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Old January 10th, 2011, 07:27 PM   #1
i_am_hydrogen
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MILWAUKEE | Washington Square | 22 fl | Canceled

22-story office tower planned
Godfrey & Kahn intends to lease space


By Tom Daykin of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Jan. 10, 2011


Milwaukee law firm Godfrey & Kahn is the anchor tenant in a new 22-story office tower, a proposed $56 million project that would be the largest office building developed downtown in more than 20 years, it was announced Monday.

Godfrey & Kahn, which now leases about 80,000 square feet at Marshall & Ilsley Corp.'s headquarters, 780 N. Water St., has agreed to lease about the same amount of space at the new building. It would be built on what is now a surface parking lot south of E. Mason St., between N. Jackson and N. Jefferson streets, just east of the Pfister Hotel.

The new building, totaling about 300,000 square feet, would be developed by a joint venture between Irgens Development Partners LLC, led by Mark Irgens, and Van Buren Management Inc., led by Joel Lee...

http://www.jsonline.com/business/113182729.html

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Old January 10th, 2011, 09:35 PM   #2
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Nice to see new projects debuting.

Something I've often wondered: Is construction in Milwaukee generally less expensive than other areas?

Here (Richmond VA) a law firm just constructed a 17 level tower that was considerably less attractive than what you posted above (at least, from what I can see in those renders) with about 40,000 less square feet but the construction costs were a bit higher.

Also the Moderne project in Milwaukee that I have been watching closely is supposedly a ~$55 million project.

Those costs seem relatively low. Especially for a large(r) city like Milwaukee.
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Old January 10th, 2011, 10:29 PM   #3
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Old January 11th, 2011, 02:31 AM   #4
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Indeed it's nice to see the ice thawing on many new developments across the US. This should fill some of the visual gaps in the Milwaukee skyline nicely. As to the $56 million cost, is that just for the shell?
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Old April 19th, 2011, 03:26 PM   #5
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Good to hear there is some progress on this. Sounds like there is a good chance of this being built.


Largest office building built in MKE in over 20 years!

http://www.jsonline.com/newswatch/120133869.html

Now I only hope they can add a little more "flair" to the design.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 07:17 AM   #6
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~ Update: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...45175338,d.aWc

The developer, Joel Lee, shelved the development due to lack of critical mass leasing. He will retain the site as a prime location for a large tower until a large enough tennant can be secured.

Quote:
Feb 24, 2012, 5:00am CST Updated: Feb 27, 2012, 12:02am CST

Downtown’s next challenge: Office development near Pfister still planned

The pieces were in place for Washington Square to become a real building, but the downtown Milwaukee office project fell apart in recent months and developer Joel Lee is starting over with a search for tenants to anchor an at least 300,000-square-foot tower. “I’ve lived here my whole life, so if it takes another five years to get it done and get it done right, that’s what it will be,” Lee said.

Lee, whose eight-year-old Cathedral Place is the last office tower to be built in downtown Milwaukee, owns the Washington Square site at the southeast corner of East Mason and North Jefferson streets. In the first quarter of 2011, he and partner Mark Irgens had two companies that could have anchored an office building, but it appears both have moved on as the proposed project remains on the drawing board. The developers had a lease agreement with law firm Godfrey & Kahn SC, and CPA firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP committed to negotiate exclusively to move its offices to Washington Square.

However, both tenants started looking elsewhere. Baker Tilly this week announced it will move into the existing U.S. Bank building, the state’s tallest office structure. Lee said Irgens, who brought Godfrey & Kahn into the Washington Square deal, is exploring other downtown projects to meet the company’s needs. Mark Irgens, president of Irgens Development Partners LLC, Wauwatosa, declined to comment.

Washington Square did not fall through because the downtown market won’t support a new high-end office building, local real estate experts said. The clock was ticking for Baker Tilly, which has until the end of 2012 before its current lease expires at the Honey Creek Corporate Center. Given more time to actually design, market and build Washington Square, the developers could have lined up more tenants for the larger building that Lee said he desires. Also, disagreements reportedly arose between Lee and Irgens on the project. Some in the industry said Lee erected barriers that resulted in the project’s lack of progress.

However, Lee is steadfast in defending his decisions. “I don’t want to put a 200,000-square-foot building on what I believe is the best remaining site for a downtown high-rise in Milwaukee,” Lee said. “The tenants needed to move before we could get the critical mass to get the size of the building that I want on that site.” Bill Wertz, partner and market leader in Baker Tilly’s Milwaukee office, said “it’s generally known that there was a disagreement between the developer and the land owner as to scope and timing of the project.”

The downtown market still is ripe for a new Class A building, said William Bonifas, executive vice president of CBRE Group Inc. in Milwaukee. There is a shortage of vacant space in the existing high-end offices for larger tenants, and rental rates are on the rise. Smaller downtown businesses are increasingly interested in modernizing their offices and could be tenants to help developers fill out a new building, he said.

Nevertheless, an opportunity was lost to use Baker Tilly and Godfrey & Kahn to anchor a new downtown tower, Bonifas said. “In this Milwaukee market, it’s rare to have two tenants commit on a pre-lease basis,” he said. “I don’t see the tenant right now that is big enough to just get the building off the ground, period. It would have to be a combination of tenants unless someone new comes along.”

[...]
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Old September 4th, 2016, 09:24 PM   #7
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Quick update on this. The renderings done for this project originally are no longer feasible bc what is shown above was dependent on Van Buren Management acquiring and demolishing the building at 726 N. Jackson. I posted about a year ago that this project wasn't dead, and it isn't. The building owners at 726 N. Jackson won't budge on selling (Van Buren has been trying to work a deal to acquire the building for a year), and so Van Buren is having RC re-draw the design of the 22 story tower into an "L" shaped structure to fit in the open lots. Reinhart law is still slated to be the anchor tenant, but the fact that Van Buren wants to move along enough to have the designs re-drawn is definitely encouraging. Let's hope that RC can figure out the design, and that Reinhart doesn't move on and move into a facility in the suburbs..

Hope that everyone is having a good holiday weekend.
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Old September 12th, 2016, 07:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MkeTransplant View Post
Quick update on this. The renderings done for this project originally are no longer feasible bc what is shown above was dependent on Van Buren Management acquiring and demolishing the building at 726 N. Jackson. I posted about a year ago that this project wasn't dead, and it isn't. The building owners at 726 N. Jackson won't budge on selling (Van Buren has been trying to work a deal to acquire the building for a year), and so Van Buren is having RC re-draw the design of the 22 story tower into an "L" shaped structure to fit in the open lots. Reinhart law is still slated to be the anchor tenant, but the fact that Van Buren wants to move along enough to have the designs re-drawn is definitely encouraging. Let's hope that RC can figure out the design, and that Reinhart doesn't move on and move into a facility in the suburbs..

Hope that everyone is having a good holiday weekend.
Well that's great news.!
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Old September 12th, 2016, 09:38 AM   #9
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What the heck are the owners of 726 holding out for? I just don't see how that properties value would increase if it was surrounded by another development.
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