Jeramey Jannene
Friday Photos

Mercantile Building’s Glassy Addition

New addition to historic building is poised to open soon.

By - Aug 11th, 2017 05:47 pm
Mercantile Building Expansion. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Mercantile Building Expansion. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The Mercantile Building, 318 N. Water St., is receiving a glassy 2017 addition to its 1909 brick base. Originally announced in early 2016, the proposal will add 35,000 square-feet to the existing 50,400 square-foot structure. The new addition will rise five floors, a floor higher than the original building.

The Mercantile Building is owned by Graceville, LLC, a firm with connections to the building’s anchor tenant Hanson Dodge CreativeTim Dodge, Hanson Dodge president, is serving as the developer on the project. Although not publicly disclosed, Graceville, Minnesota native and Hanson Dodge CEO Ken Hanson is also likely involved. Hanson recently announced he’s leaving the firm to lead the nonprofit Greater Together initiative.

As part of the expansion the marketing agency will be able to spread out over one floor instead of being split over two, a more efficient layout according to Dodge.

Joining Hanson Dodge and other tenants in the building will be Digital Measures, which will occupy 22,000 square-feet spread over the top two floors. The company currently leases 11,500 square-feet of space at 301 N. Broadway.

The addition is being built on the site of a former surface parking lot. A large mural, which read “Choose a Positive Thought,” and balcony were lost in the expansion. Dodge indicated to the Historic Third Ward Architectural Review Board that he is exploring developing a parking structure on the remaining surface parking lot at the rear of the site.

First-floor tenants in the building include apparel retailer Lululemon Atheltica and PyraMax Bank. As part of the addition a new 5,216 square-foot, first-floor commercial space will be created at the corner of E. Buffalo St. and N. Water St. Fast casual burger chain Shake Shack is expected to open in the space.

The addition’s design is by Historic Third Ward firm Eppstein Uhen Architects under the guidance of T.J. Morley and Troy JacobyBeyer Construction is serving as the project’s general contractor. NAI MLG is handling leasing on the project.

Construction began in August 2016 and is expected to be completed shortly. Our photos capture the building appearing substantially complete from the exterior, showing that construction has progressed substantially since we last visited the site in March.

The Mercantile Building was previously renovated by Graceville in 2005, using $8 million in New Market tax credits and Historic Preservation tax credits.


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One thought on “Friday Photos: Mercantile Building’s Glassy Addition”

  1. MidnightSon says:

    What a gorgeous and thoughtful addition. Totally complementary without being derivative. Milwaukee could use more of this, especially on historic blocks.

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