Top deals of the year in commercial real estate to be honored

Big lease transactions in 2011

February 1, 2012
Lease transactions, another part of the commercial market, also saw some notable new contracts last year with bigger, better locations for businesses including Lucigen, Sentry Insurance and Ale Asylum.

Major lease transactions included these four handled by TJ Blitz of Cresa Madison, which represents commercial tenants:

• Relocation and consolidation of’s Shopbop, an online fashion retailer, in July to 205,000 square feet of space at 1245 and 1301 E. Washington Ave. Blitz described the deal with building landlord Mullins Group as one of the largest lease transactions in Madison in the last decade.

The former Gisholt manufacturing building was converted to an office/distribution facility but had been previously vacant and under-used. This lease deal also is seen as a catalyst for revitalization of the 240-acre Capital East district.

• Relocation and expansion of Ale Asylum, moving from about 12,000 square feet of space at 3698 Kinsman Blvd. to about 50,000 square feet in a new brewery, tap room and restaurant at the corner of Packers Avenue and International Lane on Madison’s North Side. The deal was one of the only build-to-suit lease transactions in Madison last year, Blitz said. CSI Construction is building the facility and will be the landlord.

• Relocation and expansion of Middleton-based Lucigen, from 12,000 square feet at 2121 W. Greenview Drive to 30,000 square feet at 2905 Parmenter St. Mortensen Investment Group is the landlord. The project involves refurbishing a former retail showroom into a laboratory and high-tech research, development and production space for Lucigen, a company that makes biological tools for life-science research and gene cloning. The move will be in April.

• Relocation and expansion of Sentry Insurance to Esser Place at 1800 Deming Way in Middleton. The move in June allowed the company to grow from about 30,000 square feet at 1224 Deming Way to 43,000 square feet on the top two floors at Esser Place. The landlord is Old Vine property group.