Schlitz Park now 100 percent occupied

National General Insurance signs lease for last remaining space at 800,000-square-foot office complex

Schlitz Park

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:51 pm

A new lease with National General Insurance will bring Schlitz Park, an 800,000-square-foot office complex just north of downtown Milwaukee, to 100 percent occupancy.

Schlitz Park

The New York-based insurance company will lease 31,315 square feet in the park’s RiverCenter building, River Center Dr.

National General, which will move its office from its current downtown location at 501 W. Michigan St., will be the final tenant to move into the Schlitz Park complex’s $6.73 million South RiverCenter renovation project, which included the conversion of former warehouse space into office suites.

Founders 3 Real Estate Services’ Ned Purtell and Jenna Maguire represented Schlitz Park and Oakbrook Corporation’s Chris Richards represented National General.

“Achieving 100 percent occupancy in a multi-tenant office campus the size of Schlitz Park is a monumental triumph,” said co-developer Gary Grunau. “This achievement is a testament to the unrivaled buildings, spaces, amenities and events we’ve developed at Schlitz Park all in a setting that honors Milwaukee’s past, present, and future.”

In 2011, park developers Grunau and Scott Sampson announced a $30 million renovation plan to backfill 400,000 square feet of vacancy at Schlitz Park.

The plan included remodeling the public areas, renovating several buildings and adding fitness centers, healthy food options and several enhancements for bicycles.

Over the last seven years, Schlitz Park has signed more than 20 new or expanded leases with tenants including the Milwaukee Bucks, UMB Fund Services, Infosys and AECOM.

Several Schlitz Park tenants relocated downtown from suburban offices including Badger Liquor, HSA Bank and Trusted Media Brands.

The leasing activity has brought 4,200 jobs to Schlitz Park including more than 1,000 new positions to downtown.

During a September interview with BizTimes, while Grunau was undergoing treatment for brain cancer, he said his commitment to attracting young, diverse professionals to Schlitz Park was unwavering.

“Our biggest problem (in the city) is inclusion and getting beyond us versus them,” Grunau said in September.

Future possibilities for Schlitz Park could include transforming the Powerhouse building to add an additional 75,000 square feet of office space.

Schlitz Park was originally being considered as one of four sites Fiserv was considering for its corporate headquarters in addition to The Corridor development in Brookfield, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Innovation Campus in Wauwatosa and Reed Street Yards in Milwaukee.

Grunau’s proposal for Fiserv was a new, four-story 125,000 square foot office building located on the Milwaukee River between the ManpowerGroup headquarters and the former Time Warner (now Spectrum) regional headquarters.

Schlitz was ultimately eliminated in early August 2017.

Fiserv still has not announced a decision on its headquarters.

The Schlitz Park site could still be developed for another anchor tenant, Grunau said.

The opening of the Milwaukee Bucks arena and the streetcar beginning operation later this year has Grunau excited for the future of Schlitz.

“The demand to be at Schlitz isn’t subsiding,” Grunau said. “We have a pipeline closely watching for future leasing opportunities. Tenants want to be here. More companies want to move downtown, yet the area is pretty well leased up. That means with 100 percent occupancy, new construction is Schlitz Park’s next opportunity.”

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