Jeramey Jannene
Plats and Parcels

Shrouded Walker’s Point Building Sold

Plus: A run down of the week's real estate news.

By - Mar 7th, 2021 06:37 pm
107 E. National Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

107 E. National Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A highly-visible property at a busy Walker’s Point intersection was sold last week for $925,000.

A company affiliated with Michael Sanfelippo acquired the two-story building at 107 E. National Ave. Sanfelippo already has a number of real estate holdings in the neighborhood, acquired to facilitate the family taxicab business American United. The company is based out of an office building a block northwest at 646 S. 2nd St., it also owns the adjacent gas station.

The latest acquisition, a 28,017-square-foot building, became available following the sale of its longtime tenant, Select Sound Service, to Iowa-based Communications Engineering Company in May 2019. Select Sound Service was founded and led by Bob Paquette who passed away in December 2018 at the age of 88.

The facade has been covered for years by a windowless metal cover, but a historic photo included with the listing sheet shows a building lined with windows facing both National Avenue and 1st Street.

Bringing back the windows would fit with the neighborhood’s evolution from a hub for manufacturing to the hub of Milwaukee’s dining scene and the emerging, mixed-use Harbor District. The property sits on one of the gateway streets to the inner harbor.

“It is a great building in a really dynamic location,” listing broker Joe Carollo told Urban Milwaukee in August 2019. The property was originally listed for sale for $1.5 million.

Sanfelippo hasn’t publicly announced his plans for the property, but he’s already participated in the creation of new housing in the neighborhood through the development of the Trio apartment complex on a parking lot once used to parking taxicabs.

The 0.57-acre property includes 28 parking stalls at the rear of the site. According to the listing, 18 offices are included in the building with skylights throughout. Not included with the sale is the microphone museum that Paquette maintained in the building.

Properties near the busy intersection have drawn a substantial amount of interest in recent years.

Developer Woda Cooper proposed an affordable apartment building for a vacant lot at the intersection’s northeast corner, but has yet to secure low-income housing tax credits to complete the project. A similar project was developed immediately east of the proposed building a decade ago.

The intersection’s southwest corner, a former paint shop, is now occupied by a Cousin’s Subs catering and delivery facility, though a portion of the facility remains for lease. South of that Bray Architects redeveloped an industrial building into a new home for its architects and designers.

The northwest corner, currently home to D.I.X. tavern, has been a bar for decades.

More foot traffic could be coming to the area. The Milwaukee County Transit System‘s MCTS NEXT plan, which went into effect the day this article was published, places increased emphasis on the intersection as a major transfer corner between bus routes.

The listing and city records state that the Select Sound building was built in 1908, while a Wisconsin Historical Society listing gives the construction date as 1895. The property was most recently assessed by the city for $817,100, up more than $100,000 since it was listed for sale and more than double its 2006 assessment of $387,000.

Weekly Recap

New Townhomes for Riverwest

Four new townhomes are rising at the northeast corner of N. Humboldt Blvd. and E. Wright St. in Riverwest.

The property was acquired by Anthony Apostoli in 2007 for $95,000 and transferred into a revocable trust affiliated with the Kenosha resident in 2011 for a recorded value of $39,400, according to assessor’s office records.

Now the developer’s firm, Imperial Builders, General Contractor, Inc., is constructing the four attached townhomes on the site, 2500-2504 N. Humboldt Blvd. William Miller, also of Kenosha, is serving as the architect.

Read the full article

Do New Apartments Lower Rents?

Basic economic theory dictates that increasing the supply of new housing should reduce prices in the long run. But how does that work in the short run and what if all the new housing is high-end construction?

A new study of the Minneapolis housing market attempts to advance understanding of the issue as cities increasingly deal with issues of gentrification and displacement. The study is notable in that it does not concentrate on a hot coastal real estate market, but a mid-tier, Midwestern city.

Splitting available apartments into three submarkets based on lease price, new market-rate housing caused the least expensive apartments to see their rent prices increase by 6.6%. But the most expensive units saw their prices fall by 3.2%. Mid-tier units were largely unimpacted.

Read the full article

Timber Lofts Wins National Design Award

The best new wood apartment building in the country is in Milwaukee.

So says the WoodWorks – Wood Products Council. The non-profit bestowed the Timber Lofts apartment building with its 2021 Multi-Family Wood Design award.

And while most new apartment buildings are made of lumber, the 60-unit building at 331 S. 3rd St. is the first in the city to use mass timber, a man-made lumber product, in its structure.

Read the full article

Construction Costs Projected To Rise 3% in 2021

Construction costs and total industry employment will continue to grow in 2021.

That’s according to a new report from general contractor Mortenson Construction. The company, which has offices across the country, is one of the largest contractors operating in the Milwaukee market.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t cause overall prices to drop in construction costs, though it did alter the price of many components.

Read the full article

Shorewood Chooses Affordable Housing

The Shorewood Village Board unanimously chose to create a $2.5 million affordable housing fund Monday evening.

“This is a good start, this is the right start,” said trustee Wesley Warren.

Warren, the first Black trustee in village history, said he was fortunate enough to move to the village with his single mother when he was a junior in high school. “Frankly, I don’t know that people would be lucky enough to have that opportunity that I have now,” said Warren, now an attorney with Northwestern Mutual.

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California Firm Buys Whole Foods Property

The condominium unit occupied by the Whole Foods grocery store on Milwaukee’s East Side was sold to a real estate investment firm for $23.5 million. It’s the second time in five years the store has changed hands.

This time the buyer was Pasadena, CA-based ExchangeRight. The seller was an undisclosed Seattle-based investor that acquired the property in 2016 for $22.2 million via W A C O Santa Ana LLC, an entity that does not appear in state registration records.

The 53,875-square-foot property’s sole tenant is the grocery store and no lease changes were made between sales according to the broker. The property, 2305 N. Prospect Ave., is assessed for $18.8 million.

Read the full article

Who Wants To Design Harbor Riverwalk?

The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee is looking for a designer on what will be one of the most significant sections of the Milwaukee RiverWalk.

RACM is soliciting bids, via a request for proposals (RFP), for a designer to create a “gritty, green, real” riverwalk segment running approximately three-fourths of a mile from the eastern end of E. Greenfield Ave. to S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

It will be the first segment constructed under the riverwalk design standards adopted for the Harbor District in May. The 4,300-foot segment will border the eastern edge of the $285 million Komatsu Mining South Harbor Campus, running along Milwaukee’s inner harbor.

Read the full article

Nacho City Planned For 38th and North

Frederick Gardner has big plans.

“I’m trying to get Nacho City on every corner in every neighborhood,” said Gardner to members of the Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee on February 23rd.

He’s proposing to open the first restaurant, which will sell nachos and tacos, in the city’s Washington Park neighborhood. Dine-in, carryout and delivery options will be available.

Read the full article

City Pushes Century City to Make USPS Trucks

The new United States Postal Service truck will be built by Oshkosh Corporation, but Milwaukee officials want the Wisconsin company to look south when choosing where to build it.

The Oshkosh-based defense contractor was announced last week as the winner of a multi-year competitive bidding process to construct up to 165,000 of the trucks — known as the “Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV)” — over the next 10 years.

An initial $482 million contract will support final engineering and factory buildout. But where that factory is located remains to be seen.

Read the full article

City Updating Downtown Plan

For the third time in as many decades, the City of Milwaukee will attempt to create a shared vision for the future of Downtown.

“As you are all aware there have been significant changes to the downtown area in recent years,” said Department of City Development planner Kyle Gast to members of the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee on February 23rd. A DCD report says that, since the plan was last updated in 2010, there has been $3.5 billion in development and there are now 4,800 more residential units. The plan was originally created in 1999.

Milwaukee Downtown, the area business improvement district, is leading the push for a new plan. The plan would identify key strategies and sites to improve the area and its connection with the surrounding neighborhoods.

Read the full article

Who Wants To Name the Wisconsin Center?

Midwest Express Center. Midwest Airlines Center. Frontier Airlines Center. Delta Center. Wisconsin Center.

The signage at Milwaukee’s convention center has changed plenty of times since the facility opened in 1998 to reflect a series of corporate sponsors and mergers, but since 2013 the building has operated without a sponsor.

With a $420 million expansion on tap, the Wisconsin Center District (WCD) sees an opportunity for revenue on the horizon. The state-controlled entity has retained Denver-based Impression Sports & Entertainment to sell the expanded building’s naming rights.

Read the full article

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