Weas plans downtown Milwaukee office building

Milwaukee-based Weas Development Co. is working on a downtown Milwaukee office building project for the southeast corner of North Broadway and East Michigan Street, according to commercial real estate sources. The site is currently a surface parking lot.
Weas Development president and founder Doug Weas could not be reached for comment.
According to a source, Weas has been floating plans for an office building with about 200,000 square feet of office space and several floors of structured parking in a building with about 15 stories.
Weas is shopping the project to potential anchor tenants that are in the market for new downtown office space such as Von Briesen & Roper (seeking 75,000 square feet), Godfrey & Kahn (seeking 90,000 square feet of space), Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP (seeking 70,000 square feet of space) and CH2M HILL.
The class A office space vacancy rate in downtown Milwaukee is fairly low, between 8.5 and 13 percent according to various estimates. Few existing class A buildings in downtown Milwaukee have a single block of space available that could accommodate another anchor tenant.
Weas is just one of several developers have proposed new office buildings for downtown Milwaukee including:
– Wauwatosa-based Irgens Development Partners LLC, which is working on an office building project next to the Milwaukee Athletic Club building at 758 N. Broadway.
– Brookfield-based Hammes Co., which is working on a project just south of the U.S. Bank Center at 777 E. Wisconsin Ave.
– Milwaukee-based Next Generation Real Estate Inc. (Robert and Michael Levine and other investors), which plans to build a 6-story office building, replacing several 100-year-old buildings southeast of Wisconsin Avenue and Broadway.
Rainier Properties LLC (which includes developers Bruce Westling and Gary Grunau), which wants to build a 15-story office building with 280,000 square feet of office space and a Marcus Theatres movie theater complex northwest of Water Street and Knapp Street and along the Milwaukee River in the Park East corridor.
– Wauwatosa-based Wangard Properties, which plans to build an eight-story, 155,000-square-foot office building that plans to build on top of a parking garage just south of the eight-story 875 East Wisconsin office building at 875 E. Wisconsin Ave.
Most of these projects will probably not get built. The first developer (or developers) able to attract anchor tenants to their project, and then obtain financing for the project, is the one that will successfully complete a building, Milwaukee commercial real estate observers say.

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