UMB plans office move to Schlitz Park

UMB Fund Services Inc. plans to move its office from 803 W. Michigan St. on the west side of downtown Milwaukee about 1.5 miles northeast to the Schlitz Park office complex on the north side of downtown Milwaukee.

UMB currently has 250 employees and occupies 77,000 square feet of space in the 131,600-square-foot Michigan Street building, which is owned by Zilber Property Group.

Schlitz Park is planning to renovate its Executive Building at 235 W. Galena St. and is seeking $1.7 million in tax incremental financing (TIF) from the city for improvements to Galena Street that would extend the street east from North Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive into the Schlitz Park complex.

The Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development (ZND) Committee this week approved the proposal for the TIF plans, which are still subject to approval of the full Common Council. Schlitz Park developer Gary Grunau said the TIF funds would help Schlitz Park attract a new tenant, but that tenant has not been disclosed publicly.

Zilber vice president Mike Mervis said the firm is upset that the name of the tenant has not been identified as aldermen consider whether or not to provide the TIF funds for Schlitz Park.

“We’re not opposed to TIF for streetscapes,” Mervis said. “We’re opposed to the beneficiaries not being disclosed. We’re not saying what the vote (on the TIF proposal) should be. We’re saying, before you vote, understand what company it is and what the issues are. We think it’s critical that there be transparency in these matters so we can have a public debate.”

Aldermen should be made aware that the $1.7 million in TIF funds is helping one Milwaukee business (Schlitz Park) compete against another (Zilber), Mervis said.

The tenant has not been disclosed publicly because the deal has not been completed, said Schlitz Park spokeswoman Pam Kassner.

“It’s still in final negotiations,” she said. “They weren’t prepared to name the tenant. As long as you are still in negotiations you’re not going to release the name of a tenant until you absolutely have to.”

The Michigan Street building owned by Zilber Property Group is fully occupied with UMB and two other tenants, Mervis said. Zilber has offered to relocate one of the tenants to allow UMB to expand in the building, he said.

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