Industrial Building on East Side Could Become Apartments
Plus: A recap of the week's real estate news.
A two-story industrial facility on Milwaukee’s East Side could soon become an apartment complex under a proposal from developer Kendall Breunig.
The developer filed for a zoning change for the property at 1617-1633 E. North Ave. this week, with the one-page application indicating a $2.2 million investment would create a 17-unit building. The first floor would include 21 parking spaces.
A limited liability company affiliated with Breunig acquired the property for $600,000 in 2017 from Downtown Books owner Robert E. John. It was acquired by John in 1999 for $150,000 from power equipment manufacturer Trombetta, which had spent decades in the facility before relocating.
Breunig’s limited liability company is named for his former self-storage business. But the developer sold the active storage properties last year for $37 million. He has invested at least some of the proceeds in a number of new properties, a common move that reduces capital gains taxes.
His firm is also adding more than 70 units to the Plankinton Lofts complex, a series of office condominiums Sunset has acquired and redeveloped atop the Plankinton Arcade building.
The Common Council would need to approve a zoning change for the North Avenue property, located at the western edge of the East Side commercial district.
The property is also located within the boundaries of the East Side Business Improvement District #20, which is used to define the boundaries of the East Side Architectural Review Board. That board would need to approve any exterior design work.
New Downtown Hotels Replace Aging Office Buildings
Two new hotels are getting ready to open in downtown Milwaukee, but neither will occupy a new building.
The Kinn Guesthouse will occupy a four-story office building, 602-606 N. Broadway, originally constructed in 1868. When it opens in early 2022 it will have 31 rooms. It will also be a floor taller.
The Adams Hotel, 790 N. Jackson St., is taking shape on the edge of Cathedral Square Park. Van Buren Management is developing the project, with RINKA serving as the project architect. ADK is leading the general contracting.
Westown Lands Another New Tenant
The former Bon-Ton corporate headquarters, 640 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave., landed another new tenant this week.
Now known as HUB640, the eight-story Boston Store Building was acquired by Chicago-based North Wells Capital in 2017 and fully redeveloped following the department store’s 2018 bankruptcy and subsequent liquidation.
Eight Eleven Group, a human capital solutions firm, is the latest firm to take up space in the building. It’s the second Milwaukee office for the Indianapolis-based company.
$80 Million Sports Center Planned For Site Along Interstate 43
A new athletic center is planned for a 22-acre site near the intersection of N. Green Bay Ave. and W. Capitol Dr.
Known as The Opportunity Center, the 300,000-square-foot sports and wellness facility is intended to be accessible to all, regardless of race, gender, age, level of experience, ability or disability.
Billed as “America’s only urban sports center serving our community for: greater inclusion, stronger education, and true integration through systems change,” the project is expected to cost $80 million to develop. A conceptual rendering from Kahler Slater shows an indoor track wrapped around a field configured for football, at least six basketball courts, a pool and large gathering room. Outdoor soccer fields would also be included.
Playbill Lofts Will Rise Above The Avenue
The developers of The Avenue are redeveloping the 14-story Majestic Building, 225-233 W. Wisconsin Ave., into a new apartment complex, Playbill Lofts. Built in 1907 for the Schlitz Brewing Company, the building formerly contained The Majestic theater at the rear of its lower levels and office space above.
But the theater didn’t survive the Great Depression, and the first two levels were absorbed in the Shops of Grand Avenue mall in the 1980s, with the first-floor long occupied by a Walgreen’s convenience store.
Business partners Josh Krsnak and Tony Janowiec led an investment group that acquired the building for $10.55 million in October 2019. They had previously acquired the first two floors as part of their purchase of the mall in 2016.
Wisconsin Home Sales Dropped in July
A 14.2 percent drop in home sales might seem like cause for concern at first glance, but there’s more to the story.
There were about 8,510 sales of existing homes in the state last month, according to the latest report from the Wisconsin Realtors Association. That is down from the 9,915 sales reported in July 2020.
That’s because home sales last year rebounded sharply in the summer, following the lockdowns of the spring, said economist David Clark, of Marquette University, who produces the monthly housing reports in conjunction with the association.
The July dip in sales, he said, wasn’t a surprise, and demand for homes this year remains strong.
100 East Office Tower in Foreclosure
After losing its anchor tenant, a downtown high rise is in foreclosure.
The 35-story 100 East building is now under control of a court-appointed receiver.
Friedman Real Estate Management took over management of the 435,557-square-foot building at the request of lender Wilmington Trust.
Riverwalk Building Will Be Very Green
The developers of a proposed apartment building along the Milwaukee River hope their project will stand out because of its environmental benefits.
The Edison would be designed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standard and would be built from mass timber, a material that is lighter than steel or concrete. The building is also intended to meet Passive House energy use certification, a voluntary standard for low energy consumption. A third-party analysis would be completed to verify the project’s integrity.
Herzing Returns To Downtown
The developers of The Avenue are landing new office tenants faster than the former Shops of Grand Avenue owners lost retail tenants.
The mall, 275 W. Wisconsin Ave., spent much of the past 15 years losing retailer after retailer, and now a redevelopment project is successfully attracting entirely different types of tenants.
Herzing University announced Monday it will relocate its headquarters to the facility. It marks a move back to the neighborhood for the nonprofit institution.
Plan Commission Okays Third Ward Tower
A national developer believes its proposed Historic Third Ward building could become a landmark on the city’s skyline.
Hines Acquisitions is proposing a 32-story, 300-unit luxury apartment tower at 333 N. Water St. The site, located kitty-corner from the Milwaukee Public Market, is currently a 0.79-acre, riverfront parking lot.
“We do think this is going to become a very memorable building as you come into Milwaukee,” said project architect Devon Patterson of Solomon Cordwell Buenz to members of the City Plan Commission Monday afternoon.
City Creating Zoning Code For EV Chargers
With an expected surge in the number of electric vehicles, and with Congress considering an infrastructure bill that includes billions for EV charging stations, Milwaukee officials are looking to codify how and where charging equipment should be placed.
The city’s zoning code does not reference electric vehicles currently, leaving Department of Neighborhood Services without guidance or rules on how to handle requests to install electric charging stations. A number of new apartment buildings and private residents have added charging equipment to indoor garages.
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