Underused downtown office building to be converted to apartments

Historic Underwriters Exchange Building sold to Chicago development group for $1.25 million

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:52 pm

The eight-story Underwriters Exchange Building in downtown Milwaukee has been sold to a Chicago-based development company that is planning to convert the underused office space into apartments.

Photo by LoopNet

The historic building located at 828 N. Broadway, was sold by James Cadd, of Brookfield to 850 W. Jackson LLC, for $1.25 million, according to state records. The building has an assessed value of $849,000, according to city records.

850 W. Jackson LLC is registered to Catapult Realty, which has offices in Chicago and Milwaukee.

“We closed quickly, so plans are preliminary, but we are thinking apartments should lay out pretty well above the first floor, said Paul Dincin, principal of Catapult, adding that the first floor will be used for the lobby, retail and possibly co-working space.

The Underwriters Exchange Building, constructed in 1923, is about 20 percent occupied with five or six tenants, Dincin said. Catapult was attracted to the property because of its prime location within the central business district and the building’s façade, he said.

This will be Catapult’s first project in Milwaukee, but Dincin said he and partner Charles Davidson will be looking for more development opportunities.

“I like the way downtown Milwaukee is shaping up,” Dincin said. “The new Bucks’ stadium, the BMO tower, the streetcar, all of the universities and entertainment and of course the Third Ward.”

Dincin is the former owner of Tandem Developers LLC, who is responsible for much of the more recent development in Milwaukee’s Brewer’s Hill neighborhood.

While working with Tandem, Dincin and former partner Paul Marks, principal at Chicago-based Brewers Hill Commons II LLC, spent the early 2000s developing a portion of Brewers Hill.

Between 2000 and 2005, Marks and Dincin developed a two-building condominium complex on the north side of Reservoir Avenue between Palmer Street and Killian Place that included a 56-unit building called Cobblers Lofts and a 64-unit building called Shoeworks Lofts.

Tandem Development also built about a dozen single-family homes on property purchased from the city along Brown Street in Brewers Hill.

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