The Sentinel Building in downtown Milwaukee has been sold to a group of investors who are planning an adaptive reuse project, possibly converting the historic office building into apartments.
According to state records, the building, located at 225 E. Mason St., was recently acquired by Milwaukee-based Mason St Ventures LLC for $2.1 million.
The investors group is registered to Milwaukee-area real estate agent Adam Gollatz. It also includes local real estate professional Jonathan Bliss, said Gollatz, along with two other partners.
It was sold by Sentinel Suites LLC, which lists an address in Grayslake, Illinois. It is registered to Doug Young.
The building has an assessed value of $1.58 million, according to city records. It totals 31,848 square feet.
Gollatz said his group is considering the best use for the building. It is around 30% occupied as offices, he said.
"it’s a really cool building, a lot of history behind it, and it’s in a prime location right downtown," he said. "You don’t see many buildings like that come up for sale at a semi-affordable price point."
He said it will likely be converted to either apartments, condos or a hotel. It's hard to determine what the best use is right now given market uncertainty due to the ongoing pandemic.
If it was converted to apartments, it would have around 30 units, said Gollatz. He added the units would be market-rate, but not "ultra high-end" such as the nearby 7Seventy7 apartment tower. A studio apartment in the Sentinel Building, at around 500 square feet, may cost $1,000 a month, he estimated.
But those details are all dependent on feedback the investors group receives from architects and contractors, Gollatz said.
If eventually redeveloped, the Sentinel Building would be only the latest older downtown office building to take on a new life.
For instance, the Drury Hotel opened in late 2019 in the former First Financial Centre building at 700 N. Water St. Meanwhile, the Underwriters Exchange Building at 828 N. Broadway is being converted into the 75-unit Street Car Flats.
Sentinel Suites bought the 10-story historic office building in 2018 for $1.5 million.
The site originally featured a three-story building occupied by The Milwaukee Sentinel newspaper beginning in 1864. As the newspaper grew in circulation, the current 10-story Sentinel Building was constructed to replace the smaller building in 1893. The newspaper continued to operate at the building until 1930.