Developer plans to buy and restore historic Iron Block building

Milwaukee-based TMB Development Corp. plans to purchase and restore the Iron Block building, one of the most prominent historic buildings in downtown Milwaukee.

The four-story, 40,670-sqaure-foot Iron Block building is located at 205 E. Wisconsin Ave., at the southeast corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Water Street in the heart of downtown Milwaukee’s central business district. The building was built in 1861. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the only building in the state with an iron façade, according to the city of Milwaukee.

The building is owned by a group of investors including developer Sonny Bando, his father and former Milwaukee Brewer Sal Bando, and former Green Bay Packer Mark Chmura. Representatives for the investors that own the building could not be reached for comment.

TMB Development Corp. includes developer Charles Trainer, who also could not be reached for comment.

TMB Development is seeking $2 million in tax exempt bonds, for the purchase and restoration of the building, through the city of Milwaukee’s Redevelopment Authority, which will consider the request at its meeting on Thursday, July 14. Although the bonds would be issued by the Redevelopment Authority it is the developer’s responsibility to pay back the borrowed funds.

TMB plans to spend $3.2 million to acquire and restore the building, said Department of City Development spokesman Jeff Fleming. The building, particularly its iron façade, has fallen into disrepair in recent years, Fleming said.

“I think there are significant issues with the building that need to be addressed,” he said.

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