Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:51 pm
Verizon Wireless will open a 2,400-square-foot store in the Broadway Central building at 241 N. Broadway in the Historic Third Ward.
Verizon’s lease leaves just one retail space available in the building, which was less than 50 percent occupied in June 2014, when the building was purchased during a foreclosure auction.
Milwaukee developers and brothers Joe and Mike Klein purchased the property with childhood friend Derek Schneider who was still living in New York at the time.
Schneider, of Millennial Partners, was having a beer with the Kleins and told them about 241 N. Broadway.
The trio, plus Schneider’s development partner, Tal Seder, bought the building for $6.3 million, according to state records.
The property is assessed by the city of Milwaukee for $8.1 million.
The ownership group has since added underground parking, and renovated the main entrance. They have renamed the building Two Forty One.
Common areas have been reduced to allow for more retail space and office space has been renovated.
Today, nearly all of the 70,000 square feet of office space is leased with 12 tenants including C.D. Smith Construction and Interior Systems Inc., which recently extended its lease and expanded its lease by 4,600 square feet.
Verizon will join retailers Shoo Inc., which relocated from the northeast corner of the building, where Verizon will be located, to the south side of the building, NL Suits, and the state’s first Dry Bar hair salon, which opened in February.
There is about 2,800 square feet of retail space left to be leased between the Verizon space and the office entrance off Broadway, Schneider said.
The ownership group said they will be deliberate and choosy about leasing the final space.
“We have lived and worked in the Third Ward and know what we are looking for,” Schneider said. “With Dry Bar, Warby Parker, Shake Shack and what Joe has done with the Kimpton, there is national attention on the Third Ward.”
Joe Klein is one of three members of HKS Holdings LLC. Klein and partners Tyler Hawley and Kyle Strigenz have worked on several projects including the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel, 310 E. Chicago St., the redevelopment of the former Julien Shade Shop into high-end apartments. The group is also working on a Marriott Renaissance Hotel project at Mayfair Mall.
Schneider and Mike Klein are currently converting the former Park East Hotel near downtown Milwaukee into 96 luxury apartments.
Joe Klein said working on the 241 building with childhood friend, Schneider, was a gamble, but it appears to be paying off.
“We grew up together, we played soccer together at Marquette High, and we had been good friends,” Joe said. “When this came up, we were all busy with stuff. I think we overpaid a little for the building. But we knew the location was great and the retail would come along.”
Tom Treder, principal with Founders 3, who represented Verizon, said the company looked at several sites in the Third Ward, but 241 is Main and Main of the neighborhood.
“With the new ownership group and the new look of the building, this was even a more attractive option for them,” Treder said.