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1547 and Harrison Street Acquire Historic Milwaukee Carrier Hotel and Data Center

Posted by Natalie Steinwand on October 6, 2020
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Historic Wells Building Becomes Latest Portfolio Addition

 

MILWAUKEE, WI (September 3, 2020) – 1547 Data Center Real Estate Fund II, LP (“The Fund”), an affiliate of fifteenfortyseven Critical Systems Realty, LLC (“1547”), a leading owner, operator and developer of data center space, in partnership with Harrison Street, one of the leading investment management firms focused on alternative real assets, today announced their expansion into Milwaukee, Wisconsin with the acquisition of the city’s historic Wells Building. The 15-story, 165,000-square-foot building located at 324 East Wisconsin Avenue was purchased from Ascendant Holdings LLC, a Wisconsin-focused commercial real estate development and investment company.

Strategically located in downtown Milwaukee, the building has a long history as a communications center. Once the home of Western Union Telegraph Company’s Milwaukee headquarters, the building continues to be a communications and technology hub as a carrier hotel and network-dense data center.

“We are thrilled about this acquisition, our first with Harrison Street,” says J. Todd Raymond, CEO of 1547.  ”The Wells Building is a strategic fiber convergence point in the Upper Midwest with significant upside value as edge data center requirements continue to grow exponentially. Our plan is to build on the great work of the Ascendant team and make significant investments in the power and cooling infrastructure. We are excited to resurrect this century old, purpose-built, communications property and redevelop it into the premier network and content distribution data center facility in the Upper Midwest.”

Michael Hochanadel, Managing Director and Head of Digital Real Estate at Harrison Street, said, “The Wells Building investment represents an important step in growing our digital platform.  Strategic connectivity assets like the Wells Building are irreplaceable.  We look forward to expanding our relationship with 1547 as we continue to pursue opportunities in digital infrastructure.”

The growth in the need for online accessibility to services such as schooling, virtual healthcare, shopping, and entertainment makes the availability of data storage and computer infrastructure, bandwidth, and speed more critical than ever. The Milwaukee metropolitan area has over 2,000,000 people whose reliance and dependence on technology continues to grow exponentially with few options for hosting their data center needs. With over 25 network providers, the dense telecommunication infrastructure and multiple diverse entry points into the Wells Building is already appealing to data center customers seeking a location for low latency content distribution in the Upper Midwest. With the planned robust infrastructure upgrades, the Wells Building will be the most network-dense, fully redundant, high-security data center facility in the region.

Houliahn Lokey, formerly MVP Capital, acted as the seller’s financial advisor on the transaction.

 

About fifteenfortyseven Critical Systems Realty, LLC

fifteenfortyseven Critical Systems Realty (“1547”) is a leading developer and operator of custom-designed data centers with over 1,000,000 SF of data center space in Orangeburg, NY | Toronto, ON | Chicago, IL (2) | Cheyenne, WY | San Francisco, CA | Kapolei, HI and Milwaukee, WI. Central to the Company’s strategy is its ability to uncover the true intrinsic value of properties and opportunistically develop world-class data center facilities.

With over 100 years of experience developing, renovating, and operating data center space, our depth of expertise uniquely positions 1547 to work with each client to develop the best strategy to meet their specific needs. We offer customers a variety of customized colocation configurations – from interconnections, carrier hotels to one rack units to wholesale offerings; sale/leaseback, refurbishment, or construction of purpose-built data centers. Our focus is providing tenants with strategic, customized mission critical solutions from concept through completion.

About Harrison Street

Harrison Street is one of the leading investment management firms exclusively focused on alternative real assets. Since inception in 2005, the firm has created a series of differentiated investment solutions focused on demographic-driven, needs-based assets. The firm has invested across senior housing, student housing, healthcare delivery, life sciences and storage real estate as well as social and utility infrastructure. Headquartered in Chicago with an office in London, the firm has more than 170-employees and approximately $27.3 billion in assets under management. Clients of the firm include a global institutional investor base domiciled in North America, Europe and Asia. Harrison Street has been awarded Best Places to Work by Pensions & Investments for the last six consecutive years and was named 2019 North American Alternatives Investor of the Year by PERE. For more information, please visit www.harrisonst.com.

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