Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Schlitz Park Being Renovated

New owners making improvements to historic office complex, including new Brown Bottle restaurant, plaza.

By - Aug 5th, 2020 12:32 pm
Crossroads Plaza at Schlitz Park. Rendering by RINKA.

Crossroads Plaza at Schlitz Park. Rendering by RINKA.

The new owners of Schlitz Park, Crestlight Capital and TGP Real Estate, are undertaking a plan to renovate many of the common spaces in the brewery-turned-office-complex. Plans include a new plaza, revamped signage, a large new mural and a new operator for the historic Brown Bottle restaurant.

The brewery closed in 1982 and a partnership of the late Gary Grunau and Scott Sampson began converting it to office space in 1983. The new owners acquired the 32-acre property in early 2019 for nearly $110 million when the approximately 775,000 square feet of office space was reported to be 100 percent full. A report from the owners says 92 percent of the space is currently leased out to 31 tenants.

The F Street Group, which operates Pizza Man and Glass + Griddle through its hospitality arm, will step in to operate the Brown Bottle restaurant in the Stockhouse building and the building’s catering operations. It will also take over operation of the cafe in the Rivercenter building, the newest building in the complex, that was operated by the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation as a social business.

Crossroads Plaza will be created in the space behind the Rivercenter that separates the 1948 office building from the rest of the complex. A first-floor loading dock in the office building will be redeveloped as a new entryway to the building. The Bottlehouse building will also receive a new entry on the west side of the plaza. A second-story pedestrian bridge will be reconstructed from the RiverCenter building down to the plaza. Letters from the complex’s beer-making days that spell out “SCHLITZ” will be added to an industrial-style truss spanning the plaza.

Design work on the project is being led by RINKA. The $6 million project, already underway, is expected to be completed in spring 2021.

The small pump house will receive new signage, part of a “#MilwaukeeFamous” campaign and host an expanded array of food truck offerings along the riverwalk. The Bottlehouse will get revamped lobbies and a rentable tenant event space. The Stockhouse will have its Cherry Street entrance reconfigured.

A new mural will be painted on the side of the former Powerhouse in partnership with Milwaukee Downtown. The business improvement district has led the creation of a number of new murals and public art installations across Downtown in recent years.

New lighting, flooring and furnishings are planned throughout the complex.

The oldest buildings in the complex date back to 1886 according to a historic designation report. The large brewhouse in the complex was demolished in 2013. A handful of former Schlitz buildings adjacent to the office complex, including the former malthouse, are not owned by Crestlight and TGP and have a variety of uses.

The complex’s new owners are based in Detroit, MI and Fort Worth, TX.

Renderings

Schlitz Park

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