Big news for Sunrise Plaza …
First, the center has been acquired by Secured Debt Investments of Coral Gables, Fla., at sheriff’s sale, paving the way for reinvestment in the property and potentially new tenants.
According to its website …
SDI is an investment management firm focusing on underperforming commercial real estate assets throughout the United States. …
We concentrate our acquisitions in distressed, under-performing commercial real estate loans and properties. Our infrastructure provides us with proprietary market knowledge, deal flow and relationships needed to execute our strategy. We implement a disciplined pricing methodology, containing clear exit strategies through a value-add based proposition.
Our highly skilled team of underwriters and acquisition specialists work hand in hand with our local service providers to evaluate and analyze each acquisition, giving us the local presence and knowledge needed to capitalize on opportunities throughout the country.
In other words, it sounds like a key goal of the new ownership is to fix up the center, lease it, and sell it.
Seigel-Gallagher is managing the property, and they tell me their plan is to improve some of the long-neglected vacant spaces at the center, with a focus on the 8,600 square-foot (divisible) retail space at the south end and 3,750 square-foot medical office space. Improvements to the exterior of the property are also planned, including repainting, landscaping, new lighting and updating the main building sign. They’ll also seek to secure long-term relationships with key tenants like Ace Hardware and the Sunrise Restaurant.
As this happens, Ace, the center’s biggest tenant, is making big changes of its own to secure its long-term future in South Milwaukee. You may have read about it in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Dave Micale, the store’s owner, announced last week he was closing his Oak Creek location after 10 years and consolidating operations here. They will be adding inventory from the Oak Creek store to South Milwaukee over the next month, with its remaining staff also making the move.
Dave tells me the Oak Creek closure was a business decision based on a variety of factors, and that he is committed to continuing to serve South Milwaukee for the long term.
I’m so glad to hear that. Ace is a valued retailer in our fair city. They do business the right way, living up to their motto as “the helpful hardware place.” I love shopping local there and want them around for many years to come.
We need stores like this in South Milwaukee.
All in all, I view the Sunrise Plaza developments as a positive for South Milwaukee. After years of little investment in the center, a new owner is committed to making necessary improvements and increasing its value. And Ace is committing to maintaining its long and strong commitment to South Milwaukee, despite the closure of its Oak Creek store.
Of course, we’ll have to see where the future takes this. But I’m hopeful. It’s progress for Sunrise Plaza. Finally.