More Stores Moving Into Third Ward

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 11:00 am

Metropawlis, a boutique pet store at 1327 E. Brady St., is moving to a larger location in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. The 1,500-square-foot Third Ward location at 317 N. Broadway is about 600 square feet larger than the Brady Street site, said Geralee Ray, who owns the store with her husband, August. The new location is part of the former Commission Row and is near Lela, a women’s clothing boutique at 321 N. Broadway, and the Wicked Hop bar and grill at 345 N. Broadway.

Waterford Wine Co., a wine boutique owned by Ben Christiansen, will open in the space soon to be vacated by Metropawlis.

Metropawlis is just the latest in a growing number of stores that have moved to the Historic Third Ward, which is filled with several restored historic warehouses that are now used for residential condominiums, office space, stores and restaurants.

Stores that have opened during the last two years in the Third Ward include: Dinesen’s Leather Only, Harlequin Bakery, Freckle Face, J. Bird Boutique, Hers, Cranston, Blush, Moda3, Groom and New World Wine Co.

"Just the look and feel of The Ward, it’s such a neat place," Geralee said.

The addition of the Milwaukee Public Market was a big plus for the Third Ward, making it an even more desirable place to open a store, she said.

The Rays founded their pet boutique in 2003. Geralee said they liked the Brady Street location but needed more space and couldn’t find anything to meet their needs on the street.

"Plus, parking can be an issue down here," she said.

By comparison, parking garages in the Historic Third Ward provide more places for shoppers traveling from outside of the neighborhood to park.

Metropawlis needed a bigger location because more storage space was needed for Internet orders, and the company will be sharing the space with Three Amigos Dog Bakery.

Three Amigos is owned by Germantown residents Judy and Kevin Kindt, who have been running the business out of their home for two years. They have been operating as a wholesaler, providing baked doggie treats to retailers. They create treats that look similar to cookies, but they are actually made out of dog food.

Metropawlis sells Three Amigos products. Now Three Amigos will have its own retail space with Metropawlis in the Third Ward.

"We thought it would be a great idea to expand our two businesses into one," Geralee said.

The Third Ward location will have enough space for dog birthday parties. If you think that’s silly, "fewer people are having children and more people are owning pets," Geralee said.

More Milwaukee news

RBC Dain Rauscher, which leases about 15,000 square feet of office space at 1000 N. Water St. in downtown Milwaukee, is considering a move to another downtown location, according to a source who declined to be named. The company’s current lease expires in December. RBC Dain Rauscher also has offices in Mequon and Brookfield.

Los Mitos, a restaurant at 790 N. Jefferson St. that served Mexican, South American and California-styled cuisine, closed recently, about one year after it opened. Los Mitos was owned by Michael Feker, who also owns Il Mito at 605 W. Virginia St. in Walker’s Point. Los Mitos occupied a 4,900-square-foot space that was formerly occupied by Ed Debevic’s and Judy’s Family Restaurant. Feker could not be reached for comment.

Anna’s Lines plans to open a 9,000-square-foot store and Bare Feet Shoes plans to open a 14,580-square-foot store at Midtown Center, 5700 W. Capitol Dr. Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Anna’s Linens has 180 stores and is just beginning to enter the Milwaukee area market. The chain sells products for the home including bed linens, window coverings, and accessories for bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens. Bare Feet Shoes sells shoes and women’s clothing. The chain has stores in Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia and Illinois.

Essen, Germany-based Aldi Inc. plans to build a 16,000-square-foot grocery store at 5301 N. Hopkins St. Aldi is a discount grocery chain and has more than 5,000 stores, including more than 700 stores in the United States and 25 stores in southeastern Wisconsin.

Joseph Dukler plans to lease 1,300 square feet of space at 8070 N. 76th St. to operate a store to sell and repair new and used computers.

Tony D’s Dogs and Ears, a hot dogs and roasted corn stand, is planned for an old Clark gas station at 1010 S. 1st St.

Gregory Moss plans to open a small carry-out restaurant called Gregory’s in 666 square feet of space at 600 W. Burleigh St.

William Weslow plans to open a scooter dealership called Moto-Scoot in 1,200 square feet of space at 1652 N. Water St.


Franklin-based Icon Development plans to begin construction soon on its Vespera at Porticello project, a 36-unit upscale condominium development along the north shore of Silver Lake. The 36 condos will have between 2,500 square feet and 3,000 square feet of space and cost between $700,000 and $1.2 million.

Construction will begin this month on a model unit, and construction of the purchased condos could begin by March. The project is inspired by the seaside village of Poricello, Sicily. It will be built on 10 acres along County Highway B and straddling St. Andrews Drive. The property includes 1.5 acres of beach with 700 feet of Silver Lake frontage.

"It’s so rare to find a piece of (undeveloped) property this large on a body of water in Waukesha County," said Icon president John Klement. "We wanted to do something really extraordinary." Visionary Construction Services is the architect and construction management firm for the project. The buildings will look similar to those in Italian villages on the Mediterranean Sea. All of the condos and the restaurant will have concrete stucco, clay tile roofs and wrought iron fences on the exterior. The condos will have high-end, designer appliances, faucets, sinks, tubs and toilets from European firms including Liebherr, Miele, Dornbracht and Duravit. "The interiors are going to be of a higher level of quality than anything that has ever been done in the state of Wisconsin," Klement said. "Our standard package will far exceed anything that’s being built right now."

Icon recently opened a design center in a 2,000-square-foot space on Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Oconomowoc to show potential buyers what the high-end features in the condos will look like. "We need to get people to understand why this is so special," Klement said.

The beach will be private for the homeowners in Vespara at Porticello. An upscale Italian restaurant will occupy a 5,000-square-foot, 50-year-old building on the beach. The building was originally used as a beach house for the Olympia Resort and was later used as a restaurant. It has been vacant for about 20 years. The restaurant is expected to open in late summer and will be owned by Tony and Steve Pipito. Tony also owns Mama’s Italian Cuisine at 7718 W. Burleigh St., Milwaukee.

Icon expects the buyers of the condos to be people who live in large lake homes during the summer and live in the southern part of the United States during the winter. People who no longer want to take care of those large lake homes, but still want the benefits of living on the lake in a high quality residence, may be interested in the development, Klement said.

Icon has not been marketing the condos during the winter, because the company assumes most of its potential buyers are still down South. "This spring will be our big (marketing) push," Klement said. So far five buyers have reserved condos and all have also requested one of the 14 boat slips, which cost $30,000 extra and will be available on the private beach on a first-come, first-served basis.


Maritime Savings Bank recently opened its new branch at 3233 E. Layton Ave. The bank occupies the first floor of the building, and 5,000 square feet of space is available on the second floor. The bank is part of the Lakeport Village development, which is supposed to be anchored by the Powerade Iceport facility. However, the Iceport project has had financial problems and remains in limbo. This is Maritime Savings’ seventh full-service branch. The West Allis-based bank has $319 million in assets and also has branches in Milwaukee, Muskego, Brookfield, Oak Creek, West Allis and Wind Lake.

Menomonee Falls

First Industrial Realty Trust, a Chicago-based REIT (real estate investment trust) has decided not to purchase a 5.5 acre site at the northeast corner of Campbell and Wooddale drives from Kohl’s Corp. First Industrial had planned to build a 70,000-square-foot speculative industrial building on the site. The site is a former landfill and provides habitat for the Butler’s garter snake. However, the biggest problem arose when Menomonee Falls officials said the property could not be tied into the village’s stormwater drainage system. Therefore, First Industrial would have had to put a stormwater holding pond on the property and build a smaller building, but such a smaller building would not have been economically feasible, said Peter Ginn, regional manager for First Industrial Realty Trust. "There were too many hurdles to overcome," he said.


John and Margaret Basile plan to open a restaurant called Dapper Dogs Etc. in a 1,400-square-foot space in downtown Whitewater at 175 W. Main St. The restaurant’s menu will include hot dogs, polish and Italian sausage, Italian beef and bratwurst. The restaurant will fill a space that was vacated when Reynolds Pharmacy moved to the west side of Whitewater.


The Equitable Bank plans to build a branch at N15 W30921 Golf Road in the Town of Delafield. Wauwatosa-based The Equitable Bank has $565 million in assets and has branches in Wauwatosa, Brookfield, Germantown, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Mequon, Milwauke, Waterford, Waukesha, West Allis and Whitefish Bay.

Andrew Weiland is the managing editor for Small Business Times. Send news about commercial real estate to or by calling him at (414) 277-8181 ext. 120. News can also be sent to Andrew Weiland, Small Business Times, 1123 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202.


Dickman Company

C.H. Coakley & Co. Inc. leased 120,000 square feet of industrial space at 3522 N. 35th St., Milwaukee, from Murphy Real Estate LLC.

Hellmann Worldwide Logistics Inc. leased 16,168 square feet of industrial space at 440 Bell Court, Oak Creek, from Liberty Lane LLC.

Inland Companies

Regal Securities leased 5,396 square feet of office space at 250 Plaza, 250 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee.

Professional Services Group leased 4,089 square feet of office space, PA Staffing Services Inc. leased 3,000 square feet of office space, Mendota Educational Services leased 2,000 square feet of office space and PA Professional leased 1,682 square feet of office space at West Allis Center, 1126 S. 70th St., West Allis.

Initial Security leased 3,045 square feet of office space at 2448 S. 102nd St., Milwaukee.

Ogden & Company

Progressive Image Inc. leased 16,000 square feet of space at 2385 Commerce Dr., New Berlin, from Lincoln New Berlin Property LLC.

Watertech of America Inc. leased 3,264 square feet of space at 9415 W. Forest Home Ave., Hales Corners.

Barsamian Rug Company leased 2,000 square feet of space at 11031 N. Port Washington Road, Mequon.

Play It Again Sports leased 4,267 square feet of retail space at Southtown Mall, 3321 S. Business Dr., Sheboygan, from HP Holdings LLC.

Polacheck Company

What’s for Supper LLC d.b.a. Dinner by Design leased 1,688 square feet of space at 15155 W. National Ave., New Berlin, from Deer Creek Retail Investments LLC.

5 Star Coffee leased 2,160 square feet of space at South 74th Street and Rawson Avenue in Franklin from S&L Holdings.

SRS Leadership Inc. d.b.a. Bruegger’s leased 2,175 square feet of space at the southeast corner of Capitol Drive and Brookfield Road in Brookfield from S&L Holdings.

Hallman/Lindsay Paints Inc. leased 2,210 square feet of space at 1288 Summit Ave., Oconomowoc, from Summit Center Market Place II LLC.


Inflection Point Solutions leased 2,825 square feet of office space at Barnabas Business Center, 4650 N. Port Washington Road, Milwaukee, from Music Design/Narada Productions Inc.

North Central Title leased 1,860 square feet of office space at 325 N. Corporate Dr., Brookfield from Great Lakes Corporate Center.

Levi Strauss & Company leased 4,423 square feet of office space at 100 Heritage Reserve, Menomonee Falls, from Heritage Reserve Holding LLC.

Mertz Associates Inc. leased 2,268 square feet of office space at N17 W2422 Riverwood Dr., Waukesha, from Transwestern Great Lakes.

Arnold Investment Counsel leased 2,211 square feet of office space at 700 N. Water St., Milwaukee, from 700 N. Water LLC.

Encompass-Effective Mental Health Services leased 2,774 square feet of office space at 1011 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, from 1011 Mayfair Road Limited Partnership.

The Krizek Group leased 3,052 square feet of office space at the Tradesman Building, 500 Elm Grove Road, Elm Grove, from Building Trades United Pension Trust Fund.

I-Scream d.b.a. Baskin Robbins leased 1,040 square feet of retail space at 1416 N. Wauwatosa Ave., Wauwatosa, from MP Holdings LLC.


Colliers Barry

Wrightwood Capital purchased the 56,600-square-foot Hubbell building at 10100 88th Ave., Pleasant Prairie, from Bathrick Family Limited Partnership in a sale/leaseback. Wrightwood Capital purchased the property as an investment with the tenant, Hubbell Specialty Products, leasing back the property for a long term.

First Industrial Property Trust

First Industrial Property Trust purchased a 90,000-square-foot industrial building at 16600 N. Glendale Ave., New Berlin, and a 60,000-square-foot industrial building in Chaska, Minn. from Michael McDonough and his partner for $5.8 million. The New Berlin building is occupied by Relizon.

NAI MLG Commercial

MLG Capital LLC purchased 2.36 acres of land at 5321 S. 108th St., Hales Corners, from C&D Partnership.

Therapies East Properties LLC purchased 5,358 square feet of office space at 827 N. Cass St., Milwaukee, from Rebel Flats 2 LLC.

Yellow Rose Enterprises Inc. purchased 7.68 acres in the Franklin Business Park in Franklin from

MLG Development.

C&E Investment Properties purchased 3,000 square feet of office space at 1405-07 W. Lincoln Ave., Milwaukee, from Neighborhood Housing Services of Milwaukee.

Ogden & Company

BLK Realty Investment Inc. purchased a 7,700-square-foot restaurant at 9909 W. Appleton Ave., Milwaukeee, from Joseph Armeli. BLK plans to open a sports bar there.

Eric and Theresa Marcus purchased a 17,225-square-foot industrial complex at 1308 and 1320 18th St., Racine, from FAI Inc.

U.S. Title purchased a 32,000-square-foot office building at 8112 W. Bluemound Road, Wauwatosa, from One Call Concepts.

Polacheck Company

Ruby Tuesday Inc. purchased 1.5 acres at 107th Street and Good Hope Road in Milwaukee from Liberty Property Ltd. Partnership.

Wangard Partners

Argus Realty Investors LLP purchased the 130,000-square-foot Eastgate Business Center at 13100 and 13040 W. Lisbon Road, Brookfield, from Wangard Partners Inc.

MEDC loans

Badger Metal Trims Inc. received a $140,000 MEDC loan and $210,000 in financing from M&I Bank. The company is purchasing the 14,157-square-foot building at 5829 N. 97th St., Milwaukee.

Wisconsin Die Casting LLC received a $150,000 MEDC loan and $1.9 million in financing from Sunset Bank and Savings. The company is purchasing machinery that it currently leases.

Most Precious Possessions LLC received a $159,960 MEDC loan and $239,940 in financing from Associated Bank. The owners of the business, Roshelle and Fred Rutledge currently operate two childcare centers on Milwaukee’s northwest side and plan to purchase a two-story, 9,600-square-foot brick building at 3651 N. 27th St., Milwaukee, to establish a third location for their childcare business.

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