Milwaukee Fence will move, expand
Company to use MEDC loan to help finance purchase of State Street property
Milwaukee Fence plans to purchase a building on the city’s west side to accommodate expansion of the company. A loan from the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp., approved at the April 7 MEDC Loan Committee meeting, will facilitate the move, pending approval of bank financing.
Milwaukee Fence is currently at 2067 S. 1st St., in a former Milwaukee city yard.
It will move into a 20,500-square-foot complex formerly occupied by Acme Iron & Steel on a 1-1/2-acre lot.
The additional space will allow the company to expand its fabrication shop and retail areas, give it space for storage that is now in leased space, and create a more efficient office space.
"We’re looking to grow," said Mark Oliver, who co-owns the firm with Mark Coughlin. "We’ve been looking for the right building for eight years."
While the move may have been a long time coming, Oliver said the move might not come quickly, given that its busy season is fast approaching.
Milwaukee Fence originated as a provider of residential chain link fences. Over the years, it has added wood, ornamental aluminum and monumental fencing to its product line. It now serves commercial as well as residential customers. The company holds a 15% share of the metropolitan Milwaukee fence market.
Milwaukee Fence anticipates it would add 10 employees to its 20-person staff as a result of the growth fostered by the move.
The MEDC Loan Committee approved a $200,000 loan through its Second Mortgage Program. An additional $300,000 would be borrowed from M&I Bank.
Other loans approved
In other action, the Loan Committee approved a $380,000 Second Mortgage Program loan for Dita Investments and Besa Corp., as co-borrowers, owned by Bynjami and Afrdita Zeqiri. The Zeqiris intend to buy a building at 5354 S. 27th St. in Milwaukee that formerly housed a McDonald’s restaurant. They would convert the facility into a full-service, family-style restaurant.
Another $570,000 in financing would come from Tri City National Bank. The restaurant would have nine employees.
An $88,000 MEDC Second Mortgage Loan was approved for Capital Building LLC and Barefoot International Ltd. of Milwaukee.
Barefoot International, which manufactures and distributes water skiing and skateboard equipment, moved to a 32,000-square-foot facility at 3879 N. Richards St. in Milwaukee about one year ago. The Richards Street site offers four times the space it had at its previous location on North 60th Street.
The company is now adding equipment to expand manufacturing capabilities for its product lines. As space tightened at its 60th Street facility, the company gradually subcontracted all of its manufacturing functions. With space available in the Richards Street building, the company is able to bring some of the manufacturing operations back inhouse, giving it greater control over costs and lead times. With the new equipment, the company also will provide machining services for other businesses.
John Seipel and Mike Seipel each own 50% of Capital Building and of Barefoot International. They now employ 16 people full-time and two part-time, and intend to add eight full-timers and two part-timers. Additional financing of $122,000 for the project would come from M&I Bank.
A $90,000 Second Mortgage Program loan was approved for Lada Driver School, at 3575 N. Oakland Ave. in Shorewood. The company intends to add commercial driver training at a site at 5200 W. Mill Rd. in Milwaukee.
Company owner Arkadiy Tsirlin has been operating Lada Driver School out of rented space on Oakland Avenue for seven years, providing classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction. The expanded operation would offer training for commercial drivers and for motorcyclists.
The 0.32-acre site on Mill Road also offers a parking lot large enough to accommodate maneuvers students need to make to obtain Class D and motorcycle licenses.
Tsirlin would add 392 square feet of space to the existing 1,234-square-foot building. Other building and lot improvements would be made.
Lada Driver School now employees three people full-time and three part-time. An additional 18 full-timers and five part-timers would be added in the business expansion.
North Shore Bank would participate with financing of $136,500.
MEDC also approved $152,000 in Target Loan Program financing for Hautchu Inc., doing business as The Rice Palace at 3726-30 W. National Ave. in Milwaukee.
Company owners Chuedang and Youa Vue have a previous MEDC loan for the purchase and expansion of a former bowling alley at 3726-30 W. National Ave. They formerly operated as Gaoyoua’s Food and Bakery.
They plan has been to expand their wholesale Asian food business into the new location and add a bakery and delicatessen, a restaurant and a banquet hall.
Their wholesale food operation moved in February. Additional funds are needed for furniture and finishing the improvements of the banquet hall area.
Completed renovations include the kitchen and a large cold-storage area which is being used for wholesale processing. The bakery and delicatessen is nearly finished.
The Vues plan to add eight employees full-time and eight part-time. They currently employ one full-timer and one part-timer. A Tri City National Bank loan of $278,000 would also be used for the project.
April 18, 2003 Small Business Times, Milwaukee