Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Midtown Walmart Bought By Self Storage Company

But using the facility for self storage would require zoning change from city.

By - Jul 18th, 2022 05:05 pm
Vacant Walmart at 5825 W. Hope Ave. Photo by Alison Peterson.

Vacant Walmart at 5825 W. Hope Ave. Photo by Alison Peterson.

An Iowa-based self-storage company purchased the former Walmart department store at the Midtown Center retail complex.

Affordable Family Storage paid $3.28 million for the 15.24-acre property and approximately 160,000-square-foot building according to state real estate transfer records posted July 13.

The property, vacant since 2016, was listed with auction service Ten-X in June. It had a starting bid of $825,000.

Conversion to a self-storage use would require a zoning change, and receiving such approval is not guaranteed. The Board of Zoning Appeals recently rejected a request by Menard’s to expand a self-storage operation next to its Northridge store.

Affordable Family Storage acquired the property from an affiliate of New York-based DLC Management Corp. The shopping center specialist paid $47.2 million for the shopping center complex in 2014. It sold the Walmart property while maintaining the rest of its holdings.

The triangular shopping center is bounded by W. Fond du Lac Ave., W. Capitol Dr. and N. 60th St.

The former department store is assessed for $4.7 million, down from a high in 2009 of $15.9 million.

Technically addressed as 5825 W. Hope Ave., the property includes three loading docks and a 500-space parking lot. It was constructed in 2002 and renovated in 2006.

The storage company’s website lists 18 locations, all in the Midwest. The only Wisconsin location is at 5851 S. Packard Ave. in Cudahy, where the company rents out storage space for as little as $29 for a five-foot-by-five-foot unit. The building was previously home to a Pick ‘n Save grocery store.

A representative of Affordable Family Storage did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

The Common Council has previously approved a zoning change for a portion of Midtown Center. In 2018Phoenix Investors converted the vacant, 134,314-square-foot Lowe’s home improvement store into a distribution center. It is now leased to Sellars Absorbent Materials.

An auxiliary benefit of Phoenix’s purchase and redevelopment was the ability to parcel out the oversized parking lot for at least one outlot tenant in the future, an opportunity that the Wal-Mart property also presents. Boulder Venture has successfully executed that strategy with a former Home Depot on W. Good Hope Rd., recently securing approval to replace the former garden center with a Planet Fitness.

In addition to Ten-X, the auction was listed with Mid-America Real Estate brokers Dan Rosenfeld and Emily Gadomski.

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