Jeramey Jannene
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Wangard Transforming Former Knitting Factory

Walker's Point building becoming innovation hub.

By - Nov 13th, 2020 04:23 pm
Construction of the Eagleknit Innovation Hub. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Construction of the Eagleknit Innovation Hub. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

From tired to wired. Wangard Partners is transforming a former Walker’s Point warehouse at 507 S. 2nd St into the Eagleknit Innovation Hub.

The name is a nod to the building’s longtime tenant Eagle Knitting Mills. Wangard plans to repurpose the building into a mix of tech incubator space and low-cost office space. “The Eagleknit Innovation Hub will offer game-changing career opportunities for the underserved inner-city minorities of Milwaukee County,” says the Wangard website.

Built in 1928, the building contains 107,000 square feet of space according to city records. That will soon increase as a four-story, 30,000-square-foot addition is being constructed on the building’s south side. The framing for the addition is well underway.

General contractor J.H. Findorff & Son, is leading the construction of the $30 million redevelopment. Work is well underway on a historically-sensitive replacement of the windows. Our photos below capture the difference between old and new.

Tenants in the building will include skills training non-profit Building2Learn and adult technology-training non-profit i.c. stars. CenturyLink, already a tenant, will operate a 25,000-square-foot-data center in the facility.

Additional space remains available to lease. The building’s lowest level will be used for parking and a fitness center.

The project is being designed by the Chicago office of architecture firm Gensler. Approximately 102,000 square feet is available for lease in the complex.

Eagleknit’s financing includes a combination of private equity, New Market Tax Credits, Historic Preservation Tax Credits, Opportunity Zone funds and PACE energy efficiency financing. Wangard acquired the property in 2017 for $3.5 million.



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