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Menomonee Falls in high demand for new development

Village's east side getting more retail, multifamily units

Jan. 21, 2014

Menomonee Falls — The second phase of a mixed-use redevelopment plan on Menomonee Falls' east end is moving forward after a vote of confidence Monday by village officials.

Several real estate representatives gave presentations to the Village Board on Monday on the next steps of construction along portions of Richfield Way. The village street was recently extended near the northwest corner of Pilgrim Road.

In August 2012, plans for a satellite Froedtert facility and a branch of the Wisconsin Athletic Club were announced at the site of a former factory. That project carried a $14 million price tag.

Plans for the next phase of the redevelopment include unspecified retail and multifamily housing units.

Milwaukee-based real estate development firm Cobalt Partners is spearheading plans for the next phase of construction, which could begin as soon as next year.

Scott Yauck, president and CEO of Cobalt Partners, said the site is ripe for new development opportunities. He said it was the fourth largest mixed-use development site within the Milwaukee area and compared its potential to Drexel Town Square in Oak Creek, Pabst Farms in Oconomowoc and the Mayfair Collection in Wauwatosa.

"This is a high profile site with a fair amount of traffic," Yauck said.

When asked by the board, Yauck said a number of possible retailers could anchor the second phase of the development.

"There is interest," he said. "We can't disclose the discussions yet. But I think there are some possibilities the village will consider desirable."

While the recession has left a number of retail vacancies across the Milwaukee area, Peter Glaser, vice president of commercial real estate firm CBRE, said demand remains high throughout Menomonee Falls and Germantown. CBRE is handling leasing for the commercial portions of the new site.

Glaser pointed to a number of large retail vacancies that were snapped up in Menomonee Falls in recent years. The just-vacated Pick 'n Save building along County Line Road, for example, will soon be converted into a Hobby Lobby store.

"The demand is in the market...for new opportunities," Glaser said. "I think the existing retail that is here is very strong."

The residential plans for the site include the construction of at least 120 residential units within three buildings. Craig Raddatz, a partner with Fiduciary Real Estate — the firm handling leasing for the residential side of the development — said the average rent for a unit would hover around $1,400 per month.

Pointing out the number of people working in Menomonee Falls exceeds the village's population, Raddatz said he believes there has been a pent up demand for multifamily housing in the community.

"It does pencil out," Raddatz said. "The manufacturing jobs in this community offer wages between $12 and $30 an hour. I think that will be a new baseline for the kids coming out of college."

Raddatz said the target market for the multifamily housing is people between ages 22 and 33.

The redevelopment plans are part of the village's tax incremental financing district No. 8.

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