Children's Hospital helps West Allis reach a key Summit

Officials see move as important element in local business growth

Jan. 7, 2014

West Allis — Area communities from the Lake Michigan shore to Pewaukee wanted Children's Hospital of Wisconsin to choose their towns as home to a "mini" campus it wants to create.

In the end, hospital officials signed on the dotted line for 80,000 square feet of office space at the Summit Place office complex, 6737 W. Washington St., in West Allis. It intends to move about 475 employees there by spring.

The reason everybody wanted it is that Children's Hospital is a quality tenant and it needed a lot of office space, said John Stibal, West Allis development director.

Medical neighbors?

Stibal sees Children's Hospital as more than just a good catch. It's also suggests West Allis could be in line for medical office development due to the city's proximity to the Regional Medical Center Campus on the Milwaukee County grounds in Wauwatosa, Stibal said.

"Children's is a bellwether," he said. "The county grounds are getting full with all that high-tech stuff, and we're right next door."

When the institutions at the medical complex need to expand, Stibal said, "Where are they going to go? If West Allis prepares itself, it will be here."

As such, West Allis is preparing itself. Only recently the city approved a $2 million financial incentive to the Summit Place property owner for the private construction of additional parking that played an important part in attracting Children's hospital, he said.

When institutions at the Medical Complex start looking for places to expand, West Allis has many properties where high-tech medical facilities could be built, he said.

The future looks good, Sibal said, adding: "You ain't seen nothing, yet."

Success at Summit

In a press release announcing the move to Summit Place, Mayor Dan Devine also was optimistic.

"Children's addition to West Allis exemplifies the vibrancy of our city and business community," Devine said.

With the addition of the hospital, Summit Place — which helped revitalize the former Allis-Chalmers property and buildings — will be nearly 100 percent full, Stibal said.

Summit Place is occupied by more than 50 tenants — including Brooksdale Senior Living, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and Toshiba International — that together employ about 3,000 people.

"Summit Place is a proven success for our city," Common Council president Thomas Lajsic said in the press release.

— Jane Ford-Stewart

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