Tannery buildings sold to Chicago-based owner of downtown post office

R2 Companies planning "creative office campus"

An affiliate of the Chicago-based development firm that is attempting to evict the downtown Milwaukee Post Office has purchased The Tannery, a multi-building office complex in Walker’s Point, for $25.4 million.

Timbers Building at The Tannery complex in Walker’s Point.

MKE Atlas Timbers LLC, which is registered to R2 Companies purchased the six-building complex from an affiliate of Madison-based Sara Investment Real Estate, according to state records. Sara Investment Real Estate has owned the Tannery since November 2014. The company paid $16.75 million for the complex.

The approximately 250,000-square-foot deal includes the Trade Center, Timbers, Atlas, Great Lakes Distillery buildings, and abundant surface parking.

Improvements are planned for all common areas, restrooms and lobbies in addition to adding amenities such as a bike room, tenant lounge, fitness center, and outdoor patio, said Max Meyers, principal and Chief Investment Officer of R2 Companies.

“We plan to turn the Tannery into the premier creative office campus in Milwaukee,” Meyer said. “We plan to work with local retail operators to bring coffee and food service to the complex to compliment the incredibly successful Great Lakes Distillery which has been at the Tannery for many years. We believe that Walker’s Point offers the best mix of character retail, market leading hospitality and affordable housing stock which are the pillars of a great creative office market.”

The Tannery complex in Walker’s Point.

R2 Companies owns more than 4 million square feet of creative office across the Midwest, Meyers said.

In Milwaukee, R2 has owned the 1.1 million-square-foot, four-story downtown Milwaukee post office building at 341 W. St. Paul Ave. since October 2015. In August, R2 announced it had filed an eviction notice against the United States Postal Service.

The case is pending in federal court.

R2 was also one of the non-named buyers in the ASQ Center in downtown Milwaukee in July, partnering with Minneapolis-based Hempel Cos. on the $19.9 million purchase.

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