Hispanic Chamber buys property on National Avenue

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:22 pm

HCCW’s purchase of 1021 through 1024 W. National Ave. closed July 21. As a condition of the purchase agreement, the chamber was required to raze the two-story, 7,200-square-foot commercial/residential structure on the site. The property sold for $22,000 – just over the assessed value of $21,600.
HCCW will also have the option to buy the neighboring lot at 1025 W. National Ave. from the City of Milwaukee for a nominal fee.
A feasibility study is under way by Eppstein-Uhen Architects and Grunau Project Development to determine whether a new two-story building could be built on the site, said Maria Monreal-Cameron, HCCW president.
Even as plans move forward for the new building, negotiations between HCCW and Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) for an extension of the chamber’s lease at Milwaukee Enterprise Center (MEC) South at 816 W. National Ave. continue.
"There has been some talk about maintaining the status quo so we all have time to talk more," MEC South general manager Brian O’Malley said.
HCCW’s lease for office space at MEC South, the MATC-owned business incubator, has been extended until the end of the year 2003.
HCCW began looking for a new home in the wake of a December 2001 refusal of the MATC board to renew the chamber’s low-cost lease arrangement.
The Hispanic Chamber had been leasing its offices for $1 a month for the 10 years since MATC took over payments on the building the chamber had bought from the former Square D, Sorgel Electric manufacturing plant.
MATC’s board voted down a proposal that would allow the chamber to expand the office space from 700 square feet to 1,950 square feet, with lease payments increasing to $10 a month.
The rejection by the board leaves the HCCW pondering how to raise $1 million for construction of the new headquarters.
"It’s our baby," Monreal-Cameron said, implying a reluctance to leave MEC South. "It was our dream to do that. Now this new building is going to involve a huge capital campaign. We are solvent as an organization, but not to the tune of $1 million."

Sept. 13, 2002 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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