Schlitz Park Being Renovated
New owners making improvements to historic office complex, including new Brown Bottle restaurant, plaza.
The new owners of Schlitz Park, Crestlight Capital and TPG 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.
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.
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