The pink Henry Manschot mansion on East Wells Street in downtown Milwaukee’s East Town neighborhood has a new owner.
Nicole Schwark, long-time tenant and owner of East Town Spa has purchased the 143-year-old building at 718 E. Wells St. and the adjacent building to the east at 724-726 E. Wells St.
Schwark, wasn’t planning on buying the property, but was told by her landlord after 16 years he was planning to sell. She had the right of first offer, which gave her 14 days to secure financing for the $800,000 purchase. The buildings are assessed at $608,000.
“It was the most stressful time in my life,” she said. “I had hives all over my body.”
Schwark closed on the purchase earlier this month, buying both buildings from Clark-Wells, LLC, which is registered to Brain Clark of Milwaukee.
This is the second property Schwark owns. She and her husband purchased Reagan & Ruby Salon, 915 E. Brady St., nine years ago when they decided to expand the salon. Today she has about 23 employees at both salons.
Schwark has been in the cosmetology business for nearly 20 years. She opened her first salon in a storefront in the 400 block of East Wells Street between This is It bar, 418 E. Wells St., and Louise's, 801 N. Jefferson St. Louise’s has since expanded into her former space.
She moved into the basement of the Manschot mansion 16 years ago, and has since expanded onto all three floors, opening a nail bar on the third floor earlier this year.
Schwark said she might eventually expand into the 724-726 building, but right now she is just going to leave it as is, which is two apartments.
The historic pink mansion was once a residence occupied by former Wisconsin Governor Francis E. McGovern, during 1920s.
The two properties are connected by an underground tunnel and share utilities, which is why Schwark had to buy both buildings.