Harri Hoffmann building and two other Third Ward properties sold to apartment developer

Shoe polish maker sells property for $3.3 million

Harri Hoffmann Co. building

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:47 pm

The Harri Hoffmann Co. Inc. building in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward neighborhood has been sold to a Hales Corners-based residential developer.

Harri Hoffmann Co. building

The five-story building, built in 1892 and located at 125-129 N. Water St., was purchased for $3.3 million by an affiliate of Wimmer Communities, according to state records. The city assesses the building at $1.7 million.

Wimmer develops, builds and manages apartments and other residential housing. According to its website, the company currently owns and operates more than 30 properties throughout southeastern Wisconsin, including in communities like Brookfield, West Allis and Oak Creek.

Hoffmann, a manufacturer of shoe polish, sold another two nearby properties to affiliates of Wimmer, including a five-story, 7,200-square-foot 105-year-old building at 217-221 N. Water St. and a 4,600-square-foot parking lot at 239 E. Erie St. Both of those properties went for $800,000, state records indicate.

The 221 N. Water St. building has an assessed value of $618,300 and its back side faces the Milwaukee River.

The 239 E. Erie St. lot is also located along the Milwaukee River and sits between the 7-story River Renaissance building and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) Jane Bradley Pettit Building.

A representative of Wimmer said the developer had no immediate plans for the properties, and declined to comment further.

Since 1952, Hoffmann has manufactured leather care products sold under its own brand, as well as private label products including Dux-Bak Leather, Cadet and Whittemore. The company was run by Harri Hoffmann’s daughter, Lorraine Hoffmann, until her death in July 2017. Ownership of the company and properties were then transferred to Hoffman’s estate.

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Alex Zank
Alex Zank covers commercial and residential real estate for BizTimes. Alex previously worked for Farm Equipment magazine and also covered statewide construction news at The Daily Reporter. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied journalism, political science and economics. Having grown up in rural western Wisconsin, Alex loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, four-wheeling and hunting.

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