Common Council Approves Alterra Coffee Purchase of Post Teldyne Building

On Sept. 21, the Common Council approved the sale of the Post Teldyne Building and adjacent sites to Alterra Coffee Roasters, Inc. for $10,000. Alterra business partners Lincoln and Ward Fowler and Paul Miller had originally agreed to buy the building from the city for $125,000. (See “Alterra Coffee is Coming to Riverwest,” March 2004.) The sale includes the 33,900-square-foot vacant building at 2941 N. Humboldt Blvd., and two nearby vacant lots. One of these is a 6,600 square-foot vacant lot at 2963 North Humboldt Blvd., former site of a gas station, and the other, the 16,132 square-foot vacant lot at 3009 N. Humboldt Blvd., which was a dry cleaning establishment. In recent years, the city has been awarded grants from the State and from the EPA to address a variety of contamination problems on the sites. The building was acquired by the city in 1998 through tax foreclosure and has been empty and boarded since then. Alterra plans to spend $2 to $3 million to upgrade the existing building as its new headquarters. The company will move its wholesale roasting, bakery and commissary, administrative/human resources, customer service, and mechanical service functions to the Humboldt Boulevard site. A new cafe will be a focal point of the development. The corner lot at Humboldt and Chambers will be an outside seating area for the cafe. It will also have landscaped gardens, a few quick-park slots and a large exterior deck. The property at 3009 N. Humboldt, on the north side of Chambers Street, will be improved with an off-site parking lot. The building’s face along Humboldt Avenue will be renovated and leased to other retailers. Alterra expects to create 25 new jobs immediately at this location, with 10 to 15 more in the next few years. When renovations are complete, it is estimated that the building will be valued at approximately $3.5 million. Total property taxes will be about $96,000 per year, of which $32,000 will go towards the City, with about the same amount going to schools. The remainder will go to the County and the Sewerage District. Ward Fowler, Paul Miller, and Lincoln Fowler are the principals of Alterra Coffee Roasters, Inc. Lincoln Fowler is also a board member of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee, an independent corporation whose seven-member board is appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the Common Council. RACM’s mission is to “eliminate blighting conditions that inhibit neighborhood reinvestment, to foster and promote business expansion and job creation, and to faciltiate new business and housing development,” according to the City of Milwaukee website. RACM’s operating funds are provided through the Community Development Block Grant program.
by Jan Christensen