Schlitz Park developers have big future plans

The Brewery Works Inc., the ownership group of Schlitz Park, is working on a $30 million renovation project for the downtown Milwaukee office complex. However, the group has even bigger plans for further development of Schlitz Park.

The group’s boldest vision is a four-story, 160,000-square-foot class A office space addition that would be built on top of the 450,000-square-foot RiverCenter building, the largest building in the complex, located along the Milwaukee River. The Brewery Works extended support columns through the roof of the building, originally a heavy industrial structure, so additional floors could be built on top of the building, said Gary Grunau, developer and co-owner of Schlitz Park.

The RiverCenter building expansion plans give Schlitz Park a way to compete for large tenants that are in the market in the future for class A office space, Grunau said.

“We’re fine-tuning the plan,” he said. “We’ll market it when a large tenant comes down the road. Some day when the time is right we’re going to develop it.”

The riverfront location, combined with expansive views of the rest of downtown Milwaukee, free parking and other amenities at Schlitz Park will make it an attractive space, Grunau predicts.

“It would be spectacular space,” he said. “It’s right on the river. It would be 160,000 square feet of, I think, the best office space in Milwaukee.”

Big future plans are also in the works for the Powerhouse building, recognizable by its two large smoke stacks. The boilers in the building are no longer used as a heat source, but chillers in the building are still used, with river water, as part of the system to cool the Schlitz Park building.

The Brewery Works plans to eventually expand the building and redevelop the unused portion of the building to create 60,000 square feet of office space.

Read more about Schlitz Park in the cover story of the latest edition of the BizTimes Milwaukee magazine, which provides an in depth look at Schlitz Park, the $30 million in improvements that are being done to the office park and the new tenants that are moving there.

On Tuesday, Schlitz Park announced that a “national services and technology provider to the financial services industry” has signed a lease for 18,000 square feet of space in the Bottlehouse A building. Jim Cavanaugh of RFP Commercial brokered the deal for Schlitz Park. The tenant declined to have its name disclosed in the lease announcement said Pam Kassner, spokeswoman for Schlitz Park. The company will move 50 employees to Schlitz Park from a suburban Milwaukee location.

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