Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Catholic Financial Life Building For Sale

Organization could move. Former "Knights" tower has 19 floors, offices and apartments.

By - Dec 8th, 2021 12:38 pm
Catholic Financial Life Building. Photo by Brian Jacobson.

Catholic Financial Life Building. Photo by Brian Jacobson.

One of Milwaukee’s most recognizable buildings is for sale.

Catholic Financial Life is listing its 19-story mixed-use building for sale. The building, 1100-1116 W. Wells St., hosts a mix of first-floor retail space, offices and apartments.

The tower is most recognizable for the words displayed on its cornice “Catholic Financial Life,” but for decades before it read “Catholic Knights.” The two fraternal benefit organizations merged in 2010 and the joint entity today reports assets of $1.7 billion.

“Catholic Financial Life has considered listing its building for several years,” said Catholic Financial Life president John Borgen in a statement. “This building is an asset of our Society and as leaders, we have a fiduciary responsibility to provide trusted stewardship of our assets. A sale will only further strengthen our record surplus and capital position and provide additional agility for the organization.”

There are 120 apartments on the building’s 10 upper floors. A rooftop deck includes a swimming pool and deck.

Catholic Financial Life uses the office space for its headquarters.

“Should we sell the building, we will pursue office space in Milwaukee best suited to attract and retain associates to best serve our members,” said Borgen. The organization cited the hot real estate market and evolving office space needs in deciding to sell.

The nonprofit financial services organization provides mutual aid, benefits and insurance to its members.

The property was most recently assessed for $8,217,900. The building, which includes an attached parking garage to the north, was completed in 1970.

The building is located immediately west of Interstate 43 and sits at the northeastern corner of Marquette University‘s campus. The building, due to the submerged freeway to the east and shorter buildings in other directions, offers great views of the downtown skyline and the rest of the city.

The organization hired Berkadia to list the property. No sale price was disclosed.

“We are honored to have been chosen by Catholic Financial Life to assist them in exploring options for their headquarters building and excited to introduce this iconic building to the market,” said Berkadia managing director Ralph DePasquale. “It is indeed a very unique asset and a tremendous opportunity given the building’s current mixed-use nature, dynamic location and tremendous visibility on Milwaukee’s skyline. We foresee a great deal of interest from a wide range of potential buyers.”

You can see the view from the building in a column from our 2014 Vantage Point series.

2016 Building Photos From Doors Open Milwaukee Tour

One thought on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Catholic Financial Life Building For Sale”

  1. 45 years in the City says:

    Remember the ground floor restaurant “JJ Garlic’s”? Immensely popular in the late ’70s, maybe into the ’80s.

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