Jeramey Jannene
Plats and Parcels

Former Northwest Side Sam’s Club Sold As Industrial Property

Plus: A recap of the week's real estate news.

By - Aug 21st, 2022 09:08 pm
7701 W. Calumet Rd. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

7701 W. Calumet Rd. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A big-box-store-turned-warehouse along N. 76th St. on Milwaukee’s Far Northwest Side is under new ownership.

General Capital Group sold the 138,480-square-foot industrial building at 7701 W. Calumet Rd. for $7.3 million on July 28 to six limited liability companies based in Oklahoma and Arkansas. According to state real estate transfer records, the majority of the interest is held by companies affiliated with Tulsa-based investor Stephen Buford.

The 19.2-acre property is currently leased to Sellars Absorbent Materials. It was previously a Sam’s Club, but the warehouse store relocated in 2017.

General Capital purchased the property for $2.99 million from an affiliate of Walmart and redeveloped it for Sellars. City assessment records indicate it was built in 1991. It was most recently assessed for $3.39 million.

While no building permits have been immediately filed, Buford could explore developing a portion of the now-oversized surface parking lot. An outlot site could be created for a restaurant or another commercial tenant at the corner of N. 76th St. and W. Calumet Rd. A 5.49-acre, undeveloped site at 7411 N. 76th St., not owned by Buford, is available to the south of the building for $350,000.

Just a couple of weeks after the sale closed, a new neighbor was announced. The State of Wisconsin could build a new youth prison at 7901 W. Clinton Ave. While the Sellars’ property is technically oriented towards N. 76th St. and W. Calumet Rd., the truck entrance to the property is to the south off of W. Clinton Ave., just a couple of parcels east of the proposed prison site. Such a neighbor might not be as undesirable to an industrial property as it would be to a retailer courting suburban shoppers.

Kitty corner to the northeast of the former Sam’s Club is the operational headquarters of Douglas Dynamics. The company expanded its industrial operation into a former car dealership in 2019, matching a trend in the neighborhood. Several other former stores and car dealerships now house industrial businesses, such as ETE REMAN, or churches. The growth of industrial firms in the area could receive a boost if the city is successful two miles to the north in demolishing and redeveloping the former Northridge Mall property.

Sellars leases at least two former big box stores in Milwaukee for its warehousing operation. The company also leases space in the former Lowe’s store at Midtown Center. Its corporate headquarters is in a purpose-built office building at 6565 N. 60th St.


Weekly Recap

UWM’s Klotsche Center Expansion

UW-Milwaukee’s basketball programs will get a boost before the end of their upcoming seasons.

Ground was broken in August 2021 for an addition to the Klotsche Center that will create dedicated space for both the men’s and women’s teams, freeing up space for non-athlete students and other sports teams in the existing facility.

The new 16,400-square-foot facility will be known as the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin Center.

“The new facility is well worth the wait,” said Amanda Braun, UWM director of athletics, at an August 2021 groundbreaking. “It will strengthen the basketball programs, benefit all students and create another selling point for UWM.”

Read the full article

Group Wants Limit On Time Eviction Records Public

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is weighing a rule change that would reduce to one year the length of time that eviction records are held and are searchable.

Legal Action of Wisconsin, which filed the rule petition in March, believes the change will help reduce the harm of having an eviction on someone’s record, which impacts housing options.

The group went live on Facebook on Tuesday Aug. 9 to answer questions about the petition.

A rule petition is the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s process for making and changing court rules, according to Carmen Ayers, the housing priority coordinator at Legal Action, which provides free legal services to low-income people.

Read the full article

Harbor Commission Approves Massive Cleanup Facility

A proposal to make Milwaukee waterways substantially cleaner involves shrinking Lake Michigan by 42 acres.

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District is leading the construction of a new facility that would stick out into the lake near the southern end of the Hoan Bridge. Known as the Dredged Material Management Facility (DMMF), it would be capable of storing 1.9 million cubic yards of sediment.

It’s unlikely one would ever notice the 14.3-million-acre lake got any smaller, but the DMMF is being built so that you will notice long-term that the waterways around Milwaukee are cleaner.

The facility is to store sediment removed from the area’s waterways as part of a federally-backed effort to remove the “Area of Concern” (AOC) designation that was first given to the area in 1987 because of historical environmental contamination.

Read the full article

Mental Health Emergency Center Unveiled

Milwaukee County officials held an open house at the new Mental Health Emergency Center Tuesday to tout the new facility which they say is a “historic” achievement for mental health care in the area.

The Mental Health Emergency Center, is a new 12,000-square-foot facility built on county-owned land at the intersection of N. 12th St. and N. 12th Ln. just south of W. Fond du Lac Ave. The $12 million facility was developed in a 50/50 partnership between the county and four health care systems: Ascension Wisconsin, Advocate Aurora Health, Froedtert Health and Children’s Wisconsin.

The new center is part of Milwaukee County’s shift from a centralized, institutional mental health system to a “community based” model of care, made up of a network of community clinics, the new Granite Hills in-patient hospital in West Allis and now the new emergency center. It will open for walk-in patients on Sept. 6 and involuntary commitments on Sept. 9.

“It’s really the last step to get us out of the hospital business and really allows us to focus on more preventive and upstream services,” said Mike Lappen, administrator of Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Services.

Read the full article

10 Riverwalk Projects Will Greatly Expand System

One of Milwaukee’s crown jewels is about to grow in size.

Milwaukee Riverwalk 2022. Existing, planned and under construction.

Milwaukee Riverwalk 2022. Existing, planned and under construction.

Ten projects are underway that will expand the Milwaukee RiverWalk system by extending it further south, filling in gaps and rebuilding and activating aging sections.

The three-mile network currently starts near the N. Humboldt Ave. bridge over the Milwaukee River between Riverwest and the Lower East Side. It runs south through Downtown and around the Historic Third Ward to Lake Michigan. New or recently-completed projects will soon push the system south past the inner harbor to W. Lincoln Ave. and the Kinnickinnic River in Bay View.

Read the full article

State Finance Committee Approves Funding For County Youth Justice Center

The state Legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee approved $13.1 million in funding Tuesday for Milwaukee County to expand and renovate the Vel R. Phillips Juvenile Justice Center.

The funding comes as the county is seeing a rising number of youth placements at state-run correctional facilities, which comes with an increased cost to the county that is causing it to outspend its 2022 budget.

Following the vote Tuesday, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said in a statement, “Thank you to Governor Tony Evers, Department of Corrections, and the members of the Committee on Joint Finance for their commitment to public safety and investing in evidence-based, healing-focused, and community-centric solutions that put young people on a path to empower their own safe, healthy, meaningful lives. The renovation and expansion of Vel R. Phillips will allow us to continue to keep our youth close to home while receiving the services and programming needed to get our children back on the right track.”

Tuesday’s action was the latest move by state officials to follow through on commitments made in 2017 Wisconsin Act 185 to redesign the state’s juvenile justice system. The legislation was in response to the failures and allegations of abuse at the Lincoln Hill School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls that came to light when the facilities became the subject of a federal probe and were raided by the FBI during the administration of former Governor Scott Walker.

Read the full article

Judge Holds Northridge Mall Owners In Contempt, Issues $2,000 Daily Fine

Milwaukee County Judge William Sosnay is promising an end to the drawn-out legal saga involving Northridge Mall.

He ruled Monday that U.S. Black Spruce Enterprise Group, the Chinese owners of the long-closed mall, has until the close of business Friday to secure the property or it will face daily fines of $2,000. In addition, Sosnay scheduled a final hearing on Black Spruce’s 2019 appeal of the city’s order to demolish the mall.

“This has gone on for too long and needs to come to some resolution,” said Sosnay. He ruled Black Spruce was in contempt of court for failing to secure the property as it had promised in a 2019 agreement with the city. Four fires in the past month have damaged the 900,000-square-foot complex and a number of social media posts indicate trespassing regularly occurs at the property.

Calling the mall “unsafe” and “dangerous,” Sosnay pledged to bring an end to a court case that has twisted through the legal system. “This is not going to go on for three years. The court finds this very disturbing,” he said during a hearing Monday.

Read the full article


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