Thursday, September 28, 2006

Proposal for Park East wins county board support

The Business Journal of Milwaukee - 2:51 PM CDT Thursday

Ruvin Development of Mequon and its co-developer Gatehouse Capital of Dallas won approval from the Milwaukee County Board Thursday to build a hotel, condos, offices, shops and a parking structure on a key parcel in Milwaukee's downtown Park East corridor.

Milwaukee County supervisors chose the Ruvin proposal over a competing plan from Rana Enterprises of Milwaukee for a hotel, offices, retail, parking and a gas station. Rana is a convenience store owner and developer.

The county board approved a resolution to sell the 73,000-square-foot property along West Juneau Ave. between North Third and Fourth streets to Ruvin and Gatehouse Capital for slightly more than $2.9 million.

Ruvin also owns the Sidney Hih complex on the corner of Juneau and Third and the former Gipfel Union Brewery building at 423 W. Juneau, which will be moved to a spot just west of Sidney Hih.

Sidney Hih will be incorporated into the new construction, which Ruvin principal Rob Ruvin estimates at $104 million. It will include 70 condos, a 175-room hotel, 55,000 square feet of offices, 31,000 square feet of retail, and a 330-car parking garage.

The county board resolution gives Ruvin nine months to exercise its option on the property, Ruvin said. He said the next step is to arrange financing -- a combination of debt and equity -- and he anticipates construction starting within one year. The project will be complete 18 to 24 months after construction starts, he said.

"We're very excited," Ruvin said of the county board vote.

He said his group had begun marketing the property to real estate brokers, who are expressing interest in the retail and residential elements of the project. He said the downtown hotel market is strong, and he and Gatehouse expect to disclose the hotel's flag in the near future.

Gatehouse has developed similar projects in Los Angeles, Dallas and San Diego.

No comments: