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J.P. Cullen moves into overhauled Milwaukee office

J.P. Cullen & Sons is moving its office in Brookfield into new, rehabbed digs in downtown Milwaukee this week.

The company is placing some 75 employees into a 14,000-square-foot space for the six-story Milwaukee Fortress Building, 100 E. Pleasant St. J.P. Cullen is serving as general contractor and anchor tenant in the $43 million project, which was headed up by Madison-based Alexander & Co. The companies’ work will give the underused building 132 apartments and commercial space.

The company had previously operated out of an office in Brookfield that was less than half the size of its new space, said Larry Rocole, a vice president at J.P. Cullen. Besides its headquarters in Janesville, the company also has an office in Madison.

Rocole said the company first began considering moving four years ago as it ran out of space in its Brookfield office.

“The first time I went there I said, ‘This would be a really cool place for an office.’ It sits up on a hill. You have a great view of the city,” Rocole said. “It still is bringing stronger economic vitality to the area. We took a building that had very little use and turned it into apartments (and commercial space).”

J.P. Cullen has worked on prominent projects in Milwaukee in recent years, including a new $31 million training center for the Milwaukee Bucks.

The new Milwaukee office, where J.P. Cullen has a 10-year lease, also offers more conveniences than the old one. It is within walking distance of shops and restaurants and has a rooftop patio and work spaces for mobile employees. When people need a break, they can play a game of shuffleboard or pool.

Alexander made use of state and federal historic tax credits to help finance overhaul of the Fortress building, which dates to 1892.

The rehabilitation work began last fall, and is scheduled to be completed in two phases. J.P. Cullen will move in this week but the apartment complex will have to wait in late fall, Rocole said. Besides the space set aside for JP Cullen, the building has a 12,000-square-foot office.

About Nate Beck, nbeck@dailyreporter.com

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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