Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Midtown Center Sold To Atlanta Investor

Shopping center hit the auction block earlier this year.

By - May 12th, 2023 04:58 pm
Vehicles line up for COVID-19 testing at Midtown Center in May 2020. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Vehicles line up for COVID-19 testing at Midtown Center in May 2020. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

An Atlanta investment group is the new owner of most of Milwaukee’s Midtown Center shopping complex.

Laureate Capital paid $22.1 million for 26.2 acres of land and 241,283 square feet of space, much of which is currently leased. A Pick ‘n Save grocery store and Planet Fitness gym are the anchor tenants in the shopping center.

Bordered by W. Capitol Drive, W. Fond du Lac Avenue and N. 60th Street, the shopping center was listed for sale in January by New York-based DLC Management with brokerage firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) and online auction service Ten-X.

DLC paid $47.2 million for the center in 2014, but has since sold off the shuttered Lowe’s and Walmart stores in separate transactions. The shopping center is a redevelopment of the former Capitol Court mall. Originally constructed as an outdoor shopping center in the 1950s, it was enclosed in the 1970s and then largely demolished at the turn of the century. In 2002, the latest iteration opened as an open-air shopping center.

A November 2022 listing from JLL says Pick ‘n Save lease was extended through 2027 and that the grocery store’s revenue was up 25% from before the COVID-19 pandemic. The listing said there were 11 vacant spaces, totaling 50,943 square feet, in the complex.

Laureate, a representative of which did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication, is unlikely to make substantial immediate changes to the complex given its relatively high occupancy rate.

Included in the auction were four parcels. Tenants include Foot Locker, T-Mobile, dialysis provider Davita, Pizza HutChildren’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Firestone, U.S. Cellular, Laughing Crab restaurant and several others. Some of the 1,194 surface parking spaces could likely redeveloped with new outlot buildings.

The parcels included in the auction were assessed for $22,812,000 at the time of its listing. They are addressed as 4100-4190 N. 56th St.4101-4191 N. 56th St.4076 N. 60th St. and 5704-5712 W. Capitol Dr. The auction had a $7 million opening bid.

Other properties are visibly part of the shopping center, but not included in DLC’s holdings. Generally described, the properties in the auction are located at the southwest corner of the site and entirely west of N. 55th St.

Laureate, according to state real estate transfer records, is based out of a high-rise residential condominium in Atlanta’s high-end Midtown neighborhood. The condo is owned by Rajeshwer Sharma.

An affiliate of Affordable Family Storage (AFS) paid $3.28 million for the 15.24-acre former Walmart property last July. The storage company is now pursuing a proposal to add a self-storage facility hidden by new outlot buildings, new retailers and a food truck park. The former Lowe’s store, just north of the Walmart property, was sold by DLC in 2016 for $1.5 million and redeveloped into a warehouse in 2018.

A 31,884-square-foot grass lot, 4350 N. 60th St., is listed as owned by DLC in city property records, but is not included with the auction and is not contiguous to the properties.

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