GRAEF Places Among 2021 Milwaukee Business Journal Real Estate Awards

It was an exciting year for GRAEF at the Milwaukee Business Journal Real Estate Awards. Alongside our partners, clients, and teammates, GRAEF projects were recognized in five categories.  We are especially proud of our placement in the Best Renovation category, which highlighted our new office space in The Avenue.

Congratulations to all project teams that were nominated and awarded this year!


Best Renovation - Office

GRAEF Office Headquarters

Presiding over The Avenue from its third-floor perch is the new headquarters of Milwaukee-based GRAEF USA Inc., a national engineering, planning and design firm founded 60 years ago. The firm occupies 35,000 square feet, providing amenity-rich work space for about 175 employees. That area previously was occupied by the building’s food court.

The improvements GRAEF made to its new digs were considerable.

Best New Development - Retail/Hospitality

Brookfield Conference Center

The new Brookfield Conference Center is sleek, modern and easily accessible. What’s more, its 54,000 square feet of multi-purpose meeting and event space complement the community’s abundance of hotel rooms, restaurants and retail stores. City officials see the center as a demand-generator for Brookfield’s hospitality industry.

Best Public/Private Partnership

Bayshore Town Center

A central theme of Bayshore’s redevelopment is the creation of functional, open spaces for people to come together and enjoy themselves. Following the plans Cypress Equities developed, the former Town Square was converted to an upgraded central courtyard called The Yard, which includes a 20x36-foot LED Marquee screen that features specialty programming. In addition, the rotunda was redeveloped to include new escalators for guest convenience. Improvements that were made throughout Bayshore include upgraded walkways, landscaping and lighting.

Most Environmentally Friendly Project

Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens Dohmen Family Foundation Hippo Haven

Hippo Haven gives visitors an up-close view of the semi-aquatic mammals, with a state-of-the-art filtration system providing a cleaner habitat for them. A new tank holding 60,000 gallons of water enables people to watch the hippos while they’re underwater, where they typically spend 16 hours per day. An 85-foot-long, three-inch-thick glass wall separates the hippos from their captivated fans. The Milwaukee County Zoo is now one of only 12 exhibits in North America with an underwater viewing area.

Best Deal/Lease of the Year

Target at Bayshore

Target, most of whose stores occupy a single story, is one of the first retailers in the region to repurpose an existing two-story department store building. Bayshore’s management have said they expect Target to have a positive, long-lasting impact on the entire center, drawing foot traffic and sales from all over the metropolitan area. Target also is expected to attract new retailers, restaurants and entertainment options to Bayshore, which would further enhance its appeal.

Best Deal/Lease of the Year Honorable Mention

Steele Solutions at Former Bucyrus Complex

Mezzanine and catwalk manufacturer Steele Solutions became the first business to bring production jobs back to South Milwaukee’s former Bucyrus-Erie campus.