Pizza Chain Has Big Plans for Milwaukee Area

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

Unique Pizza and Subs Corp., a Pittsburgh-based retail chain, is planning to enter the Milwaukee market with a splash in the coming months.

Milwaukee resident John Budzinski, a union lawyer, will be a "master franchisee" for Unique Pizza in the Milwaukee area. The company plans to open five new pizza restaurants that Budzinski will own and operate.

In addition, Unique Pizza plans to convert 20 existing Milwaukee area "mom and pop" pizza places into Unique Pizza and Subs franchises.

Budzinski is scouting the Milwaukee area looking for the 10 best sites to open a new pizza place. Then the company will help him select the five best locations, said Unique Pizza and Subs president and chief executive officer James Vowler.

Vowler said the company is looking for "key locations" in "high profile areas" in the city and in the suburbs.

Those locations could be vacant spaces in existing buildings, or vacant sites where a new building could be constructed.

"We will send out letters to every mom and pop shop within 100 miles, saying we are looking to convert locations to Unique Pizza," Vowler said.

Budzinski’s first Unique Pizza and Subs location should be open by June, Vowler said.

It only takes about a week to convert an existing pizza restaurant into a Unique Pizza franchise, Vowler said. During that short process, the restaurant gets a new sign, employee uniforms and employee training.

The owners of small independent pizza places who become Unique Pizza franchisees will be able to take advantage of the company’s call center in Pittsburgh and its larger advertising and purchasing budget, Vowler said.

All customer calls to Unique Pizza locations are routed to the company’s call center, which takes the orders. The orders are then printed out on a computer at the franchise restaurant. With the call center, the employees can concentrate on preparing and delivering pizzas and are not distracted by answering the phone, Vowler said.

After Budzinski’s first restaurant is open and after about 20 existing pizza places in the area have been converted to Unique Pizza franchises, then the company will open Budzinski’s other four locations. Waiting to open those four gives Unique Pizza time to establish itself in the Milwaukee area market, Vowler said.

Unique Pizza ( has six locations in the Pittsburgh area. In addition to Milwaukee, the company is planning to add locations soon in Boston, Atlanta, Austin, Tex., Virginia and North Carolina.


The Dodge Industrial Park, located on the city’s west side, continues to attract more tenants. Trade Tech Inc., a full-service CNC (computer numerical control) machining facility, plans to move to a new 32,000-square-foot building that the company plans to build at a 5.5-acre site at 2231 Constitution Ave. when the firm moves from its 33,000-square-foot building at 724 W. McKinley Ave. in downtown Milwaukee. The company needs a larger property to expand and in five years hopes to double the size of its building, said president Duane Brzozowski. The downtown building is also obsolete for the company’s current needs, he said.

Hartford is an attractive place to relocate because it has a more educated manufacturing workforce, Brzozowski said.

"There is a better workforce out there," he said. "All of the schools there are teaching the high-tech CNC machining. Downtown, every time we have a job opening, we get 50 applicants with no experience whatsoever."

The company’s downtown building will be leased or sold, Brzozowski said.

Other companies are planning to build new facilities in the Dodge Industrial Park.

Mantz Automation Inc., a tool and die manufacturer, plans to build a 50,000-square-foot building on 9 acres of land at 1550 Independence Ave. The building could eventually be expanded to 125,000 square feet. Mantz plans to move its operations from 1023 W. State St. in Hartford to the new building. "We’re out of room here," said president Denise Mantz. The company will sell or lease its current building, she said.

Zeller Enterprises LLC plans to build a 20,000-square-foot trucking facility on five acres at 1551 Innovation Way. The company has 31 employees and will be moving to Hartford from Iron Ridge, which is about 10 miles northwest of the Dodge Industrial Park.

Utility Buildings Corp., which manufactures structures that cover utility infrastructure, plans to build a 12,000-square-foot building at 2190 Innovation Way.

Hydro Electronic Devices Inc. plans to build a 20,000-square-foot facility on a 4.6-acre site at 2120 Constitution Ave.

The 540-acre Dodge Industrial Park was first developed in the late 1980s. There are only about 30 to 40 acres left in the park for development, including about 25 acres that are owned by the city, said city planner Justin Drew.

Lake Geneva

Wauwatosa-based Wisconsin Hospitality Group plans to build a 17,730-square-foot, multi-tenant retail building on a vacant five-acre site at Highways 12 and 50. The site is between Home Depot and an 18.5-acre site where Naperville, Ill.-based Ryan Companies U.S. Inc. plans to build a 172,000-square-foot shopping center anchored by a 126,842-square-foot Target store. The Wisconsin Hospitality Group building’s tenants would include an Applebee’s restaurant and a Pizza Hut restaurant. This would be the first location for Applebee’s in Walworth County.

Brown Deer

Fox Point-based General Capital Group is planning a pair of developments in Brown Deer.

At the southwest corner of Bradley Road and Sherman Boulevard, General Capital plans to demolish a 70,000-square-foot strip mall that is less than two-thirds occupied. The eight-acre site will be redeveloped with the construction of 65 residential condos and 16,000 square feet of retail space. The retail space will be in two buildings. The residential condominiums will be built in five eight-plex buildings and five five-unit rowhouse townhouses. There is an excess of retail space on Bradley Road, which harkens back to a time years ago when that was the main commercial corridor in the area, said Brown Deer planning and zoning specialist Nate Piotrowski. However, that has shifted and now the main commercial corridor in Brown Deer is Brown Deer Road.

"(Bradley Road) still retains some commercial viability, but it needs to be scaled down and brought to a neighborhood level of commercial activity," Piotrowski said.

General Capital is also planning a development on Brown Deer Road. The company plans to demolish two single-family homes at the northwest corner of North 60th Street and Brown Deer Road. On the five-acre site General Capital will develop a 21,350-square-foot multi-tenant retail building, a 10,500-square-foot retail building and a 5,300-square foot retail building.

Menomonee Falls

Integra Med LLC plans to break ground in late spring on a two-building, 120,000-square-foot medical center that will include an ambulatory surgery center. It will be built on a 10-acre site at the northwest corner of Appleton Avenue and Northfield Road, just south of Good Hope Road. The medical center will combine traditional and non-traditional health care. About 25 to 30 medical practitioners will work at the medical center. Naperville, Ill.-based Ryan Companies U.S. Inc. is the developer for the project, which is expected to be completed in the spring of 2007.


On April 6, Ron Krinn, a nurse at Aurora Sinai Medical Center, will open Fred, a women’s clothing boutique at 524 N. Water St. in downtown Milwaukee. The 1,400-square-foot space was previously occupied by Revolutions music store. The store will sell trendy clothing, hand bags and accessories for $28 to $88 said Clai Green, the buyer for the store who also owns two women’s clothing boutiques in Chicago. The store will be located just north of the Milwaukee Public Market and the Historic Third Ward, which has attracted several new retailers in the last two years. "The Third Ward has pretty much become the biggest tourist attraction in Milwaukee next to the art museum and the lakefront," Green said.

Paul Bachowski plans to sell his one-story, 3,200-square-foot building at 2225 N. 7th St. to the city’s Redevelopment Authority. The city wants to acquire the 36-year-old building so the property can be incorporated into the city’s Bronzeville redevelopment plan.

Construction has begun on a $4.6 million building addition for Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in downtown Milwaukee. The three-story 27,000-square-foot building is being constructed along the north side of Juneau Avenue, just west of the church and just south of the Kern Center at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The first floor of the new building will provide 19 parking spaces. The second floor will be used for office space and an administrative center and the third floor will be used for meetings and fellowship events and will be able to accommodate groups of up to 340 people.

Oak Creek

Stramowski Heating, a heating and air conditioning company, plans to move from 234 S. Chicago Ave. in South Milwaukee to a 7,660-square-foot building that will be constructed on a 7.6-acre vacant lot at 7929 S. Howell Ave. in Oak Creek. The building will include a 979-square-foot space for an office tenant.


Two projects have been proposed at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard. At the northeast corner, Robert Ollman Inc. plans to build a 14,000-square-foot, three-story office and retail building on the site of a long-vacant former Clark gas station, which was recently demolished. At the southwest corner of the intersection, Bloch Appliance plans to demolish its building and a former residence that is now used as an office building and build a new, 10,345-square-foot, multi-tenant office building. Bloch Appliance will occupy space in the new building.


Elm Grove-based Winter, Kloman, Moter & Repp recently broke ground for its new Oconomowoc office. The 10,500-square-foot structure will be built on a 1.25-acre lot at 1040 Oconomowoc Parkway. The building will replace the company’s current downtown Oconomowoc office at 155 W. Wisconsin Ave. Suite 208. The accounting firm also has offices in Elm Grove and Watertown.


Nashotah-based Matt Hall & Son Home Builders Inc. wants to demolish a home at 652 Capitol Drive and build a small office building in its place. The company would move its office to the building. The project still must be approved by village officials.

Elliott’s Ace Hardware wants to build a 22,000-square-foot addition to the 36,000-square-foot store at 1268 Capitol Drive. The hardware store would move into the addition and sell its current 36,000-square-foot space. The project still must be approved by village officials.

Lee Blavat, the president and owner of Hartland-based Eagle Collection Corp., plans to build a small, multi-tenant commercial building at 749 W. Wisconsin Ave.


Jackson, Mich.-based Alro Steel Corp. has purchased 25 acres of vacant land in the Delavan Business Park. The company plans to build a 120,000-square-foot distribution center on the site.


Madison Realtor Michael Braun plans to build 15 2,500-square-foot "business bungalows," for small businesses and start-up companies, on a vacant 2.8-acre site along the east side of Tesch Court.

VanderBloemen Rodrigues & Associates LLC, an accounting firm, recently moved its office from 21415 Greenfield Ave. in New Berlin to W223 N720 Saratoga Drive. Suite 100, Waukesha.


Alternative Risk Resources LLC, a full service commercial insurance brokerage firm, recently moved its offices from 2401 N. Mayfair Road to 2675 North Mayfair Road, Suite 505. The company also has a second office in Madison.

Andrew Weiland is the managing editor of 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.

CRE Commercial Real Estate Transactions


Apex Commercial

Cardinal Stritch University leased 12,780 square feet of office space and Management Research Services leased 6,436 square feet of office space at 155 S. Executive Dr., Brookfield, from Executive Center I Limited Partnership.

McClone Agency Inc. leased 1,600 square feet of office space at 1011 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatoa, from 1011 Mayfair Road Limited Partnership.

Motor Auto Body & Paint LLC leased 13,147 square feet of industrial space at 4200 W. Lincoln Ave., Milwaukee, from Barkow Realty Ltd. Partnership.

Miller and Ogorchock S.C. leased 1,771 square feet of office space at 1110 N. Old World Third St., Milwaukee, from Riverfront Plaza Joint Venture.

Mid-America Real Estate

Falcon Business Solutions Inc. d.b.a. Sport Clips leased 1,590 square feet of space at Ruby Isle Shopping Center in Brookfield from Ruby Realty.

Starbucks Coffee Company leased 1,800 square feet of space at 3550 Washington Ave., Sheboygan, from Zabest Commercial Group.

Starbucks Coffee Company leased 0.43 acres at Holt Plaza, 250 W. Holt Ave., Milwaukee, from MSSD Inc.

Stateline C.C. Inc. d.b.a. Cost Cutters leased 1,043 square feet of space at Delavan Retail III, at Highway 50 and I-43 in Delavan, from Spectrum Development Group LLC.

TCF Bank leased 40,530 square feet at Uptown Brass, at 63rd Street and 20th Avenue in Kenosha, from Uptown Brass Development LLC.

NAI MLG Commercial

Affiliated Wellness Group LLC leased 2,021 square feet of office space at 2301 Sun Valley Dr., Delafield, from Purity Real Estate LLC.

Polacheck Company

Debra Janssen d.b.a. Balm Wellness Center leased 1,800 square feet of space at 103 E. Silver Spring Dr., Whitefish Bay, from Milson Company LLP.

Goodwill Industries leased 69,280 square feet of space at 4921-59 S. 2nd St., Milwaukee, from First Industrial Realty Trust Inc.

Shorewest Realtors Inc. leased 6,000 square feet of space at 1610 N. Water St., Milwaukee, from Batemor Productions Inc.

Denette Baker d.b.a. Unique Gifts leased 1,300 square feet of space on South 27th Street in Franklin from Bouraxis Properties LLC.


Apex Commercial

Arctic Glacier Wisconsin Inc. purchased 41,248 square feet of industrial space at N60 W16280 Kohler Lane, Menomonee Falls, from Onyx Waste Services Midwest Inc.

Dickman Company

Becker Properties Inc. purchased 18,000 square feet of industrial space at 11801 W. Silver Spring Road, Milwaukee, for $1.08 million from PDQ Food Stores Inc.

Mid-America Real Estate

Delavan Equities III LLC purchased 15,192 square feet of space at Delavan Crossings III, 1741 E. Geneva St., Delavan, from Spectrum Development Group LLC.

NAI MLG Commercial

JGS Holdings LLC purchased 3,046 square feet of commercial space at 6922-30 W. Good Hope Road, Milwaukee, from Sarus Developers LLC.

Salentine Properties LLC purchased 1.78 acres of land in the 62-acre Mequon Business Park Phase II in Mequon from MLG Investments 2000 LLC.

Storage Master LLC purchased an 83,982-square-foot industrial building at 2601 S. Moorland Road, New Berlin, from M&D Investment Co.

ZBB Energy Corp. purchased an 85,892-square-foot industrial building at N93 W14475 Whittaker Way, Menomonee Falls, from Bando-McGlocklin Capital Corp.

New construction

Gerald Nell Inc., Waukesha, was selected by BBC Properties East Inc. to design and build a 10,000-square-foot office building and a 4,000-square-foot manufacturing building for Best Block Company at N59 W13449-13599 Mandhart Dr., Menomonee Falls.

J.P. Cullen & Sons Inc., Brookfield, recently began work on a $3.2 million project to remodel the Walworth County Judicial Center in Elkhorn.

MSI General Corp., Oconomowoc, was selected to design and build the new 36,800-square-foot facility at 1110 Richards Road, Hartland, for T-LON Products Inc. The building will include 29,800 square feet of space for manufacturing and 7,000 square feet of office space.

Milwaukee College Preparatory School, a UWM charter school at 2449 N. 36th St., Milwaukee, broke ground recently on construction of a new wing that will be built on the south side of the school. The addition will add four new classrooms, a science lab and a computer room. The project also will include renovation of space into a library and music and art rooms. A new playground will also be built.

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