Gehl expansion adds to West Bend’s revival

The recent announcement by West Bend-based Gehl Co. that it plans to expand its corporate headquarters adds more momentum to the ongoing redevelopment of that city’s downtown area.

“We’ve basically started redeveloping everything east of the Milwaukee River,” said Julie Cayo, community development planner for the city. The development east of the river is helping to bolster the city’s Main Street shopping area on the west side of the river.

Gehl is also located east of the river. The company plans to build a 75,000- to 100,000-square-foot corporate headquarters office building on a 32-acre property southeast of East Water Street and North Indiana Avenue. A storage building will be demolished to make way for the new office building. In addition, an adjacent, 75,000-square-foot, manufacturing building will be renovated into a research and development center.

Gehl will abandon its current headquarters building, which sits on a 15-acre site that also includes a 604,638-square-foot manufacturing facility that it abandoned about a year and a half ago. The site will be sold to the city, which will demolish the buildings. West Bend officials plan to hire a commercial real estate broker to market the 15 acres, said community development director John Capelle. City officials are hoping to attract a mixed-use development to the site.

“(We want) uses that are complementary to our downtown and support our existing Main Street business district,” Cayo said.

Several other projects are in various stages of development in downtown West Bend. The projects are bringing new residents into the downtown area. In a similar trend that has taken hold in larger cities such as Milwaukee, some empty nesters and young professionals in West Bend are buying downtown condominiums so they can avoid the hassle of yard work and live within walking distance of downtown stores, restaurants and entertainment venues.

“We’re going to have about 500 housing units added to the greater downtown area,” Cayo said. “This is completely new for us.”

“We’re not that much different than some of the smaller communities like Racine, Kenosha and Waukesha that have done much of the same thing,” Capelle said.

The biggest downtown West Bend project is the River Shores development, which is being built on the east side of the river at the former West Bend Co. site by Milwaukee developer Tim Dixon and Beloit developer Ken Hendricks. Once fully completed, River Shores will have about 385 residential units, some in new buildings and some in a former West Bend Co. building. A YMCA and some residential units have already been completed in that building.

Also east of the river, Port Washington-based A.N. Ansay & Assoc. plans to redevelop the former site of an old outlet mall, the first ever built in the state. The four-acre property has 1,500 linear feet of river frontage. Ansay plans to build three mixed-use buildings, with a total of 80,000 to 90,000 square feet, on the site, with retail on the first floor and office space on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Construction is expected to begin next year.

Ansay has an option to purchase another site to the east of the outlet mall property, where it would build a commercial or residential development.

West Bend-based Emmer Real Estate Group Inc. plans to redevelop another site along the east side of the river with two three- to four-story buildings featuring 56 condominiums.

The increased residential development in downtown West Bend is helping to spark more commercial development downtown.

Ozaukee Bank plans to build a branch at the southwest corner of East Washington Street and Wisconsin Street.

Michael Koebel, president of the board for the Downtown West Bend Association, plans to open a French café on Main Street.

West Bend Savings Bank built a three-story, 22,000-square-foot office building last year across the street from its downtown headquarters.

Riverside Brewery & Restaurant opened about 2-1/2 years ago at 255 S. Main St.

The 17,000-square-foot Museum of Wisconsin Art, located in a cultural district just south of the Main Street shopping district, will be torn down and replaced with a new 32,000-square-foot building for the museum. Construction is expected to start next year and be completed in 2010.

The city has invested about $26 million in several downtown area tax incremental financing (TIF) districts to help stimulate the redevelopment projects. That money has been used to relocate a rail yard, relocate industrial businesses, clean up contamination and add new infrastructure, including a bridge to the River Shores site.

A state trail, paved over a former rail corridor, a riverwalk system and two parks near downtown have also helped attract new residents, Cayo and Capelle said.

The city started efforts to improve the Main Street area during the 1970s, but didn’t begin to focus on redeveloping outlying areas of downtown until the late 1990s.

“You had a lot of old industrial buildings with environmental problems in the surrounding neighborhoods that weren’t really adding to the downtown Main Street effort,” Capelle said.


Developer David Church plans to build a 180,000-square-foot retail development just north of the Woodman’s store at Interstate 94 and Highway 50 in Kenosha. The development will include a 52,000-square-foot StoneFire Pizza Co. dining and entertainment center. Church opened the first StoneFire location in 2006 in New Berlin. It was a big success, so Church has decided to open another location. StoneFire Pizza is a more upscale version of Chuck E. Cheese. It features a buffet, party rooms and games and entertainment areas. The Kenosha location will have an outdoor patio with a children’s play area and an outdoor miniature golf course. Its indoor entertainment area will be similar to the New Berlin location and will include bumper cars, a rock-climbing wall, a miniature bowling and a two-story activity center. The Kenosha StoneFire will have 300 employees, including 100 full-time employees. Church is looking for a third location for StoneFire Pizza somewhere in the Midwest.


Fond du Lac-based Commonwealth Development Corp. recently completed construction of Fond du Lac Center, a three-story building at the intersection of West Center Street and North Fond du Lac Avenue in the central city. The building has 24 apartments, 2,500-square-feet of commercial space and a first floor parking garage. The commercial space will be occupied by Powerhouse Real Estate, a brokerage company specializing in residential and commercial real estate. The company was recently started by Robert Ferguson and Gathan Anderson and initially they will create about 100 new jobs. The Fond du Lac Center received $5.39 million in low income tax credits from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), allowing the apartments to be rented at affordable rates.

El Segundo, Calif.-based DaVita Dialysis Centers plans to open an outpatient kidney dialysis clinic in the Gas Light Building at 117 N. Jefferson St. in the Historic Third Ward. The company has 1,300 outpatient dialysis facilities throughout the U.S. The 31,000-square-foot, two-story building is owned by Robert Joseph. DaVita will occupy about 70 percent of the main level of the building. Tulip restaurant is the only other main level tenant. The clinic will have 20 private treatment rooms. The clinic will have 12 to 15 full-time employees.

John Kelly plans to open a restaurant called Café Corazon at 3129 N. Bremen St. in the Riverwest neighborhood. The restaurant will serve coffee and pastries on weekday mornings and will have a full menu and bar for lunch and diner hours. The restaurant will serve brunch on the weekends.


A trio of developments are in the works just west of the massive Pabst Farms development.

Chili’s plans to build a 5,811-square-foot restaurant on 1.5 acres at 1227 Corporate Center Drive. The restaurant would have 50 employees, including 20 full-time employees. Chili’s is a chain of southwestern style restaurants owned by Dallas-based Brinkler International Inc., which owns, operates or franchises more than 1,300 Chili’s restaurants. The Oconomowoc location would be only the second in Waukesha County for Chili’s.

Btheball LLC plans to build a 6,400-square-foot sports-themed restaurant at 1265 Corporate Center Dr. and a 14,000-square-foot multi-tenant retail building at 1710-30 Summit Ave.


John and Loie Laimon want to demolish the Smokey’s Bait Shop building at 129 Park Ave. and build a multi-tenant commercial building at 145 Park Ave. and a condominium development with 15 to 18 units. The project is in the conceptual stages and still needs approval from village officials.

Virginia Zignego plans to open a coffee shop in a multi-tenant retail building at 617 Ryan St.




Boerke Company

TRH Restaurants Inc. d.b.a. Rocky Rococo Pizza & Pasta leased 3,344 square feet of space at 15425-65 W. Howard Ave., New Berlin, from Mantsch Howard Avenue LLC.

CB Richard Ellis

W.G. & R. Furniture Co. leased 3,500 square feet of retail space at 2820 Heritage Dr., Delafield, from Kensington Development Corp.

Integrated Enterprises Inc. leased 13,400 square feet of industrial space at 7760 S. Sixth St., Oak Creek, from GWZ LLC.

SJW Bakeries LLC leased 1,800 square feet of retail space at 4920 S. 74th St., Greenfield, from Greenfield L.P.

Century 21 Stewart Realty

Snap Fitness leased 2,400 square feet of space at 2450 N. Grandview Blvd., Waukesha.

Colliers Barry

Diamante Display and Design leased 32,118 square feet of industrial space at 4837 W. Woolworth Ave., Milwaukee, from Burns Woolworth LLC.

Dickman Company

Camelot Classic Cars Inc. leased 6,000 square feet of industrial space at 4101 W. Green Tree Road, Milwaukee, from ShelDan Company.

Nexity Bank leased 2,590 square feet of office space at 200 Woodland Prime, Menomonee Falls, from Strong Financial Corp.

Preferred Lending Group leased 3,527 square feet of office space at 342 N. Water St., Milwaukee, from 4041 Richards LLC.

Gerald Nell

American Investment Services Inc. leased 2,460 square feet of office space at 2525 . 124th St., Suite 102, Brookfield, from G&N Investment Company.

Gordon N. Stowe and Assoc. Inc. leased 1,600 square feet of industrial space at 3540 N. 126th St., Unit B, Brookfield, from G&N Investment Company.

Inland Companies

DigiCopy leased 1,513 square feet of space at 222 E. Erie St., Milwaukee.

LyLy Nails leased 1,212 square feet of space in Seven Hills at 1024 E. Commerce Blvd., Slinger.

West Suburban Cardio Surgery S.C. leased 1,835 square feet of space in Stone Ridge III at N14 W23833 Stone Ridge Dr., Pewaukee.

Lamplight Farms leased 75,000 square feet of space at 7515 N. 81st St., Milwaukee.

Judson & Associates

Tampomark Inc. leased 2,880 square feet of space at W227 N937 Westmound Dr., Pewaukee, from Nagawicka View Dairy Farm Inc.

Milwaukee Floral Supply LLC leased 8,000 square feet of space at 5101 W. State St., Milwaukee, from Kindberg Living Trust.

JX Enterprises leased 3,586 square feet of space at 2835 N. Grandview Blvd., Waukesha, from Highstone Management.

CCI Inc. leased 25,163 square feet of space at 455 E. Industrial Dr., Hartland, from Eye Communications Systems.

Monolith Engines Inc. leased 2,400 square feet of space at 304 Travis Lane Unit #24, Waukesha, from Waucom Partners LLC.

Badger Window Cleaners South LLC leased 1,200 square feet of space at 406 Travis Lane, unit #46, Waukesha, from Milwaukee Street Partners LLC.

Sky Plaza LLC leased 4,320 square feet of space in Sky Plaza II at 2110 Pewaukee Road, Waukesha, from Sky Plaza LLC.

Wisconsin Youth leased 6,520 square feet of space at 1800 Dolphin Dr., Waukesha, from Dragonfly Investments.

Argon Inc. leased 3,400 square feet of space at 21870 Watertown Road, Brookfield, from Brookfield Commerce Center.

Fratellos Restaurant leased 8,613 square feet of space at 102 N. Water St., Milwaukee, from New Vision Development.

Balistreri, Jezo & Co. leased 1,200 square feet of space at 2505 N. 124th St., Brookfield, from Gerald Nell.

Regis Marketing leased 9,600 square feet of space at W146 S6450 Tess Corners, Muskego, from Max Mollgard.

Central Bark Doggie Daycare leased 5,000 square feet of space at W227 N6193 Sussex Road, Sussex, from Jerry Kowalsky.

Patterson Dental leased 16,000 square feet of space at W237 N2872 Woodgate Road, Pewaukee, from PWCC Woodgate.

WISMARQ leased 4,800 square feet of space at 1860 Executive Dr., Oconomowoc, from East West Properties.

Unique Pizzas leased 1,108 square feet of spaceat 1280 Brown St., Oconomowoc, from Prairie Creek Shopping.

CH2M Hill leased 4,751 square feet of space at 2110 Pewaukee Road Waukesha, from Sky Plaza LLC.

Wireless Trends leased 1,401 square feet of space at 231 Buffalo St., Milwaukee, from Richard and Suzanne Pieper.


LawyerTemps Inc. leased 2,970 square feet of office space in The Mackie Building at 225 E. Michigan St., Milwaukee, from Stonewater Partners LLC.


Boerke Company

CenterPoint Properties Trust purchased a 585,475-square-foot industrial building at 7100 Durand Ave., Mt. Pleasant, from American National Insurance Co.

New construction

Briohn Building Corp., Brookfield, was contracted to design and build a 4,100-square-foot interior office remodeling for MasterLink Training LLC at 17770 W. Liberty Lane, New Berlin. In addition, Briohn recently completed the design and construction of a 8,200-square-foot tenant improvement for Unico Spray Products Corp. at 1100 Cottonwood Ave., Hartland.

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