With “Milwaukee Bar Association” neatly etched in small gold lettering across the second story of the building at 424 E. Wells St. in downtown Milwaukee, many passersby have assumed the organization owns the building.
[caption id="attachment_327523" align="alignright" width="319"]
The Milwaukee Bar Association has been located on Wells Street since 1995.[/caption]
But the non-profit group has leased the 7,000 square feet of space there since 1995 and now, the group is exploring its options and considering a relocation.
“We absolutely want to stay downtown, in the central business district,” said Sarah Martis, executive director of the Milwaukee Bar Association. “It is important for the attorneys at the major law firms to be able to walk to us.”
Examples of what they are looking for in a possible new location include spaces where the fixtures don’t need to be replaced. High speed internet is also a must, Martis said. But these are not exclusive parameters in the search, she said.
The association’s lease with Cathedral Square Limited Partnership expires in July 2018. The group is working with David Pudlosky at JLL to explore spaces. A decision has to be made by January, Martis said.
The group could also decide to renew, but they would renovate.
The Milwaukee Bar Association represents more than 2,000 lawyers and judges in Milwaukee County.
Martis said with continuing education programs the group offers and other events, there are sometimes up to 70 people at the office, which has a training room that a can hold everyone. A new space wouldn’t necessarily have to be that large.
She thinks the association could get by on 5,000 square feet of well thought-out space.
“We want something that is keeping with the times,” Martis said. “Being downtown you can have cool, cream city brick. We’re not looking for sleek, just modern.”