Milwaukee County awaits offers for City Campus
Published: July 23, 2010
Tags: Care Maintenance Organization, City Campus, Community Business Development Partners, Concordia neighborhood, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Milwaukee County Audit Department, Milwaukee County Department of Aging, Milwaukee County Department of Transportation and Public Works
By Bill Clements
Special to The Daily Reporter
Proposals are due Friday, July 30, for the large and underused City Campus complex in Milwaukee’s Concordia neighborhood.
The county owns and operates City Campus, which it seeks to sell. The 265,000-square-foot campus includes 130,000 square feet of office space. The county uses about 90,000 of that, meaning more than 30,000 square feet are vacant.
The sale encompasses the entire campus at 2711 W. Wells St., including nine-story, five-story and two-story buildings.
Also for sale are two parking lots with space for 225 vehicles, one at North 27th Street and West Hazelton Court, the other occupying most of North 28th Street between West Wells Street and West Wisconsin Avenue.
More than 100 county employees occupy 16,865 square feet at City Campus, including the Department of Transportation and Public Works, the Audit Department and Community Business Development Partners.
City Campus also houses two private tenants — a clothing shop and a Chinese restaurant — that pay about $40,000 per year to occupy 5,608 square feet of storefront.
The request for proposals the county issued is general and includes optional scenarios.
“If there is no offer to purchase it,” according to the RFP, “we will evaluate our current financial position, and an option might be to relocate and leave the building vacant. That option would only be possible if the numbers work.”
The RFP also solicits someone to lease the county 56,000 square feet of “first-class” office space.
That would provide office space for the current City Campus county employees, in addition to the 217 county workers who occupy 38,789 square feet at the Henry Reuss Federal Plaza on Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee.
Those 217 people run the Milwaukee County Department of Aging and the Care Maintenance Organization. The county leases that space for $750,000 per year; the lease runs through December.
The Department on Aging and the Care Maintenance Organization have governing boards that need access to a large conference room that can accommodate 16 board members and at least 35 guests. The room must be accessible for those with disabilities and older people.
According to the RFP, the facility has deed restrictions relating to its previous use as an outpatient medical care facility. The county bought the campus in 1990 and renovated it into an office building in 1991-92.
The new location must accommodate a call center for 12 social workers. The call center must be separate from other offices to ensure privacy.
The county wants to occupy the space on Jan. 1 and have full-time access to the building, according to the RFP.
The county is looking for an improvement allowance of $30 per square foot, a moving allowance of $3.50 a square foot and a cabling allowance of $2 per square foot.
According to the RFP, the county requires access to 320 parking spaces, including 40 that are close to the building for handicapped and visitor parking.
It is “critical” that the building “be well served by the Milwaukee County Transit Bus system,” according to the RFP.
Because City Campus is considered an anchor employer in the neighborhood, “the county’s priority is to sell the facility to an individual or firm that can make a commitment to maintaining the employment base, or to redeveloping the property in a manner that encourages economic growth and stability.”