423-27 W. Juneau Ave. next to the Sydney Hih building next month. On the rest of the block, Ruvin and Gatehouse plan to build a mixed-use development with a 180-room boutique hotel, 70 residential condominiums and 50,000 to 100,000 square feet of office space.

The development also will have about 30,000 square feet of ground floor retail space when complete. The centerpiece for the development will be a 25-story tower for the hotel and condos. The hotel will be operated by San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels.

The Sydney Hih property development is expected to break ground in August or September, Ruvin said, and be complete in 2009. "We’re working with the city through the approval process," Ruvin said. "Everything is going smooth."


Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display