September 17, 2013

Earlier this month, Tim Blum, Executive Vice President with HSA Commercial, was joined by Wauwatosa’s 8th District Alderman Craig Wilson in an extended discussion about The Mayfair Collection that aired on WUWM 89.7, the Milwaukee-area NPR affiliate. The first phase of The Mayfair Collection is a 270,000-square-foot adaptive reuse of warehouse buildings fronting Highway 45 at Burleigh Street that will include best-in-class promotional retailers including Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off 5th, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Ulta.

Click here to listen to the radio interview audio.

During the conversation, Tim explains how HSA had to carefully balance the community’s ambitious vision for the 69-acre property on which The Mayfair Collection is located with the difficult reality of launching the project during an economic recession.

“The initial idea was to scrape the entire site and build a grand mixed use project very similar to what you would see in the City’s master plan…Then, 2008 came along, and we were forced to table those plans.

Looking, reevaluating the buildings that were on the site, we determined that we could recycle them for retail purposes. They were obsolete as far as traditional, conventional warehouse needs, but for retail, the bones of the buildings were perfectly fine. We used that as a tool in order to value engineer rents to an acceptable level that that would attract good quality merchants to the project.”

By attracting top-tier retailers and constructing the necessary infrastructure to serve the overall project, HSA hopes this initial phase will serve as a catalyst for future mixed-use development on the balance of the property that will ultimately achieve the larger vision that HSA shares with the City of Wauwatosa.

“This first phase will open in April… It’s already leading into a subsequent phase which we’ll be coming into the City with shortly with an organic grocer, a hotel, and some more restaurants. And we think this will be the platform from which we will start to introduce residential and potentially some office. So, this is a five to ten year program.”

For more about the interview, please visit the WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio website.

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