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Cudahy Development Articles You Might Have Missed Part 3 - 2006

Cudahy, Development, Retail, Cobalt Partners

Retail, office planned for Cudahy landfill site


Milwaukee developer sets $58 million project


Retail, office planned for Cudahy landfill site - The Business Journal of Milwaukee


A Milwaukee development firm plans to build a $58.3 million office and retail complex in Cudahy on a former landfill owned by the city of Milwaukee.


Cobalt Partners L.L.C. wants to build a retail center and office park on the 24-acre site, which is at the intersection of East Layton Avenue and South Pennsylvania Avenue.  The company also is negotiating to purchase 2 acres from Cudahy and 10 acres from Milwaukee County to expand the project to 36 acres.


The Milwaukee Department of City Development selected the Cobalt proposal from three submitted by developers as part of a request for proposal process that started in November 2005.  Cobalt had the highest market value among the proposals, said Dave Misky, a spokesman for the Department of City Development.


Cobalt was the only developer to match the city's asking price of $1.8 million for the land, Misky said.


Milwaukee and Cudahy officials would not disclose how large the retail center would be or how many square feet the office project would include.  Cobalt is trying to recruit a national retailer to anchor the development, they said.


The proposed Cudahy mixed-used commercial center is adjacent to the northeast corner of General Mitchell International Airport and an exit for the Lake Parkway.  The nearest retail center is less than a mile east of Cobalt's proposed site at the 150,000-square-foot Whitnall Square center in St. Francis.


Sunset Investors in Franklin and Herbert Theine of Oconomowoc also presented proposals to Milwaukee, city officials said.  Department of City Development representatives would not discuss details of the losing proposals.


Kendall Breunig, president of Sunset Investors, declined to reveal details of his company's proposal.  He said Sunset did not match the city's asking price for the land because of environmental issues with the former landfill.  Breunig said he expects construction crews to encounter methane gas and possible problems with the site's soil bearing capacity.


Stormwater issues


The city of Milwaukee bought the Cudahy land more than 50 years ago and used it as a solid waste landfill for 30 years.  The landfill was closed in the early 1970s.


"Stormwater management will be an issue because rainwater from the site will not be allowed by DNR to percolate into the ground," Breunig said.


Cobalt Partners is a new development company owned by Charles Gabaldon, James Heffernan and Scott Yauck. Gabaldon also owns a Milwaukee real estate management company called Gabaldon Properties.  Heffernan is a former Kohl's Corp. real estate executive. Yauck is a former Quarles & Brady real estate lawyer.  Yauck also is the former president of Custom Metal Products, a metal fabrication company that was acquired by Mayville Engineering Co. in July 2004.  None of the partners of Cobalt were available to comment on their Cudahy project.


In recent years, Cobalt Partners developed a Target department store in Oak Creek.


Cudahy Mayor John Hohenfeldt said he expects little opposition to the development plan.


"This is a prime piece of real estate that will attract retail tenants," said Hohenfeldt, who consulted with city of Milwaukee officials during the request for proposal selection process.


Hohenfeldt expects the developer to complete the land acquisitions with Cudahy and Milwaukee County before spring.  Since Cobalt does not have to request a change in zoning for its Cudahy project, the project's plans will be reviewed by Cudahy's plan commission and the Common Council in the spring or summer.


Source: The Business Journal of Milwaukee


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