A 40,000-Square-Foot Sublease Turned a ‘Black Hole’ Into Nearly 100 Jobs

Lease of the Year for Milwaukee


A 100,000-square-foot office building in Madison, Wisconsin, was empty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but a 40,000-square-foot sublease helped bring nearly 100 jobs back to the area.

The deal received a 2024 CoStar Impact Award for lease of the year for Milwaukee, as judged by real estate professionals familiar with the market.

In their submission to the awards, representatives from real estate advisory firm Cresa said former tenant WEA Trust leaving the building at 45 Nob Hill Rd. "created a black hole in the submarket."

About the Deal: Cresa represented WEA Trust in signing the seven-year sublease, which took over more than half of its remaining lease liability. "The company that moved into the building relocated from Oregon, [Wisconsin], bringing close to 100 employees to Madison, helping the surrounding restaurants and other businesses," they wrote. "We have seen very few transactions, if any, larger than 40,000 square feet over the past couple of years."

What the Judges Said: Judges praised the deal for how it affected the companies involved and the surrounding community. "It solved a problem for numerous parties. The landlord, primary leaseholder and new tenant subleasing the space. Win-win-win," said Rickey Shneyder, partner with CRUX Commercial Partners. Luke Herder, assistant vice president with Phoenix Investors, called it an "impactful sublease of an otherwise 'dark' office building."

They Made it Happen: Cresa managing principals TJ Blitz, Matthew Apter and Ross Rikkers.


CoStar's Impact Awards highlight the commercial real estate transactions and projects that have transformed their markets over the past year. The winners are chosen by independent panels of industry professionals who work in the markets they judge. Learn more about the awards here.


This article appeared on CoStar, see it here.