Plumber moving from West Milwaukee to historic building in Milwaukee

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:40 pm

Lagina Plumbing, formerly known as Louis Schmitt Plumbing, plans to move from West Milwaukee to an 88-year-old, 12,000-square-foot, two-story brick building at 3618 W. Pierce St. in Milwaukee’s Silver City neighborhood. The company plans to make the move in the spring, after doing extensive renovation work on the building to restore it to its original condition. The company currently leases space at 1600 Miller Park Way in West Milwaukee. The new location will triple the company’s space.

"We’re excited about the opportunities this building offers our commercial plumbing business as it continues to expand,” said Jim Lagina, the company’s owner. “We’re also excited about being part of the vibrant Silver City neighborhood as that area of Milwaukee continues its renaissance.”

Lagina acquired full ownership of the plumbing company from the Schmitt family earlier this year. The company has 30 employees and will provide a boost to the neighborhood. The building’s location is amid an improving area of the city and adjacent to the P&H Mining Equipment plant.

“The Silver City neighborhood’s up-and-coming momentum and its proximity to downtown, Miller Park and the Menomonee Valley make this a perfect match,” said Sara Puls, a commercial district specialist with the Layton Boulevard West Neighbors. “Lagina Plumbing will add to the economic vitality of the Silver City Main Street district on National Avenue and to the surrounding neighborhood. Members of the Layton Boulevard West Neighbors are thrilled to welcome this community-minded company to the neighborhood.”

“I am excited about Lagina Plumbing coming to the area,” said Ald. Bob Donovan, who represents the area. “Lagina Plumbing will be a great addition to the community and will make the neighborhood even stronger.”
Eppstein Uhen Architects did the design work for the Pierce Street building restoration project, and build-out services will be provided by Building Service Inc. The project will include façade work.

“Through their creativity, we can breathe new life into this building,” Lagina said. The interior plans call for removal of studded walls added after the original construction, restoration of the original brick interior walls and restoration of the original window openings. Two monitors, which provide sunlight through the roof, also will be restored. Plans call for a prefabrication and prep area, a reception area and a conference room on the first floor. The second floor will be used for offices, a kitchen and a larger conference room.

The company is receiving a $196,000 Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) loan for the project. Lagina crews were involved in the redevelopment of the Bayshore Town Center in Glendale and have worked on other key projects in the area, including the Milwaukee Public Market, St. Joseph’s Outpatient Center in Wauwatosa, the 875 East office tower in downtown Milwaukee, Ace Precision Machining in Oconomowoc, the 75,000-square-foot American Family Insurance office building in Pewaukee, and others.

Lagina purchased the Pierce Street building from WHM Co. Robert Conklin of Conklin Real Estate Services represented Lagina, and Paul McBride of RFP Commercial Inc. represented the WHM Co. in brokering the sale.

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