HSA Commercial Breaks Ground on 270,000 SF Adaptive Reuse Retail Development in Suburban Milwaukee

Former Warehouse Buildings to be Converted to a Shopping Center Anchored by Nordstrom Rack and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Officials from HSA Commercial joined leaders from the City of Wauwatosa to celebrate the groundbreaking of Phase I of The Mayfair Collection, a large-scale, mixed-use development at Highway 45 and Burleigh Street in suburban Milwaukee, Wis. Phase I of the project will consist of adaptively repurposing functionally obsolete warehouse buildings along Highway 45 into new, contemporary retail environments that, through innovative design, celebrate the property’s industrial heritage.

From Left to Right: Alec Zocher of Premier Design + Build, Tim Blum of HSA Commercial, Mayor Kathy Ehley, Chris  Thomas of TOA Architects, Tom Gilgenbach of JSD Professional Services, and Ald. Craig Wilson

From Left to Right: Alec Zocher of Premier Design + Build, Tim Blum of HSA Commercial, Mayor Kathy Ehley, Chris Thomas of TOA Architects, Tom Gilgenbach of JSD Professional Services, and Ald. Craig Wilson

The Mayfair Collection project has attracted interest from unique, best-in-class retailers seeking their first locations in suburban Milwaukee and in the trade area of nearby Mayfair Mall, the primary regional shopping destination in the state of Wisconsin. Nordstrom Rack, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ulta Cosmetics, and other category-leading retailers have signed leases for the development’s first phase which is scheduled to open in the summer of 2014.

“Our leasing efforts target the best possible retailers that will keep the Mayfair Mall trade area at the center of the retail universe in Wisconsin,” said Tim Blum, executive vice president with HSA Commercial. “Attracting that type of regional traffic will be essential in kick-starting a long-term development plan that achieves the ambitious vision that we share with the community of Wauwatosa.”

Leaders and Partners from HSA Commercial celebrate the groundbreaking of The Mayfair Collection.

Leaders and project partners from HSA Commercial celebrate the groundbreaking of The Mayfair Collection.

Last November, the City of Wauwatosa’s Common Council and HSA agreed on a proposal to create a tax increment financing district that will provide $8.5 million to cover infrastructure costs necessary to support the project. The highly-visible 69-acre site, known as the “Burleigh Triangle”—which is formed by Highway 45 to the west, Burleigh Street to the south, and the Union Pacific Railroad to the east—has been underutilized and targeted for redevelopment by City officials for years. While Phase I of The Mayfair Collection is primarily retail, the project’s additional phases contemplate the development of multi-family, office, and medical components subject to future market demand for those uses.

A backhoe tears into an existing Burleigh Triangle warehouse building.

A backhoe tears into an existing Burleigh Triangle warehouse building.

Des Plaines, Ill.-based Premier Design + Build will serve as general contractor for the project, and Evanston, Ill.-based TOA Architects is responsible for the design.

Nordstrom Rack to Open First Wisconsin Location at HSA’s The Mayfair Collection

Seattle-based Nordstrom, Inc., (NYSE: JWN) announced today plans to open the first Nordstrom Rack in the State of Wisconsin. The approximately 36,000-square-foot store is scheduled to open in spring 2014 at The Mayfair Collection in Wauwatosa, just outside of Milwaukee.

Nordstrom Rack is the off-price retail division of Nordstrom, Inc., carrying on-trend merchandise from Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom.com at 50 to 60 percent off original Nordstrom prices. Nordstrom Rack also offers a wide selection of apparel, accessories and shoes from many of the brands carried in Nordstrom stores. These items are purchased specially for Nordstrom Rack, with most at savings of 30 to 70 percent off.

The Mayfair Collection, a 250,000-square-foot planned adaptive reuse development of a former industrial complex and distribution center fronting the heavily-trafficked Highway 45, will be located a half mile from Mayfair Mall, the dominant regional mall in greater Milwaukee. The new Nordstrom Rack will join co-tenants Dick’s Sporting Goods and ULTA, which also recently signed leases for the project. The Mayfair Collection development is owned and managed by HSA Commercial Real Estate.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing Nordstrom Rack to Milwaukee and hope this new store will help us more conveniently serve our customers who have been making the drive to Chicago to visit us,” said Geevy Thomas, president of Nordstrom Rack. “The Mayfair Collection is a terrific location and we’re looking forward to getting our doors open so that we can start serving the community.”

“Nordstrom Rack, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and ULTA each represent the leading retailers in their respective categories, and we are going to continue to build on that best-in-class tenant mix with other lease commitments for the project to be announced soon,” said Timothy Blum, executive vice president with HSA Commercial Real Estate.

HSA’s Dave Keady Talks Tosa

Each month, HSA Commercial profiles a broker at our firm as part of our HSA News & Views blog. In this edition, we talk with Dave Keady, senior vice president of the Retail Services Division. Dave is responsible for the product leasing with HSA’s retail developments, most notably for The Mayfair Collection in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, a 250,000-square-foot adaptive reuse in the so-called “Burleigh Triangle” (Click here to learn more about the project).

HSA: How is the leasing progressing for the project in Wauwatosa?
Keady: Everything is moving relatively smoothly. The leasing really gained significant traction last spring after we obtained the preliminary approval for our plan from the City of Wauwatosa. The retailers saw the positive press that the project was generating, and we were able to start building a critical mass of anchor tenants to propel the project forward. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but we are feeling confident that we can deliver an exciting tenant mix.

HSA: How have the economic conditions affected your efforts?
Keady: Since I started working with Tim Blum on the project a few years ago, we have always maintained that our target audience is a mix of unique, best-in-class retailers seeking regional locations in the Mayfair Mall trade area. For the most part, we are meeting our goals and realizing that vision.

The economy simply slowed us down. For the past couple years, we have had to compete with an inventory of existing vacancies offered for below market rents. By-and-large, those backfill opportunities are gone, and the retailers, especially the publicly-traded companies, still need to grow to demonstrate value to their stockholders. This puts landlords like us, with a well-defined value proposition, in a position to strike a much more economical and mutually-beneficially deal.

HSA: Generally speaking, what other projects is HSA’s retail development team working on?
Keady: Our retail team is always pursuing infill, value-added development opportunities. In the past, we’ve been primarily focused on large-scale redevelopment projects like in Wauwatosa, but we are beginning to find opportunistic, single-tenant developments where we can still generate substantial returns. However, we’ve always operated with a more conservative investment strategy, and now that is more important than ever.

HSA: In a lot of ways, you established your career as a tenant broker for Potbelly Sandwich Works and others. Do you think that this helps you with product leasing?
Keady: Every tenant is different, and their needs and personalities vary. However, I would say that my background as a tenant broker helps me to anticipate some of the questions and concerns that arise in the negotiation process. That helps in finding that critical path to expedite the deal.

Dave Keady has transacted leases with national retailers such as Nordstrom, Kmart, TJX Companies, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Filene’s, Office Max and Ulta. Prior to joining HSA, Mr. Keady was a Senior Leasing Representative with Klaff Realty.