Jeramey Jannene

NY Investor Buys Office Building Near State Fair Park

Former We Energies facility had been redeveloped into office complex.

By - Sep 6th, 2022 05:41 pm
Fair Park Business Center. Photo from Colliers International.

Fair Park Business Center. Photo from Colliers International.

A fully-leased office building on the border of Milwaukee and West Allis was sold late last month for $14.6 million to a New York investor.

Known as the Fair Park Business Center, the two-story, 119,971-square-foot building is occupied by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Upper Iowa University, Lesaffre Yeast Corporation, the Alzheimer’s Association and Supportive Community Services, Inc. It is located immediately east of the Wisconsin State Fair Park grounds.

“The closing of Fair Park Business Center indicates there is rising out-of-state investor demand for the office sector in Milwaukee. The building’s economic rent, diversified tenancy, central location and underground parking drew a lot of interest. The private client buyer out of New York valued the leasehold commitments from the tenants,” said Colliers International partner Tom Shepherd in a statement announcing the sale. Shepherd and Jennifer Huber-Bullock represented the seller.

The property sits at the intersection of S. 76th St. and W. Main St., with the numbered street being far busier owing to its direct access to Interstate 94 a block to the north.

A property listing says the building, 620 S. 76th St., was constructed in 1948 and renovated in 2006. The 5.6-acre lot that the “Class B” building sits on also includes parking space for 369 vehicles, including some underground. The listing says more than $1.32 million was invested in building upgrades between 2018 and 2020.

The buyer, according to state real estate transfer records, was Beau Pere Real Estate of Elmsford, NY. Colliers’ press release describes the buyer as a “1031 buyer,” indicating that the buyer previously sold a similar property for a profit and needed to buy another of equal or greater value to defer capital gains taxes under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Beau’s new property was previously a service and training center used by We Energies. The utility still owns the southwest corner of the now-subdivided property. The east side faces S. 72nd St. and was once the site of a Motor Casting Co. plant. It has been parceled out to a car dealership and as a multi-tenant redevelopment. The south side of the property abuts the rail-to-trail Hank Aaron State Trail, with an aerial image of the parking lot showing the remnant lines of railroad tracks.

The property was sold by Madison-based SARA Investment Real Estate. City assessment records indicate an affiliate of SARA paid $14.5 million for the property in 2015. It was assessed this year for $13.58 million.

SARA owns properties in Wisconsin, Missouri and Minnesota. According to its website, its other city holdings are mostly industrial properties, including the Klement’s Sausage Co. plant at 2650-2700 S. Chase Ave., the two properties at 5709 W. Bender Ct. and 5720 W. Bender Ct.,  a 181,692-square-foot plant at 7000 W. Calumet Rd. the PFlow Industries plant at 6720 N. Teutonia Ave., the K.G. Stevens plant at 11100 W. Silver Spring Rd. and the Jacobus Energy office building at 11815 W. Bradley Rd.


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