Redevelopment plans considered for downtown Laacke & Joys building

Laacke & Joys last week announced that it plans to close its stores in Mequon and downtown Milwaukee and its manufacturing operations in downtown Milwaukee. The company’s Brookfield store will be upgraded and will become the flagship Laacke & Joys store. Manufacturing operations will also be moved to Brookfield.

The downtown Laacke & Joys building, located at 1433 N. Water St., has a retail store on the first two floors and manufacturing operations on the upper two floors. Laacke & Joys will end manufacturing there next summer and will close the downtown store in January of 2014.

Earlier this year, the Peck family purchased the downtown Laacke & Joys property, which includes a four-story, 64,826-square-foot, 138-year-old building, and a one-story, 6,231-square-foot, 81-year-old building. The property sold for $2.575 million.

The family plans to maintain the buildings and are considering all redevelopment options, said Laura Peck. They plan to preserve and improve the buildings but have no specific plans at this time, she said.

“The (larger) building is beautiful,” Peck said. “It’s very sturdy. It could be a lovely space for any use: office, apartments, a restaurant on the river.”

The property has plenty of room for parking and a “perfect” location on the Milwaukee River and busy Water Street in the middle of the Park East corridor, Peck said.

The Peck family has hired Mid-America Real Estate to market the 15,000-square-foot first floor retail space to retail tenants.

The smaller building could be an appealing location for a restaurant, Peck said.

“We’re just trying to figure out what the best use of the property is,” she said.

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