MEDC loans


General MetalWorks will purchase Mequon real estate

The owners of a Mequon-based metal-fabricating company will use Small Business Administration (SBA) financing to help them purchase the building their company operates in.
The $807,600 SBA 504 bond was approved Aug. 25 by the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. for Synergy Works LLC, owned by Mary and Eric Isbister.
The Isbisters also own General MetalWorks Corp., a metal-fabricating company at 10245 N. Enterprise Dr. in Mequon ( Through Synergy Works, the Isbisters will buy the 43,000-square-foot plant on eight acres of land at that address.
General MetalWorks was incorporated in 1993, carrying on a family-owned metal-fabricating business that had been in operation since 1873. The Isbisters bought the company in 1999 but, until now, the former owner retained ownership of the real estate.
General MetalWorks has 47 full-time employees and one part-timer, and expects to increase employment by 10 full-timers and two part-timers. It is currently advertising for new employees. But Eric Isbister said that, while the company is seeking new employees, its competitiveness will continue to rely heavily on the smart use of technology.
He notes that, when he and his wife bought the company, it had $3 million annual revenue and 50 employees. Last year, it had $6 million in revenue with 47 employees.
General MetalWorks has recently invested in new equipment that will allow it to do more with its employee base — and thus remain competitive in the face of growing overseas fabrication and manufacturing.
The work of that foreign competition is increasingly of high quality, Isbister says. "It would be naive to think they are not good," Isbister says.
And while the quality of that foreign work is increasing, the labor costs are a fraction of US labor costs.
"We need the prudent use of technology to keep manufacturing in Wisconsin," Eric Isbister said. "If we just do things the way we always did them — that just won’t cut it."
The company’s clients include original equipment manufacturers such as Oshkosh Truck, Caterpillar, and Motive Equipment, and business in the point-of-purchase industry such as Frank Mayer & Associates in Grafton and The Howard Co. in Brookfield.
Financing through Ozaukee Bank is also being used for the $2,019,000 real estate purchase.
Other loans

In other action Aug. 25, the MEDC Loan Committee approved a $500,000 loan for Twisted Fork LLC, a new restaurant in the Oriental Pharmacy building at 2238 N. Farwell Ave. in Milwaukee (
The 7,000-square-foot restaurant was opened Aug. 22 by a business duo that owns the Qdoba Mexican Grill restaurants in Milwaukee. The duo, Michael Pranke and Eric Wagner, formed Roaring Fork LLC in 1995 to develop the Qdoba Mexican Grill concept in Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
Roaring Fork currently owns and operates eight Qdoba Mexican Grills with four currently under construction in the Milwaukee area. With those openings, Roaring Fork will own and operate 13 restaurants. Roaring Fork plans to develop more Qdoba Mexican Grills as well as several new concept restaurants.
Pranke owns 97% of Twisted Fork LLC and of Roaring Fork LLC while wager owns the other three percent. Pranke serves as president and CEO while Wagner is president.
The restaurant expects to have 50 full-time and 75 part-time employees.
The restaurant project has a cost of $1,221,000, with Anchor Bank also involved in the financing.

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A $61,350 loan was approved for Yasin B. Mansour, doing business as Yasin Mansour’s Subway Sandwich Shop. Mansour plans to open a Subway in 1,800-square feet of space at 835 W. Mitchell St. in Milwaukee.
He will use the finacing for leasehold improvements, equipment purchase and working capital.
M&I Bank is also involved in financing of the $151,500 project.

A $130,000 loan was approved for Northstar Mfg. Inc. at 3285 N. 32nd St. in Milwaukee. The loan, along with financing from Milwaukee Western Bank, will help company owners Joseph P. DiNardo, Steve D. Zima and Neal Wegner purchase the building in which Northstar operates. The project has a $325,000 cost.

RRD Real Estate Holdings II will receive a $222,000 MEDC loan to help in the purchase of a building at 2730 N. Humboldt Blvd. in Milwaukee. TriCity National Bank is also involved in financing the $580,275 project.
The building will be the new site for the operation of Bella Luna Pasta, which Russell R. Davis operates in 14,400 square feet of leased space at 2073 N. Commerce St., not far from the Humboldt Boulevard building.
Davis will own the Humboldt Avenue building through RRD Real Estate Holdings II and lease it to his operating business. The building, which is owned by the city, offers more space for manufacturing and a retail outlet.
Davis expects to increase full-time employment from six to 10 and part-time employment from one to five.
Davis also owns Cafe Vecchio Mondo on Old World Third Street and the Lakefront Palm Garden restaurant operation inside the Lakefront Brewery.

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Sept. 5, 2003 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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