Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Century City Building Has Two New Tenants

Hundred Acre Food Tech and Craft Beverage Warehouse moving in.

By - May 21st, 2021 02:55 pm
Century City I in 2018. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Century City I in 2018. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A cluster of food and beverage-related businesses are emerging as the long-term users of the Century City 1 building.

The 53,160-square-foot warehouse was built as a spec building with no pre-leased tenants in 2016 by a partnership of General Capital Group and the City of Milwaukee. It was designed as a showpiece of the potential of the Century City business park, but permanents tenants have been hard to find for the 84-acre development near W. Capitol Dr. and N. 31st St.

The Century City effort got a shot in the arm when an affiliate of Good City Brewing acquired the building in late 2018. At the time, Good City co-founder Dan Katt said the company had no immediate need for all of the space and would seek tenants for much of the facility.

Earlier this year we reported that Planet to Plate had applied to open an urban agriculture facility in the building, but details were limited and the founder declined an interview. The startup is now sharing its plan, known as the Hundred Acre Food Tech incubator.

Starting this summer, the company will leverage 5,000 square feet of space in the building to grow seven varieties of greens including basil, rainbow chard, argula, baby kale and hemp seedlings. It intends to harvest weekly once fully operating. Utilizing hydroponics, the GMO-free farm will not use pesticides or herbicides.

“A year ago, the world found itself disconnected and communities isolated. Our routines and our relationships were interrupted, as were businesses and access to vital resources. The pandemic highlighted what was fragile in our food systems, and what wasn’t working,” said Planet to Plate founder Chris Corkery in a statement. “The pandemic also highlighted what was working, and what was demanded: hyperlocal food. Now we are reemerging cautiously from our shells, strengthened by a reassessment of our values and priorities. Hundred Acre is uniquely situated to rebuild more resilient local communities through the power of fresh food. In doing this, it’s all about the little wins together as we look ahead.”

Planet to Plate intends to partner with Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Building2Learn and the 30th Street Corridor business improvement district to create an education program around its effort.

A second business is also leasing space in the building. Kyle Stephens, vice president of finance and administration at Good City, is leaving the brewery to scale up his new company, Craft Beverage Warehouse.

CBW helps small and mid-sized breweries can and bottle their beer, including managing the supply chain of materials required. The need became particularly acute last year as a move from in-person patronage and kegs triggered a shortage in aluminum cans. The business was launched in April 2020 by Stephens and Michael DeGrave.

“[It’s] a way for us to leverage our existing relationships and understanding of the packaging market to help craft producers that may not have the access or buying power of larger companies,” said Stephens of the business opportunity.

The company is leasing a full bay in the building, 9,000 square feet, and currently has three employees.

“We’re working to not only provide an easy-to-use online ordering platform, but also to always be available via email and phone if our customers have questions or need assistance,” said Stephens. “We’ve developed some great relationships over the past year, so the commitment to working with our customers however they’re most comfortable has paid off.”

He said the business is committed to staying in Century City. Stephens is a partner in the company that owns the building, as are Good City co-founders Katt and David Dupee

“I am thrilled for Kyle and his partners as they continue to grow CBW here at Century City,” said Katt in a statement. “Kyle has been a great team member and integral part of Good City for several years, but as I know first-hand, when you have the entrepreneurial drive to start something new, there is no turning back. We will continue to support Kyle as customers of his new business and have no doubt CBW will continue to grow for years to come.” 

Century City 1 Photos

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