Bay View’s American Legion post slated for demolition, new apartments planned

Property was once home to Little DeMarinis

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Milwaukee developer Scott Genke is planning to demolish the American Legion Post at 2860 S. Kinnickinnick Ave. in Bay View and replace the building with 36 apartments.

Bay View American Legion Post

Genke, founder and president of SG Property Management, will purchase the property from St. Francis Bay View American Legion Post No. 180 after the demolition, said Alderman Tony Zielinski.

Zielinski, who represents Bay View, said while he has supported the development along Kinnickinnick Avenue between Lincoln Avenue and Beecher Street, this development is too far south to support.

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“We have been able to preserve our neighborhoods in Bay View,” Zielinski said. “This location is too residential. I am opposed to this particular project.”

The American Legion Post is located south of Outpost Natural Food Store and north of the former White House bar, which recently sold. To the east and west of the post are residential neighborhoods.

Genke, who also developed King Lofts, at 2534 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

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Despite Zielinksi’s opposition, the project can be built by right. The property is zoned for non-residential and multi-family building, which gives a developer a lot of flexibility, said Jeff Fleming, spokesman for the city department of community development.

“I have explained to people over and over, I don’t have a vote on this because he has a right,” Zielinski said.

A raze permit was filed July 30 with the city by Shoreline Contracting Services Inc. Emily Huf, with Shoreline, said the building will be demolished once the gas and electric are disconnected and the city issues the permit.

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Huf anticipates demolition will begin in mid-October. Demolishing a building typically takes one week, Huf said.

The ground floor of the American Legion Post was the home of Little DeMarinis, a popular Bay View pizzeria that replaced longtime neighborhood mainstay Mama DeMarinis for four years.

The restaurant decided not to renew its lease, which expired in June 2018.

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