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Hammes unveils plans for HQ in downtown Milwaukee

Oct. 21, 2016- Brookfield real estate firm Hammes Co. plans to move its headquarters to downtown Milwaukee in early 2018 into a five-story office building it will develop in the Park East corridor.

The company would take the top two floors of the building planned at North Water and East Knapp streets, and the remaining three floors would have room for other companies, said founder and managing partner Jon Hammes. The company will seek city approval for the building design in November, and construction could start in December.

“I really am excited about being a part of the city,” Hammes said during a Friday press conference. “We’ve had a great role here and I want to be a part of this chapter.”

Hammes Co. has 80 employees in Brookfield that would move to the new office. That includes the company’s private equity group and health care development firm.

The Park East development will stand five-stories tall, with 94,000 square feet of office space, Hammes said. Hammes Co. would fill 36,000 square feet, he said. Its first floor has space for stores or restaurants facing Water Street. The main entrance would be off of Water Street, with a large motor court lined with stone columns with entrances to the offices, parking structure and retail spaces.

The project also includes a 360-stall parking structure that would face North Market Street on the back end of the building.

Hammes estimated that first phase will cost $27 million to $30 million.

A second phase would add a five- to eight-story second office building with 90,000 to 100,000 square feet of office space, Hammes said. That phase could be about three years after the first, Hammes said.

Dalgiesh Gilpin Paxton Architects of Virginia designed the building with Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen Architects.

Hammes officials and the city have discussed the project for years. Ham

mes had originally considered building its headquarters between Water Street and the Milwaukee River, immediately west of the current site. That site has more environmental cleanup costs and challenges, and Hammes had discussed getting some city money to develop the site.

There will be no city money put into the current proposals, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.

Barrett, who joined Hammes and Milwaukee Ald. Nik Kovac for Friday’s announcement, said “he wanted to make it happen, we wanted to make it happen, so we kept working at it.” He said Hammes’ move “sends a signal to other businesses that this is the place you want to be.”

The Marcus Corp. a year ago bought the riverside property that Hammes Co.was previously considering. In June, renderings were released for a 20-story building Marcus could build there with a movie theater, office space and housing. At the time, Marcus officials called those plans preliminary, and have not released anything since.

 

Barrett said “I think there is still work to be done moving forward on that site.”

Ald. Kovac, whose district includes the Hammes and Marcus properties, added that “obviously, we’d love to get it done.”

For the full press release, please visit-Milwaukee Business Journal