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Former Pabst Brewing Complex to Be Converted to Self-Storage, Craft Brewery in Milwaukee

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Update 9/19/17 – Highland Development is nearing completion on construction of the Extra Space self-storage facility on the lower level of the former Pabst Brewing complex. It’s expected to comprise about 1,000 units, according to the source. Work also continues to progress on other aspects to the mixed-use project.

Milwaukee Brewing is in the process of replacing original brick walls with glass. The craft-beer facility is scheduled to open before the end of June next year. It’s expected to hire 22 full-time and 25 part-time employees, the source reported. The company held a groundbreaking ceremony in July.

Pabst Brewing closed the entire 14-block corporate campus in 1996. The mixed-use project is being developed in what was known as Building 42, the last structure added to the complex.


10/20/16 – Highland Development Ventures LLC, a New York-based real estate developer and investment company specializing in self-storage and student-housing conversions, has acquired the lower level of the former Pabst Brewing Co. corporate complex that’s being converted to self-storage and several other uses. The developer acquired the bottom level for $3 million and will convert it to an Extra Space Storage location, according to the source. The facility is expected to open by late spring or early summer.

“The building works great for us,” Adam Hird, managing partner for Highland Development, told the source. “We think it’s a great part of the city to be in. There’s a lot of residential being built and also a lot of activity with the arena.”

Highland Development is building multiple self-storage facilities in the Milwaukee area intended for Extra Space, the source reported. The company also plans to acquire a warehouse in back of a Hobby Lobby building in Franklin, Wis., which it intends to convert to an Extra Space location.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee Brewing has begun renovations on its portion of the complex. It could begin brewing onsite next fall. The adjacent event space is expected to be called The Alley and will be run by a third-party operator, the source reported.

Lurie intends to begin work on up to 65,000 square feet of office space early next year. Plans under consideration for the roof include a golf driving range, he told the source.

Based in Valhalla, N.Y., Highland Development has interests throughout Canada and the United States. Its primary focus is the adaptive reuse of older buildings and small urban sites, specializing in self-storage and student-housing projects, according to the company website.


8/12/16 – SSL, a real estate investment group led by local investor Scott Lurie, has acquired the former Pabst Brewing Co. corporate complex near downtown Milwaukee, with the intent to build a mixed-use development featuring a craft brewery, offices and self-storage. The 170,000-square-foot building at 1311 N. 8th St. will offer 85,000 square feet of self-storage on the ground floor and up to 45,000 square feet of office space on the upper level. Work on the storage and office space is expected to begin next week, with completion planned for next summer.

Milwaukee Brewing Co. is the first to lease a portion of the project—58,000 square feet—and will initially use the building as a warehouse, including cold storage. The brewer will eventually expand some of its operation to the site and lease the 2-acre roof, according to sources. Its long-term plan includes facility tours, a restaurant and tasting room. The expansive rooftop overlooks what will be Milwaukee’s arena district and will feature a pavilion with a bar serving local beers, with outdoor seating and event space. “There’s so much space, we’re going to have bocce ball courts,” brewery founder and CEO Jim McCabe told a source.

The craft brewer doesn’t intend to replace its current 15,000-square-foot brewery, but the new complex will eventually enable the company to produce up to 70,000 barrels of beer each year, a source reported. The brewer is on pace to produce more than 13,000 barrels this year.

Lurie told a source he has some prospective tenants for the other spaces but didn’t reveal their names.

Sources:

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