Bader Rutter’s Riverside Digs
New building, dubbed 1433 Water, will be anchored by marketing firm.
A spiffy new five-story office building is rising on the north end of downtown Milwaukee. Wangard Partners is developing the 113,800 square-foot building, known as 1433 Water, at the site of a former Laacke & Joys store. Advertising agency Bader Rutter will anchor the building.
Bader Rutter will move 220 jobs to the building from Brookfield in late April, and eventually hopes to grow enough to lease the entire complex. Their initial lease is for 60,000 square-feet.
Employees from the firm visited the construction site Thursday morning to hand out hot java from Stone Creek Coffee to construction crews. Extensive interior work on the building is now underway with much of the exterior work being completed. Company president Jeff Young and area alderman Nik Kovac were on hand to personally greet the workers.
J.H. Findorff & Son is leading construction on the building, with Plunkett Raysich Architects serving as the architect. Tri-City National Bank is providing project financing for the $31 million project, with support from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and Impact Seven. Associated Bank provided an acquisition loan. In addition, the project received financial support from the City of Milwaukee for the RiverWalk portion of the development. The First-Ring Industrial Redevelopment Enterprise allocated New Market Tax Credits to the project that were ultimately purchased by US Bank.
The project also received a $1 million loan via the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee. Those funds are from a federal Environmental Protection Agency Revolving Loan Fund. In addition, PACE Equity provided a $2 million loan, their first loan for new construction of an office building, that will be paid back via an additional levy included with the building’s property taxes.
The PACE loan is intended to support energy efficiency improvements. 1433 Water will have rooftop solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling, LED lighting and double pane windows.
CBRE Wisconsin is handling leasing for the complex, and in a listing updated 14 days ago notes there is 52,281 square-feet of space still available in the building on the third, fourth and fifth floors. The listed rental rate is $18.50 per square-foot per year.
The building is a unique mix of new construction merged with an old complex of buildings. A portion of the old complex was demolished to make way for the new construction. The demolished building, which housed a Laacke and Joys store until 2013, was originally built in 1874 by the Northwestern Furniture Company. According to Wangard, that building could not support the weight loads required of a modern office building. The firm had originally desired to save the building. As part of the redevelopment, a 6,231 square-foot, stand-alone building dating back to 1931 was also demolished.
The complex is far from the only active project in the area. Just to the southeast at the corner of N. Broadway and E. Ogden Ave., Roers Investments, a Minnesota firm, recently acquired a long-vacant lot and is exploring building an apartment building there. Immediately north of the office project, the fourth phase of the Mandel Group‘s The North End, known as Vignette, is under construction. And north of Mandel’s project, The Rhythm apartments are nearing completion.
Wangard has a number of other projects underway in the immediate vicinity as well, including a mixed-use apartment building up the street at 1701 N. Water St., the second phase of the Avenir apartments up the hill to the east and a $52 million mixed-use development at Park East Block 22, kiddy corner from the development.
In October, Hammes Company also announced they would build a new five-story office building across the street to the south. Work is expected to begin on that project in early 2017.