State Fair Park purchases 76th Street industrial building

Will use it for storage, service gate

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The Wisconsin State Fair Park Board purchased an industrial building along South 76th Street.

HMLJ Industries LLC, sold the building located at 679 S. 76th St., to the State Fair Park Board for $827,500, according to state records. The property has an assessed value of $414,900, according to city records.

The 15,400-square-foot building will be used for agriculture storage and delivery during the fair, said John Yingling, board president.

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“This land will allow us to have a service gate, a storage building and parking for trucks, especially larger rigs,” Yingling said.

After seeing a report about the property sale, Milwaukee Alderman Michael Murphy raised concerns.

“The report…detailing how the State Fair Park board paid $827,500 for a building it will use for storage should have everyone scratching their heads,” Murphy said in a news release. “The large building – located in Milwaukee at 679 S. 76th St. adjacent to State Fair Park – is assessed at $414,000. So the state (State Fair Park is a state entity) paid twice the assessed value for a property that will be taken off the tax rolls and used for storage. Was paying twice the assessed value for the property the only option? Will the state somehow recoup that extra $400,000 it so willingly paid? I am extremely disappointed by this transaction on several levels, but especially as a taxpayer and as the elected alderman for the area where the property is located. As a taxpayer I am hit twice – once by the huge overpayment for the state’s purchase – and a second time because the property will no longer contribute tax dollars to the City of Milwaukee. As the alderman it’s disappointing because the property could have been redeveloped for a better use, just as other buildings have been in that area. What that property could have been we will never know, thanks to the State Fair Park board.”

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HMLJ Industries is registered to Midwest Stairs & Iron Inc., a Milwaukee-based metal fabricator, which moved from the building in 2016 to 4160 S. 13th St.


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