REBusinessOnline

Downtown Milwaukee Is Experiencing Booming Development Across Sectors

In 2017, downtown Milwaukee was unrecognizable from its former self — a year that brought additional outside investment, both public and private development and a rethinking of how we utilize office space. Developers broke a decade-long dry spell in 2016, and now nearly 500,000 square feet of office space is under construction downtown. It’s a story of persistence, as an overhaul of available office product has occurred over the past few years. Now, a vast majority of outdated Class B …

Milwaukee Looks to Boost Retail Market Through Tax-Increment Financing

Milwaukee-area communities have woken up and embraced tax-increment financing (TIF) as a way to stimulate retail and commercial development. Unlike our neighboring state of Illinois, Wisconsin is not afforded the same luxury of allowing retail sales taxes to flow to municipalities, which allows for greater financial flexibility and helps offset the cost of infrastructure and municipal services as a result of retail development. Wisconsin municipalities do not impose local sales or use taxes …

Why New Multifamily Construction Is Accelerating in Metro Milwaukee

The Milwaukee multifamily sector is plowing forward on a number of different fronts. Development activity is continuing its impressive run with a series of high-rise towers in various stages of construction or planning. Popular neighborhoods such as Walker’s Point, Bayview and the East Side are filling in with low- and mid-rise projects, many of which feature a mixed-use component. From an investment standpoint, multifamily is still the sector du jour, with a widening investor pool of both …

Millennial Workforce Drives Development Wave in Downtown Milwaukee

There’s never been a better time to live and work in downtown Milwaukee. With the recession in the rearview mirror, a massive resurgence in the multifamily and office sectors has originated in Wisconsin’s largest city. Since 2011, 2,500 multifamily units have been completed, with an additional 1,500 units under construction and 2,000 proposed. [caption id="attachment_181651" align="alignright" width="100"] Ben Anderson, Colliers International[/caption] The office market has seen a …

Wisconsin Supreme Court Reaffirms Subsidized Housing Valuation Methods

In a major victory for subsidized housing developers and investors, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has reaffirmed longstanding principles governing the assessment of these properties. The Dec. 22, 2016 decision in Regency West Apartments LLC v. City of Racine confirms that the assessment of a subsidized housing project is a property-specific exercise that must take into account the type of federal program involved, specific restrictions on the property, and actual property income and …

Flurry of New Development Fuels Retail Resurgence in Milwaukee

The Milwaukee-area apartment market wasn’t the only real estate sector to benefit from continued job growth and household formation in 2016. The optimistic employment outlook, together with an influx of millennials who, according to Gallup, are spending more on nonessentials, has benefitted the local retail market as well. It’s a trend that we expect to continue in 2017. Filling a retail void A market that historically has been largely underserved in terms of new retail development …

New Industrial Supply Struggles to Keep Pace With Absorption in Milwaukee

Metro Milwaukee’s industrial market continued to be a strong performer in 2016, and this strength should continue for the foreseeable future. We’re now seeing a healthy uptick in new industrial development, and even speculative development in select submarkets. While the demand for industrial space has continued to increase, the new supply has failed to keep pace. [caption id="attachment_173130" align="alignright" width="100"] James T. Barry III, The Barry Co.[/caption] Sustained …

Developers in Downtown Milwaukee Play With Hot Hand Due to Strong Demand

Ben Franklin, one of our nation’s Founding Fathers, famously said, “Well done is better than well said.” Milwaukee has a long history of ideas that are well said. There is no shortage of opinions and sound ideas on how to attract companies to the city, how to improve the public transportation system and how to get more people to live in the city. [caption id="attachment_173126" align="alignright" width="100"] Regina Levchets, JLL[/caption] But these well-intentioned ideas, more …

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Seeks to Buy, Renovate Former Warner Grand Theatre for $80M

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is hoping to purchase and restore the former Warner Grand Theatre in downtown Milwaukee in time for its fall 2019 season. An anonymous donor is leading the initiative to purchase the vacant theater, which would be converted into a concert hall. The renovation would include bathroom modernizations and updated seating to fit a capacity of 1,750. The theater’s acquisition and renovations are expected to cost between $70 million and $80 …

Late to the Economic Recovery, Madison’s Office Sector is Now in a Growth Mode

The Madison office market finally emerged from its post-recession stupor in 2015 and chalked up its best performance since the early 2000s. The 430,000 square feet of positive net absorption recorded last year exceeded the combined total of the previous three years. This strong trend continues in 2016. Nearly 150,000 square feet of office space was leased during the first quarter, driving the vacancy rate down to 10.2 percent. The Madison office market was slow to recover from the Great …