With sale to investor, Chicago developer scraps plans to redevelop downtown Milwaukee post office complex

Once planned mixed-use project at site

The front entrance to the downtown Milwaukee U.S. Postal Service facility.

Last updated on October 22nd, 2021 at 01:16 pm

The sale of the U.S. Postal Service facility near downtown Milwaukee effectively means a Chicago-based developer’s plans to dramatically redevelop the site are dead.

State records show an affiliate of Chicago-based developer R2 Cos. sold the 1.1 million-square-foot facility, located at 341 W. St. Paul Ave., for $15 million.

The buyer is Cedarhurst, New York-based Postal Realty Trust Inc. The real estate company owns properties leased to the USPS throughout the country. Its portfolio includes 884 properties with 3.7 million square feet of leased space.

R2 unveiled its design plans for the post office building in 2016. Plans called for one apartment tower and one office tower, space for a big-box retailer, restaurants and bars. It would also have included boat docks and kayak launches along a proposed new segment of Milwaukee’s Riverwalk.

R2 purchased the building in 2015 for $13.1 million. It sought to evict USPS from the building over maintenance issues but that lawsuit was eventually dismissed.

Some thought USPS would move out of the facility on its own after putting forward plans to construct a 423,000-square-foot mail processing annex in Oak Creek, which couldĀ eventually expand to 935,000 square feet. However, the postal service remains in the Milwaukee complex.

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Alex Zank covers commercial and residential real estate for BizTimes. Alex previously worked for Farm Equipment magazine and also covered statewide construction news at The Daily Reporter. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied journalism, political science and economics. Having grown up in rural western Wisconsin, Alex loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, four-wheeling and hunting.

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