As reported in By Joe Taschler

An affiliate of Phoenix Investors, a national private commercial real estate firm based in Milwaukee, said Tuesday that it has acquired the massive J.C. Penney logistics warehouse and furniture outlet at I-41 and W. Burleigh St. in Wauwatosa.

Phoenix plans to renovate the complex and says it already has more than a dozen companies interested in moving into the complex.

The purchase price was $31.25 million for the 2 million-square-foot property located on more than 77 acres at 18000 W. Burleigh St. in Wauwatosa.

“These buildings are in exceptional condition given their age,” David Marks, Phoenix’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “We intend to renovate these buildings, both structurally and cosmetically. …  Once complete, they will look and function like a newly constructed industrial facility.”

The sight was attractive to Phoenix because of its proximity to the interstate, railroad access, heavy power infrastructure and more than 100 loading docks, according to a statement from the company. The first buildings were constructed on the site in the 1950s with subsequent additions during the 1960s and 1970s.

“Over the last 50 years, J.C. Penney made substantial and regular improvements to the buildings and infrastructure,” Phoenix said in the statement.

Phoenix said it has already identified more than a dozen potential tenants for the property.

“The demand exceeds the available space,” Kurt Jensen, senior vice president of Phoenix, said in the statement. “We are in active discussions with over a dozen quality companies for portions of the complex.”

Phoenix Investors’ core business is revitalizing former distribution and manufacturing facilities throughout the United States. Phoenix’s affiliate companies hold interests in approximately 20 million square feet of industrial, retail, office and single tenant net-leased properties across 23 states.

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Frank P. Crivello is a Milwaukee-based developer and Chairman & Founder of Phoenix Investors.