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MILWAUKEE, July 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — An affiliate of Phoenix Investors (“Phoenix“), a national private commercial real estate firm headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, announced it signed a lease for approximately 134,000 square feet with Sellars Absorbent Materials, Inc. (“Sellars”) in the former Lowe’s Home Improvement store located at 5800 W. Hope Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (“Property”).

The property was built in 2004 and has been vacant since Lowe’s closed this location in 2009. Since the store closure, the building became a blight on the Midtown Center and the surrounding area. Phoenix purchased the property in July 2016.

“The reactivation of this space is good news for the neighbors and for Midtown Center,” Mayor Tom Barrett said. “Midtown is evolving with a mix of uses that continues to include retail.  With the addition of Sellars, Midtown is adding a strong, job-creating business here.”

“While we had a number of options to fill the former Lowe’s, we held out for a high-quality tenant suitable for the growth and sustainability of the neighborhood. As a long-term stakeholder, we were delighted to attract a local Milwaukee manufacturing success story to Midtown. Sellars will bring jobs and economic activity to Midtown while contributing to the elimination of blight in the surrounding area,” said Frank P. Crivello, Phoenix Chairman & Founder. “We are grateful to Commissioner Rocky Marcoux and Alderman Cavalier Johnson for their attention and efforts to help get our lease transaction with Sellars over the finish line.  This is a win for Phoenix, a win for Sellars, and a win for the City of Milwaukee.”

“Midtown Center is the economic heartbeat of not only my aldermanic district but of the northwest side of Milwaukee,” said 2nd District Alderman Cavalier Johnson. “It is critically important that we focus on filling vacant storefronts with the right mix of retail and other uses. I want to thank Phoenix Investors for working collaboratively with my office and the Department of City Development to ensure that we were able to achieve that goal with a local company that will remove blight, create jobs, and reactivate the former Lowe’s space.”

“We are very pleased that we were able to continue to expand within the City of Milwaukee.  We are hopeful that we can have the same positive impact on the neighboring community as we have had around the formerly vacant Sam’s Club building on 76th Street,” said Tom Sellars, Chairman, and CEO of Sellars Absorbent Materials.

Phoenix will make structural and cosmetic upgrades to the property for Sellars’ distribution operations. In addition, Phoenix plans to comprehensively upgrade the landscaping consistent with the suggestions developed during its planning with the City of Milwaukee.

The lease was brokered by Samuel Dickman, Jr., Samuel Dickman, Sr., and Zach Noble of the Dickman Company, Inc.

About Phoenix Investors

Phoenix Investors is a national commercial real estate firm based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin whose core business is the revitalization of former distribution and manufacturing facilities throughout the United States. This strategy leads to positively transforming communities and restarting the economic engine in the communities we serve.

Phoenix’s affiliate companies hold interests in approximately 23½ million square feet of industrial, retail, office, and single-tenant net-leased properties across 23 states. A 2018 survey conducted by National Real Estate Investor ranked Phoenix Investors as having the 28th largest national industrial real estate portfolio. Phoenix principally specializes in the renovation and repositioning of large, former single tenant industrial facilities throughout the United States that were previously owned by major corporate clients, REITs, or financial institutions.

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About Sellars

Sellars is a Milwaukee based leading manufacturer that utilizes its proprietary “Green Innovation” technology to produce high-performance nonwoven paper dry wipes & towels and absorbents from recycled materials. Sellars will utilize the former Lowe’s Property as a distribution center. This will be Sellars’ fourth building on the Northwest side of Milwaukee with total office, manufacturing, and warehousing space of over 400,000 square feet.  Sellars provides employment for over 200 people at its Milwaukee facilities.

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