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MILWAUKEE-To make way for the acquisitions such as the Northern Department Store Group (Carson’s) from Saks Inc. in the first quarter of fiscal 2006, Bon-Ton Stores Inc. has expanded into 40,000 sf of office space in the Reuss Federal Plaza building at 310 W. Wisconsin Ave. The York, PA-based retailer is already occupying 165,000 sf, as well as a retail store, in a nine-story building across the street.

A spokeswoman tells GlobeSt.com that the company, which occupies three 55,000-sf floors above the store on West Wisconsin Avenue, now needs more room because of an influx of new office workers. The company’s official statement says the company had added 100 new people to the Milwaukee offices, but the spokeswoman says the number is more around 200. The two buildings are connected by a walkway.

“We grew out of our space in Milwaukee after the acquisition” she says. “Carson Prairie Scott already had their corporate offices there, and they were used to buying large, so we let the merchandising and marketing people in New York go and kept the Milwaukee group. We also purchased the private brand organization (of Saks Department Store Group) at around the same time, and design and quality people from Birmingham moved here as well.”

The company is leasing the building from the US General Services Administration, and plans to move into the space in July. The spokeswoman says she could not reveal the lease rate. The average asking rent in Milwaukee is $18.97 per sf, according to a recent market report by Marcus & Millichap. Bon-Ton operates 279 stores in 23 states, including brand names such as the Boston Store in Wisconsin, Younkers and Parisian.

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