Milwaukee Blacksmith relocates to Bay View

Third Ward location to be sold for redevelopment

Milwaukee Blacksmith relocated to Chase and Oklahoma avenues in Bay View.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:13 pm

Milwaukee Blacksmith, the family business that became famous after appearing on a national reality cable TV show last fall, has moved to a warehouse in the Chase Commerce Center in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood.

Milwaukee Blacksmith relocated to Chase and Oklahoma avenues in Bay View.
Milwaukee Blacksmith relocated to Chase and Oklahoma avenues in Bay View.

Kent Knapp, owner of the blacksmith shop, and his family have been looking for a new location since February, when they learned the 7,950-square-foot building they had been leasing at 518 E. Erie St. in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward has been sold for redevelopment.

The Knapps moved over the weekend to 3073 S. Chase Ave., on the northwest corner of Oklahoma and Chase avenues.

Knapp could not immediately be reached for comment, but posted a statement on the company’s Facebook page Thursday about the move:

“Well, friends; it’s been a long couple of months, to say the least. They say it’s about the journey and not the destination, but sometimes the destination is single-handedly your biggest focus. The universe has tested our resolve and we found out we were much tougher than thought. In the end; we wound up in a wonderful place that also has historical significance, with a GREAT landlord. I am so grateful for all of our friends and family who lent support in a plethora of different ways; we are all stronger for our community.”

Milwaukee Blacksmith moved from the Third Ward after their building was sold.
Milwaukee Blacksmith moved from the Third Ward after their building was sold.

Last month, Milwaukee Blacksmith exceeded its $25,000 Kickstarter fundraising goal, which the family said they needed in order to make the move.

“The building was for sale the entire time we were in it,” Knapp told BizTimes in March. “We always knew this might be a reality. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to financially plan for it as we had hoped.”

Milwaukee developer Robert Joseph, founder of Joseph Property Development LLC, has an option to purchase the former Milwaukee Blacksmith building at 518-520 E. Erie St., and an 18,110-square-foot, 127-year-old building at 538 E. Erie St., from William Hansen, chief executive officer of Hansen Storage Company for an undisclosed amount. The deal is expected to close in early summer.

Joseph told BizTimes in March that his plan is to tear down the buildings and likely build a five to six-story apartment complex at the site.

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