Kewaskum’s ‘Packer Building’ to Get New Life

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

Known locally as the "Packer Building," a green and gold industrial structure along busy U.S. Highway 45 in an unincorporated island on Kewaskum’s south side has been sold to new owners who plan to convert it into office and retail space. Jim Kirsch, the owner of West Bend-based Kirsch Construction Management, Brian Fisher, project manager for New Berlin-based Anderson-Ashton, and Bob Gannon, managing partner of West Bend-based Richards Insurance, formed Kewaskum Green & Gold LLC, which recently purchased the 12,900-square-foot industrial building that sits on a 1.5-acre lot, and a vacant 0.7-acre lot to the north, for $410,000 from Carl Johnson.

Gannon is also the managing member of WBHG LLC, which purchased the West Bend Inn in 2004 and renovated the hotel, which has been renamed the Clairemont Inn & Meeting Center.

The Packer Building at 8898 Fond du Lac Ave. is about 50 years old, Gannon said. The property will be annexed to the Village of Kewaskum.

Kewaskum Green & Gold LLC plans an $800,000 renovation, which will include a new earth-toned masonry façade, new windows, landscaping, asphalted and lighted parking areas, new signage and newly configured ingress and egress to the site. The building’s new look also will include red awnings.

"There will be no sign of the green and gold colors," Gannon said. "That building is the ugliest piece of real estate in Washington County."

Kewaskum Green & Gold are in negotiations with possible tenants, including Cousin’s Subs, a tanning salon/aerobics business and a local daycare business, Gannon said. The site should be an attractive location for retailers, because about 9 million vehicles drive by each year, he said.

The adjacent vacant lot will be marketed as a location for a bank branch. A 3,300-square-foot bank building with two drive-through lanes and 17 parking spaces could be built on that site. The property could also be the site for a small commercial building, Gannon said.

Kewaskum Green & Gold wants to take advantage of the growth that is hitting the village, which had a population of 3,274 according to the 2000 U.S. Census. That population is growing quickly, as plans for hundreds of additional residences are in the works in several projects that are in various stages of development, said village administrator Daniel Schmidt. The village’s population was estimated at 3,689 at the beginning of last year and is up to about 3,925 now, he said.

"They’re just booming up there ever since the four-lane (expansion of Highway 45) was completed in 2004," Gannon said.

Last year, Houston-based Empyrean Holdings Inc. and Sacramento, Calif.-based United Construction Group announced plans for a $50 million mixed-use development in Kewaskum that would include retail, commercial and residential development. However, that development is on hold, Schmidt said. The companies still have not acquired all of the land that they planned to develop, he said.

West Allis

The Summit Place office complex at 6737 W. Washington St. in West Allis is almost out of space. Whitnall Summit Co. is converting a large portion of the former Allis Chalmers manufacturing complex into 680,000 square feet of office space. Including signed leases and leases under negotiation, only 35,000 square feet is available, said Whitnall Summit owner Richard Carlson.

Summit Place has attracted office tenants away from downtown Milwaukee and other suburban areas. "The quality of our product and location just brought people here," Carlson said.

The Wisconsin Dental Association (WDA) recently moved its headquarters into 12,668 square feet of office space in Summit Place.

WDA and its 35 employees moved there from the Chase Tower, located at 111 E. Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Milwaukee, where it occupied about 11,000 square feet of space.

Summit Place could add another 75,000 square feet of office space if a parking structure is built near the facility, Carlson said. The City of West Allis would have to provide funding for the parking structure, likely in the form of tax incremental financing, he said. The site of the parking garage is yet to be determined, said John Stibal, director of city development. The city wants to form a public-private partnership with Summit Place, and perhaps other nearby building owners, to build the parking structure, he said. The parking structure could be shared with other nearby properties if they participate in the partnership, Stibal said.

Wahab Hussaini plans to purchase the auto repair shop at the northeast corner of South 92nd Street and West Cleveland Avenue and convert it into a gas station and convenience store.

Antigua Latin plans to open a restaurant in a 3,600-square-foot space in the first floor of a building at 5807 W. Burnham St.

SportClips Haircuts plans to open a location in the Shoppes on 100 multi-tenant commercial building at 2913 S. 108th St.

West Bend

Sears Holdings Corp., the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based parent company of Kmart and Sears, Roebuck and Co., plans to convert the Kmart store at 230 N. 18th Ave. in West Bend into a Sears store, according to a Washington County real estate source. Chris Brathwaite, a spokesman for Sears Holdings Corp., declined to comment. Last year, shareholders for Sears and Kmart Holding Corp. approved the merger of the two companies, in which Kmart bought Sears for about $11 million. Sears Holdings Corp. is the third-largest retailer in North America.

Cedarburg-based Ozaukee Bank plans to open a branch in a multi-tenant building under construction at 1755 W. Paradise Dr. in West Bend. Ozaukee Bank currently has about $652.5 million in assets and has branches in Cedarburg, Mequon, Port Washington, Thiensville, Grafton and downtown Milwaukee. The West Bend location will occupy 2,400 square feet in the building, which is being developed by West Bend-based Patriot Properties. Capital Appreciation, a wealth management firm, will also occupy space in the building.

Mike Pranke of Nashotah plans to develop a 7,106-square-foot multi-tenant retail building and a 3,500-square-foot bank at the northwest corner of Silverbrook Drive and Paradise Drive.


TCF Bank plans to open a branch at Holt Plaza, located north of West Holt Avenue and west of South Chase Avenue on the city’s south side. Wayzata, Minnesota-based TCF Financial Corp. is a national financial holding company with $13.4 billion in assets. TCF has 453 banking locations in Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado and Indiana.


City voters will be asked in an advisory referendum if they would like to see a Native American casino in Sheboygan. The measure was recently approved by the Sheboygan Common Council, but city officials are unsure if that was done in time to have the question on the April 4 ballot. If not, it will be asked on the Nov. 7 ballot.

No casino has been proposed in Sheboygan since 1999, when the Sheboygan County Board voted 26-7 to kill a proposal by the Lac du Flambeau Chippewa Tribe to dock a riverboat casino at the current site of the Blue Harbor Resort and Conference Center, which sits on the Lake Michigan shore in the city’s South Pier District.

However, the department of city development recently sent a letter to Native American tribes asking if they are interested in building a casino in Sheboygan. That prompted some aldermen to ask for the referendum to gauge community support for a casino. "There are mixed sentiments for a casino in Sheboygan," said Mayor Juan Perez. "There are people who want it, and there are people who don’t. I think some of the aldermen feel before moving forward they wanted to have a sense for what the community thinks."

The department of city development letter was an attempt to gauge interest of Native American tribes in Sheboygan and does not mean the city is actively seeking a casino, Perez said. "The people need to decide (if the city should have a casino)," he said. "As a person, I don’t believe in casino gambling."


PEX LLC plans to convert a 60,800-square-foot, single-story industrial building at 10448 N. Port Washington Road into a two-story, 120,000-square-foot medical office building. An additional floor would be installed in the middle of the building to create the second floor. The project would also include a new façade for the main entrance, which faces Donges Bay Road.


Michael and Christina Choi, who own The Shogun Japanese Restaurant at 518 College Ave. in downtown Racine, plan to open Asiana Bowl, a Korean, Chinese and Japanese restaurant at 423 Sixth St. in downtown Racine. The building is a former Greyhound bus station.


Apex Commercial Inc.

BE Fitness & Wellness LLC leased 33,500 square feet of space at 405 Genesee St., Delafield, from Lang Campus LLC.

Donohue & Associates Inc. leased 848 square feet of space at 731 N. Jackson St., Milwaukee, from Jackson Street Real Estate LLC.

Nelson, Irvings & Waeffler S.C. leased 2,793 square feet of space at 3077 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, from MLD/HLP 3077 Office LLC.

Wiernick, Martin & Neumaier S.C. leased 3,336 square feet of space at 933 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, from 933 N. Mayfair Road Limited Partnership.

Velocitie Integration Inc. leased 1,992 square feet of space at 250 N. Sunny Slope Road, Brookfield, from Maplewood Executive Center LLC.

Mid-America Real Estate

Adecco leased 2,050 square feet of retail space in Shoppes on 100, 2913 S. 108th St., West Allis, from Zabest Commercial Group.

Brodie’s Beef leased 1,640 square feet of retail space and China One leased 1,480 square feet of retail space in Delavan Retail III at Highway 50 and I-43 in Delavan.

Center for Diagnostic Imaging LLC leased 915 square feet of retail space at 2457 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, from Gerald Nell Real Estate.

Starbucks Coffee leased 1,800 square feet of space at Tri-City Commons, 6525 S. 27th St., Franklin, from Maxim Realty Group LLC.

Lotus Restaurant leased 4,022 square feet of space at 9011 S. Howell Ave., Oak Creek, from Deb Pampuch.

NAI MLG Commercial

Ministry Health Care renewed its lease and expanded into a 22,207-square-foot office space at Park Place VII, 11925 W. Lake Park Dr., Milwaukee.

Polacheck Company

Double D’s of Kenosha d.b.a. Jimmy John’s leased 1,518 square feet of space at 6525 S. 27th St., Franklin, from Franklin 2005 LLC.

McJunkin Corp. leased 11,841 square feet of space at 1200 W. Mallory, Milwaukee, from Cold Spring Properties LLC.

J.A. Genthe & Associates Inc. leased 1,200 square feet of space at 1288 Summit Ave., Oconomowoc, from Summit Center Market Place II LLC.


Colliers Barry

Maudood Ahmad & Sons LLC purchased the 21,796-square-foot industrial building at 16610 W. Cleveland Ave., New Berlin.

IFA III 88th Avenue LLC purchased the Hubbell building at 10100 88th Ave., Pleasant Prairie.

Pat Balistreri purchased the 15,164-square-foot Automatic Fire Protection building at 3265 N. 126th St., Brookfield.

First Choice Heating purchased the 10,000-square-foot Sunset Rebuilders building at S30 W24698 Sunset Dr., Waukesha.

NAI MLG Commercial

Midwest Capital Group LLC purchased an 816-square-foot office building at N88 W16606 Main St., Menomonee Falls, from Christine Stayer.

Oak Brook Metro LLC purchased two buildings totaling 80,307 square feet in the Franklin Business Center in Franklin from Raab/MLD Falls LLC.

Ruby Tuesday purchased 1.5 acres of land at the northwest corner of Good Hope Road and 107th Street in Milwaukee from Liberty Property Trust.

LTC WI LLC purchased a 5,000-square-foot condominium unit at 3620 N. 126th St., Brookfield, from WM Family Trust.

Polacheck Company

Community Health Care Services of Menomonee Falls Inc. purchased 7.37 acres at W180 N8214 Town Hall Road, Menomonee Falls, from Arliss C. Lohmiller.

New Construction

Briohn Building Corp., Brookfield, recently completed construction of the 55,000-square-foot Waynz World of Recreation facility at S68 W22660 National Ave. in the Town of Vernon. Waynz World is a multi-sport facility for volleyball, basketball, dodgeball and kickball. Construction has also been completed on the 6,000-square-foot Longnecks Brew Pub and Restaurant, which is located within Waynz World.

National Survey & Engineering, a division of R.A. Smith & Assoc. Inc., Brookfield, is providing complete site design for the 165,000-square-foot Cabela’s store that is being built on a 64-acre site between Highways 41, 45 and 145 in the Town of Richfield in Washington County.

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