Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Zizzo’s New HQ Has Rooftop Terrace, Cafe

Firm relocating to 1855 building in Walker's Point, expects retailer on first floor.

By - Jan 18th, 2022 05:22 pm
Rendering of redevelopment of building at 131-141 S. 1st St. Rendering by RINKA.

Rendering of the redevelopment of building at 131-141 S. 1st St. Rendering by RINKA.

Zizzo Group will make the move from the Historic Third Ward to Walker’s Point in June. And Zizzo’s relocation could result in another business finding a home in the southside neighborhood.

The marketing firm’s founder Anne Zizzo is redeveloping a two-story, 12,200-square-foot building to house her namesake firm and its 24 employees.

She’s retained RINKA to lead the overhaul of the building at 131-141 S. 1st St. after purchasing the property for $1.25 million in June. It’s a far cry from the firm’s humble beginnings in Zizzo’s basement in 1995.

“This is an iconic building we want to celebrate and activate in a special way that recognizes it as the gateway to two hot Milwaukee neighborhoods,” said Zizzo in a press release. “At the same time, we want to benefit our company, local residents and neighboring businesses. Now more than ever before, creativity is the most unignorable factor in business; and our future office space at this location will embody this.”

The Walker’s Point building was built in 1855 in the Romanesque Revival style for liquor distributor Emil Schneider. It received additions in 1866 and 1959 according to the Wisconsin Historical Society and was long occupied by the Brass Light Gallery.

When the latest project is complete it will have a rooftop deck for employees and a new, 3,800-square-foot “neighborhood amenity” space on the first floor. According to Zizzo’s press release, the space has already drawn interest for fast-casual cafe operators, event venues, restaurants and corner stores.

The marketing firm will operate one-third of the first floor and all of the second floor. With staff now working remotely 50% of the week, the new office has a number of digital amenities including video conferencing-enabled meeting rooms, lounges for team and client meetings and hot desks that can be shared between employees.

“We have partnered closely with Anne and her team, conducting multiple sessions to obtain input from employees on what will work best in the new space,” said Matt Rinka. “Our design incorporates the newest trends in progressive office planning strategies, and celebrates the history of the building and neighborhood to create a functional and dynamic workplace that reflects the unique culture of Zizzo Group.”

The engagement marketing and advertising agency will relocate 0.4-miles southwest from a former Phoenix Knitting Company building, 318 E. Chicago St., in the Historic Third Ward. Zizzo, through affiliate 25 Years Later LLC, owns two commercial condominiums in the building totaling 13,214 square feet of space, according to city records.

The entrepreneur is looking to sell or lease the space, which occupies the first two floors of the six-story building and includes underground parking.

Until December the firm’s new home was occupied by Seeds of Health‘s Tenor High School. But the school consolidated its Walker’s Point and East Town campuses in the Sentinel Building at 918 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave. The Walker’s Point location was formerly known as MC2 High School before being merged into Tenor.

Prior to Seeds of Health’s occupancy, the building was home to Brass Light Gallery. Seeds of Health paid $1.1 million for the property in 2010.

To the south of Zizzo’s future home are two former industrial buildings being redeveloped into a mix of apartments and commercial space by LAS Investments. Work on that project, known as Sofi Lofts, is nearing completion.

News of Zizzo’s project broke in May when she was approved for a $500,000 loan from the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation. Tri-City National Bank is serving as the primary lender on the project.



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