South side stores eye new locations

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

Waukesha-based MRED-Cummings Real Estate Development Corp. plans to purchase the 28,119-square-foot El Rey Nana’s Market Mexican Grocery store building at 1433 W. Burnham St., Milwaukee. The company plans to demolish the building and build a 14,820-square-foot Walgreens store and a 6,500-square-foot retail building in its place on the 1.7-acre property.

The Walgreens store that MRED-Cummings plans to build will have a drive-through pharmacy and 73 on-site parking spaces. About 35 people will work at the store.

Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens likes the Burnham Street site because of the population density in the area,
said MRED owner and president Brian Cummings.

“You have 55,000 people living within a mile (of the site),” Cummings said.

Walgreens plans to keep its store open at Historic Mitchell and 11th streets, which is only about five blocks away from the Burnham Street site, Cummings said.

“They think (the Mitchell Street) store is doing a good job serving pedestrian traffic in the area, and this store (on Burnham) will serve vehicular traffic in the area,” Cummings said. “There’s enough density in the area that they think both stores will be successful.”

The development will be similar to the Walgreens project built earlier this year by MRED-Cummings at the southeast corner of National Avenue and South 27th Street, which also has a small retail building at the corner, with parking between the retail building and the Walgreens store.

“That’s kind of how we’re handling our urban (street) edge issues with the city,” Cummings said.

Construction could begin around March 1 and be complete in September or October, Cummings said.

MRED-Cummings is buying the Burnham Street building from Ernesto Villareal and Beto Villareal, who also own the El Rey grocery stores at 1033 S. Cesar E. Chavez Drive, 3524 W. Burnham St. and 1320 W. Burnham St., and the El Rey stand in the Milwaukee Public Market.

The Cesar E. Chavez Drive El Rey store will be replaced by a new store the Villareals are building across the street. After the new store opens next year, the existing store on Chavez Drive, which is the original El Rey store, will remain open for about six months to a year, said Olivia Villarreal, who is the administrator for El Rey Corp. and the wife of Ernesto Villareal. El Rey will continue to use some of that building, and will lease the rest of the space to other tenants, she said.

The Villareals have been in negotiations with MRED-Cummings for about three years to sell the El Rey Nana’s Market building at 1433 W. Burnham St.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Olivia Villarreal said. “We’ve been going back and forth. The problem is, nothing works fast in the City of Milwaukee.”

The building was previously a Kohl’s food store until 1995, when it closed and was replaced by El Rey. However, the Villareals decided they could part with the property since they own another grocery store down the street.

“We’ve got two stores about in the same spot,” Ernesto Villareal said.

Earlier this year, Walgreens replaced its store located at the end of a strip mall at the northwest corner of South 27th Street and National Avenue with the new store built by MRED-Cummings at the southeast corner of that intersection. That new Walgreens store replaced the National Liquor Bar, a long-time neighborhood landmark known for its large neon sign of a bottle of liquor being poured into a shot glass.

The Villareals plan to move the El Rey Nana’s Market store to the 14,500-square-foot space vacated by Walgreens at the northwest corner of South 27th Street and National Avenue. At the new location, the store will also get a new name, El Rey Mitchell Park, Ernesto Villareal said.

The Villareals also own a coffee shop at the corner of South 27th Street and National Avenue, in the small retail space that was built by MRED in front of the new Walgreens as part of that development.

West Bend

West Bend-based American Design & Build and North Liberty, Iowa-based Kinseth Hospitality Companies plan to build an 82-room Hampton Inn & Suites hotel and a 24,000-square-foot office building on a 4.3-acre site at the southeast corner of South 18th Avenue and West Paradise Drive in West Bend. The property is near the West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. headquarters.

Milwaukee’s west side

Select Property Group LLC wants to convert the former East Samaria rooming house at 506 N. 18th St., Milwaukee, into a 44-unit apartment building. The rooming house, which provided a home for mentally ill residents, moved to 6700 W. Beloit Road in West Allis a few years ago.

However, Ald. Robert Bauman, who represents the area, strongly objects to Select Property Group’s plans. Bauman said the blighted building should be demolished.

“The building will be returned to service over my dead body,” he said.

“He thinks it’s a problem building and he doesn’t believe we’ll get decent people to live there,” said Vito Sorce, the owner of Select Property Group. “I truly believe I can clean that building up and make it look nice and fill it with decent people. It’s hard to believe I’m getting so much resistance for trying to do something positive.”

The three-story, 12,696-square-foot former East Samaria building is located at the corner of North 18th Street and West Clybourn Street, just north of Interstate 94 and about two blocks west of the Marquette University campus. All of the apartments would be studio units, Sorce said. Most of the residents would probably be Marquette students, because of the property’s proximity to the university, he said.

Select Property Group owns 12 apartment buildings in Milwaukee with a total of 170 units. Sorce said he plans to spend about $400,000 to improve the former East Samaria building.

“It’s full of graffiti, windows are boarded up and it’s an absolute eyesore,” Sorce said.

However, Bauman said Sorce should instead sell the building to Marquette University, so the university can expand its building and grounds maintenance area.

“That’s the highest and best use of this real estate,” Bauman said.


Midland 3521 LLC plans to combine the properties at 2717, 2747 and 2767 North Mayfair Road to create a 4.1-acre lot for a retail development. Three buildings on the properties, currently used for office and retail space would be demolished. It their place, Midland 3521 plans to build four, single-story buildings with a total of 36,800 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

There is a growing demand for retail space on Mayfair Road and a declining demand for office space there, said Nancy Welch, director of community development for Wauwatosa. Retailers like the high amount of traffic on the street, much of it as a result of the popularity of Mayfair Mall, Welch said. Earlier this year a new Best Buy store opened on Mayfair Road, which replaced a few small office buildings that were demolished.

“What we are seeing on Mayfair (Road) is a loss of office space, transformed to retail space,” she said. “Retailers like the high traffic numbers. It also represents the fact that there are a lot of vacancies in the office market. Right now the retail market is much more attractive to developers.”

The tenants in Midland 3521’s development would include a Red Robin Gourmet Burgers restaurant.


Outlook Development LLC plans to build a 14,399-square-foot multi-tenant retail building at 2810 W. Rawson Ave. The 1.4-acre property is a few lots west of the northwest corner of South 27th Street and West Rawson Avenue. Two single-family homes and a mulch business on the property would be demolished to make way for the development.


Jim and Andrew Paley plan to open a tennis club in a vacant 29,000-square-foot building at 2916 W. Vera Ave. The building was originally a tennis facility, but was most recently used by Silver Spring Auto Body, which moved elsewhere. The Paleys plan to create four tennis courts in the building.

Bank Mutual announced that it will occupy a 3,200-square-foot space in the new Bayshore Town Center. Bank Mutual occupied space at Bayshore Mall since 1971 before it was redeveloped into Bayshore Town Center. In a $300 million project, Columbus-based Steiner & Associates expanded the mall from about 500,000 square feet of retail space to a mixed-use development with about 1 million square feet of retail space, 160,000 square feet of office space, 50,000 square feet of entertainment space and 200 condominiums and apartments. The new Bank Mutual branch at Bayshore will open in February and will be located near the Cheesecake Factory restaurant.


Ener-Con Companies plans to build an 8,500-square-foot retail building and a 31-unit condominium building on a two-acre site northeast of Janesville Road and Parkland Drive.

West Allis

Tom and Janice Traxel plan to open a country theme bar called Neon Moon Saloon in the 4,000-square-foot former Perko’s building at 5401 W. Burnham St.


Kenneth Bieck plans to open a used furniture and appliance store, called Magic Furniture and Appliances, in a 450-square-foot space at 3511 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

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.

Apex Commercial

Digital Measures LLC leased 2,604 square feet of office space at 241 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, from Lokre Preferred Broadway LLC.

Heilind Electronics Inc. leased 2,400 square feet of office space at 150 S. Sunny Slope Road, Brookfield, from 150 Sunny Slope LLC.

Huntington Learning Center leased 2,620 square feet of retail space at 1370 Pabst Farm Circle, Oconomowoc, from Pabst Farms Market Place LLC.

Boerke Company

Pet World Warehouse Outlet leased 18,205 square feet of retail space at Falls Crossing Shopping Center, N84 W15700 Appleton Ave., Menomonee Falls, from S& H Company.

Colliers Barry

All Solutions LLC leased 42,000 square feet of industrial and office space at 4659 W. Basswood Dr., Franklin, from Yellow Rose Enterprises Inc. Judson & Associates represented All Solutions.

The Prestwick Group leased the 56,600-square-foot industrial building at 1880 Executive Dr., Oconomowoc, from James and Debbie Quirk.

Inland Companies

Spherion Pacific leased 2,433 square feet of office space at Stone Ridge III at 23833 W. Stone Ridge Dr., Waukesha.

Pro Nail & Spa leased 1,435 square feet of retail space at the Shoppes at Janesville Commons at S74 W16865 Janesville Road, Muskego.

Apex Commercial

Mark Halbman purchased 1.63 acres at 7000 N. 76th St., Milwaukee, from Initial Tropical Plants.

Inland Companies

CDDM Enterprises LLC purchased the 51,000-square-foot former Milwaukee Dustless Brush Company building, which sits on a 3.7-acre property at 10930 W. Lapham St., West Allis.

New construction

Peter Schwabe Inc. Design/Build, Big Bend, was awarded the construction contract to build a new, 4,362-square-foot Steak ‘n Shake restaurant at 3140 N. 124th St. in Wauwatosa.

MEDC Loans

Lagina Plumbing received a $196,000 MEDC loan and $294,000 in additional financing. The company is purchasing the building at 3618 W. Pierce St., Milwaukee, and is planning a remodeling project to restore the condition of the 88-year-old, 12,000-square-foot building.

Climate Control Company Inc. received a $280,000 MEDC loan and $420,000 in additional financing. The company is purchasing its building at 5061 W. State St., Milwaukee.

Boyle, Fredrickson, Newholm, Stein & Gratz S.C. received a $500,000 MEDC loan and $1.65 million in additional financing. The law firm is purchasing the 93-year-old, two-story, 12,864-square-foot building at 840 N. Plankinton and plans to do plumbing, electric, HVAC and office build-out improvements.

Makin Changez LLC received a $50,000 MEDC loan and $81,500 in additional financing. The company’s owners, Ronda and Elvin Crosby Jr., plan to purchase the 47-year-old, 1,144-square-foot building at 6937 W. Fond du Lac Ave., renovate it and move their salon business there.

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