BBC Lighting purchases historic industrial building in Menomonee Valley’s design district

Owner plans to lease space to retail tenant next year

1825 W. St. Paul Ave., photo by Wisconsin Historical Society

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:49 pm

1825 W. St. Paul Ave., photo by Wisconsin Historical Society

Milwaukee-based BBC Lighting has purchased a 41,990-square-foot industrial building in the emerging home decor and design district in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley.

The building at 1825 W. Saint Paul Ave. is part of the historic Hoffman Manufacturing complex, located about two blocks east of BBC’s retail lighting showroom at 2015 W. Saint Paul Ave. 

1825 W. Saint Paul LLC, an affiliate of BBC Lighting bought the building for $1.4 million from Milwaukee-based LCM Funds 30 St Paul LLC, according to Milwaukee-based real estate firm Founders 3.

BBC Lighting owner Hank Albert, who founded the company in 1972, intends to lease part of the building to a retailer that would “benefit the area,” he said. The company had previously leased 10,000 square feet of space for storage, and will continue to do so.

Albert plans to secure a tenant within the upcoming year, he said.

He said breweries and other food and beverage manufacturers had shown interest in the space, but he plans to add another retail tenant to the St. Paul Avenue Design District, which is home to several other home decor stores including Brass Light Gallery, Guardian Fine Art Services, House of Stone, ProStar Surfaces, Riverview Antique Market and Bachman Furniture.

Milwaukee-based Bachman Furniture recently closed its longtime Capitol Drive store and will open its new store early next year in a portion of the former American Radiator Company at 1741 W. St. Paul Avenue.

“20th (Street) and St. Paul (Avenue) is growing into a pretty interesting spot for people to come and shop,” Albert said. “The area brings so much traffic to that spot that it would benefit anybody that comes,”

BBC’s new building is one of 22 industrial buildings between 11th and 21st streets that are part of the St. Paul Avenue Industrial Historic District. The district, which was added to state’s register of historic places last year by the Wisconsin Historical Society, has been a recent development focus of Menomonee Valley Partners and the city of Milwaukee.

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Maredithe Meyer
Maredithe Meyer started as an intern reporter at BizTimes in summer 2015. She currently covers entertainment, sports, tourism and restaurants. In May 2017, she graduated with a journalism degree from Marquette University where she worked as an in-depth projects reporter for the Marquette Wire and Marquette Tribune.