Developer spares West Allis landmark from wrecking ball

    Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:32 pm

    The reincarnation of West Allis is gaining momentum, as several new redevelopment projects are in the works, including the renovation of the first brick building that was constructed in the city’s downtown. Ed Wistl plans to refurbish the former Walsh building at 7200-7206 W. Greenfield Ave. The building, which was constructed in 1905, has been vacant for about a year and over the years has fallen into serious disrepair, but could be an attractive historic structure if fixed up, according to city development director John Stibal.
    "It’s in extremely bad shape," Stibal said. "(Now) it will probably become the jewel of the downtown area, saved from the wrecking ball."
    The building will have 3,600 square feet of commercial space available on the ground floor and eight one bedroom affordable apartments on the upper two floors.
    The city plans to subsidize the project with a $300,000 loan so the apartments will be available for below-market rents of about $575 a month, Stibal said. The details of that arrangement are still being finalized, he said.
    Meanwhile, Shecterle Enterprises Inc. plans to redevelop the 5.5-acre Crestwood Bakery property at 1710 S. 108th St. The Crestwood Bakery facility, which produces baked goods for grocery stores, will close next month and production will be shifted to Grebe Bakery, 5132 W. Lincoln Ave., West Allis. The Crestwood building will be demolished and will be replaced with 58,000 square feet of retail and office space in three buildings.
    One of the Crestwood buildings will include a Culver’s restaurant, Stibal said. Other tenants have not been finalized. The property’s current value is $2.5 million, and the redevelopment project will cost about $8 million.
    "The land value on Highway 100 is just too expensive for a manufacturing facility to justify staying at that location," Stibal said.
    Further down the road, Fu Ji Yama Restaurant plans to open a Japanese sushi and hibachi restaurant at 2916 S. 108th St. in 4,000 square feet at the Southtown Plaza. Fu Ji Yama will be the only restaurant serving sushi in West Allis, Stibal said.
    "Highway 100 is becoming a restaurant corridor," he said. "There’s probably over a dozen restaurants on Highway 100 in West Allis."
    Another new restaurant coming to Highway 100 in West Allis is Nothing But Noodles, which plans to open a 2,200-square-foot restaurant at Shoppes on 100, 2923 S. 108th St. It will be one of five new stores built on the former site of The Ground Round and Denny’s restaurants.
    Michele Vento plans to open the d’ju.neau art gallery and studio at 1031 S. 60th St.
    Redevelopment projects also are planned along National Avenue. Lifetime Credit Union plans to build a 15,270-square-foot facility at South 95th Street and West National Avenue. Paradise CafZ plans to open a location in the former Hutch Restaurant at 6220 W. National Ave. part of the former Paradise Theater complex, which is being converted into a church with theater space, a book store and the cafZ.
    All of the projects join a rising tide of redevelopment in West Allis, including the transformation of the former Allis-Chalmers manufacturing complex into Summit Place, which eventually could have 650,000 square feet of office space.
    The other major redevelopment venture in the city is a $60 million project for the downtown Six Points area by Brookfield-based Toldt Development Inc., which will add condominiums, loft apartments, townhouses and commercial space to the area around West Greenfield Avenue, West National Avenue and South 66th Street. The cornerstone of the Six Points area redevelopment is a $1 million city project to improve the farmer’s market building.
    West Allis’ location in the middle of the metropolitan Milwaukee area is giving the city an advantage in its efforts to reinvent itself, Stibal said.
    "I think that the metro developers have finally realized that the location of West Allis is an underutilized jewel," he said. "I think it had the image of an industrial dinosaur of a community, the classic rust belt. The city has spent so much time on revitalizing the community and the private sector is now getting more excited about furthering the redevelopment."
    Illinois developer Frank Raymond plans to build a Lowe’s store at 6500 Green Bay Road in the Indian Trail Plaza retail development he plans to build north of 67th Street and west of Green Bay Road. Construction is expected to begin in March or April, said Rich Schroeder, development coordinator for the City of Kenosha. Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s has more than 1,000 home improvement stores in 46 states, but none yet in Wisconsin. Lowe’s is also building a store at 5800 W. Hope Ave. in Milwaukee, which will open soon.
    La Casa De Esperanza, a Latino community organization, plans to establish a food service training program to teach people how to work in the food services industry. The organization will operate a restaurant in a portion of its facility at 410 Arcadian Ave., where the students will work. The restaurant will be open to the public.
    E&M Investments LLC plans to build a 12,068-square-foot multi-tenant retail center on the north side of Sunset Drive and on the west side of South West Avenue. A vacant former Burger King building on the property will be demolished, said city planner Mike Hoeft.
    Shorewest Realtors has broken ground on a new 12,000-square-foot building on Highway 67 in the Summit Center Market Place. The building will be the new location for Shorewest’s Lake Country office. Shorewest says that office is the largest and most productive residential real estate office in its region.
    Complete Chiropractic LLC plans to occupy 2,200 square feet in the Westwood Professional Building at 970 Silver Lake St.
    Alice Nguyen plans to open a pedicure shop called A.D. Nails in 1,200 square feet of the Prairie Creek Shoppes at Brown Street and Lake Drive.
    Thrivent Financial Office plans to occupy 1,500 square feet, and Rhino Software plans to occupy 800 square feet in the Waukesha State Bank building at 1227 Corporate Center Drive.
    Lake Country Golf Shop is the first tenant committed to the Summit Center Market Place, which is under construction on an eight-acre, triangular shaped property at Highway 67, Beach Road and Pabst Road. The golf equipment store will occupy 2,400 square feet.
    Primax Properties, LLC plans to build an Advance Auto Parts store at 861 Wisconsin Ave. Roanoke, Va.-based Advance Auto Parts has over 2,600 stores in 39 states, Puerto Rice and the Virgin Islands.
    Peter Mueller plans to open a sports training business, called Velocity Sports Performance, at 1055 Cottonwood Ave. The business will provide sports performance training in small groups for athletes of all ages, with an emphasis on young athletes ages 8 to 24. The facility will include a four-lane running track with automatic time sensors, weight training stations plus artificial turf and basketball court training surfaces. Velocity Sports Performance will occupy 21,000 square feet in the building, which is owned by Michael Byrne. Capital Equipment, a forklift sales and services company, will vacate that space and move into 35,000 square feet in a building across the street, also owned by Byrne.
    Oak Creek
    Covenant Medical Group has opened a new primary care clinic at 140 E. Ryan Road. Two physicians, Dr. Carol Gilles, who specializes in care for women, and Dr. Timothy Grass, board certified in family practice, will begin seeing patients Dec. 20.
    Andrew Weiland is the managing editor of Small Business Times. Send news about commercial real estate to or by calling hi at (414) 277-8181 ext. 120. News can also be sent to: Andrew Weiland, Small Business Times, 1123 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202.
    December 17, 2004, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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