Centennial Place

Miller Park Way - West Milwaukee, WI

Environmental cleanup and complex financing leads to Milwaukee Business Journal’s “Best Retail Development” of 2008

Centennial Place is the complete demolition and redevelopment of a closed 45-acre General Electric plant into approximately 400,000 sf of mixed-use project including national big-boxes, small shops, government offices and an industrial use.

The 700,000 sf GE plant became obsolete, closed in 1991, and sat vacant for 14 years. GE was not motivated to sell due to significant environmental contamination and the perceived liability associated with cleanup and ownership transfer.

General Capital, with partner Boulder Venture, convinced GE to sell by offering a complete environmental indemnification. This was accomplished via insurance from Zurich and AIG, and a guaranteed clean-up contract with publicly traded Arcadis. Financing included TIF, New Markets tax credits and a brownfield grant. The site was demolished, remediated, graded and rebuilt, with retailers Pick ‘n Save and Menards, in less than 15 months.

This complex project converted a blighted site into a productive asset yielding hundreds of jobs and $25+ million to the village’s tax base.