Vita Fitness to Open Downtown Centers

    Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

    Vita Fitness & Physical Therapy, a medically oriented health and fitness center in Fox Point, plans to open two locations in downtown Milwaukee. In April, Vita Fitness & Physical Therapy LLC will open a location at 222 E. Erie St. in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward, and in June the company will open a location in the Blatz Condominiums at 270 E. Highland Ave. Vita, established in 2004, also has recently expanded its Fox Point location at 8677 N. Port Washington Road from 3,500 square feet to 7,000 square feet.

    Vita ( provides trainers to help people work out in one-on-one or group settings, unlike a typical health club where members usually work out on their own without assistance from a trainer. Unlike typical health clubs, Vita is licensed to provide physical therapy services, according to Tommy Grabowski, one of Vita’s owners. The health center’s personal services also include massage therapy, pilates, yoga and spinning.

    The affluent demographics of downtown workers and residents are an ideal fit for Vita, Grabowski said.

    "Personal training isn’t cheap," Grabowski said. The business focuses on providing a high level of quality training services, rather than trying to attract as many customers as possible, he said.

    Many of the people who have moved downtown in recent years are older empty nesters who want to live close to the city’s restaurants and cultural institutions. Those older residents are also potential customers for Vita’s physical therapy services, Grabowski said.

    "Our potential client base is much greater downtown than (in Fox Point)," he said.

    Vita is also planning to add a location in the western part of the metro area, Grabowski said.

    Vita’s Third Ward building was constructed in 1891 and is being remodeled by Inland Companies into office and retail space. The Blatz building is being converted from apartments to condos by Fiduciary Real Estate Development Inc. and Ruvin Development Inc.

    The Third Ward building, a Cream City brick five-story structure that was built with Romanesque Revival architectural style, was once known as the American Biscuit building. It was built by Alexander Johnson, who started a bakery business that became American Biscuit, which was eventually acquired by Nabisco. The building is one of the few structures that survived the famous 1892 Third Ward fire.

    A group of investors led by Chicago developer Mike Glazier, and including some of the principals at Inland Companies, bought the 87,000-square-foot building in 2004 from Sampson Industries for $2.9 million. The building sat vacant for about nine months until the owners obtained state and federal historic preservation tax credits. The building is now listed on the national register of historic landmarks, Glazier said.

    "There’s a lot of paperwork and brain damage to go through (the historic tax credit process)," he said. "But it pays dividends for the community and for the investors."

    They are spending $4.5 million to gut and remodel the building’s interior, creating modern office space within the original structure. The building’s fifth floor was demolished and rebuilt, creating 7,000 square feet of office space. The entire redevelopment project will be completed in mid- to late April.

    The second, third and fourth floor of the building each have 20,000 square feet of office space. The first floor has about 18,000 square feet of retail space.

    Vita will occupy 4,500 square feet of space on the first floor and 4,500 square feet of space in the basement.

    Inland is also seeking tenants for the building and is "in discussions" with a potential restaurant tenant for 9,000 square feet of space on the first floor, said Inland partner Mark Schnoll. He declined to name the restaurant.

    The first floor has another 4,500-square-foot space at the southeast corner.

    Inland has received a letter of intent from an office tenant for 6,000 square feet of space, Schnoll said. He declined to name the potential tenant.

    The building is connected to the Third Ward parking garage at Chicago and Water streets.

    The building is also located across the street from the site of River Renaissance, an eight-story, mixed-use building being constructed by RivRen LLC. River Renaissance will have 80 condos on the upper floors and 20,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor. The first floor tenants will include Red Star Tavern, an upscale bar and restaurant chain, and an Allen Kitchen & Bath store.

    "We view (River Renaissance) as a real positive about the health of this corner of the Third Ward," Schnoll said. "What’s going on in the Third Ward is nothing short of miraculous."

    More Milwaukee news

    Executives for U.S. Bank and JBK Properties Inc. say the proposed Lake Pointe Tower project, which they are working on together, will remain on the drawing board until they obtain an anchor tenant. "Until there is a viable anchor tenant, there is no project and there is nothing to talk about," said John Kuhn, president of JBK Properties. But documents obtained by Small Business Times provide more details about what U.S. Bank and JBK want to build. According to those documents, the preliminary plans for the project call for a 41-story, 747,400-square-foot building to be constructed at the site of a one-story parking garage at 815 E. Michigan Ave., which is owned by U.S. Bank and was built in 1951. The building would have an upscale hotel with 214 rooms on floors 7-13, 260,000 square feet of office space on floors 15-24 with 26,000 square feet of space on each floor, 30 luxury condominiums on floors 25-38 and a helipad on the top of the building. The helipad could be used by residents, visitors to downtown and emergency helicopters, according to an application by U.S. Bank for a variance for the project. The building would be connected to Milwaukee County Transit Center to the east and by a skywalk to the U.S. Bank Center at 777 E. Wisconsin Ave. The building would also have a 160,000-square-foot, 440-stall parking structure to the south. In its variance application, U.S. Bank says the building would "help facilitate Michigan Avenue becoming a grand gateway to the lakefront and the public museums located thereon." Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin is being built on the Municipal Pier at the end of Michigan Avenue. To view a preliminary rendering of the building, go to, click on "news," then click on "in design," and then scroll through the buildings to the Lake Pointe Tower rendering.

    Developers planning projects in the Park East corridor say Manpower Inc.’s plans to move its corporate headquarters, and more than 900 employees, to a vacant site east of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, south of Cherry Street and along the Milwaukee River, are increasing interest by retailers in Park East developments. Ruvin Development Inc. plans to redevelop part of the Sydney Hih building, located at the northwest corner of Old World Third Street and Juneau Avenue, move the former Gipfel Brewery from 423-27 W. Juneau Ave. to a site just west of the Sydney Hih building and build a 12-story condo tower to the north of Sydney Hih. Ruvin Development president Rob Ruvin said he hopes to break ground in late summer or fall and complete construction in a year. The buildings will have retail space on the first floor, and Ruvin said he is talking to "upscale retailers" whom he declined to name. "There’s been a tremendous amount of interest in the (retail space)," Ruvin said. "I think (Manpower) will have a huge impact. It’s nice to have that foot traffic and the density down there. The companies I’ve talked to about retail (space) said how happy they were to hear that Manpower is coming to town. I really think Third Street is going to make a comeback." Chicago-based RSC & Associates plans to build a condominium development with 140 condos and 50,000 square feet of retail space on a two-acre site bordered by Milwaukee, Jefferson and Lyon streets and Ogden Avenue, and 160 condominiums and 184,000 square feet of retail space on a two-acre site bordered by Broadway, Milwaukee and Water streets and Ogden Avenue. "Obviously with the announcement of Manpower roughly three blocks away, that has really elevated interest (by retailers) in the two sites," said RSC chief executive officer Rich Curto. "We’ve gotten calls from people that are interested in bringing in stores, health clubs, hotels and restaurants." Curto said he plans to attract a mix of high quality local retailers and national chains to the sites.

    The City of Milwaukee is seeking proposals to buy and redevelop a two-story, 5,278-square-foot brick building at 3076-78 N. 27th St. The building, constructed in 1923, is located at the southeast corner of North 27th and West Burleigh streets. The first floor has about 3,000 square feet of space and was last used as a Laundromat. The second floor has two apartments. The city’s asking price for the building is $15,300, plus renovation costs. The buyer will be required to renovate the building. Proposals are due at 2 p.m. on March 31.

    Milwaukee Mudd plans to open Mountain Mudd coffee kiosks, with drive-thru windows, at 6901 W. Oklahoma Ave. and 835 W. Layton Ave.

    New Berlin

    Baker’s Ice Cream Parlour & Eatery opened recently at 15175 W. National Ave. The restaurant is designed to look like an old fashioned ice cream parlor. "I wanted to create a wholesome, family-friendly restaurant that would take our guests back to a simpler time," said owner Patrick Baker.

    Lake Geneva

    Minneapolis-based Target Corp. plans to build a 126,842-square-foot store north of the Home Depot store at Highways 12 and 50 on the east side of Lake Geneva, according to preliminary plans presented to the city. Target has more than 1,300 stores in 47 states, but no stores in Walworth County. The development would also include three smaller tenant spaces, two 20,000-square-foot spaces and a 7,000-square-foot space, and two outlots for a 2,500-square-foot restaurant and a 5,000-square-foot restaurant. Construction of the Target store could begin this fall, if it is approved by city officials, said Barry Brugger, Lake Geneva building inspector and zoning administrator. To provide access to the site, the city plans to extend Edwards Boulevard north to Sheridan Springs Road.

    Norman and Larry Richter, who own the Lake Geneva Sentry store at 200 S. Edwards Blvd., which closed in January, have a contract to sell the store to Menomonee Falls-based Continental Properties, Norman Richter said. The sale is contingent on Continental obtaining tenants for the building, Richter said. Continental Properties has filed plans with the city to divide the 51,800-square-foot grocery store space into a 20,167-square-foot space, a 14,333-square-foot space and a 16,340-square-foot space. A Walworth County commercial real estate source said Continental is negotiating leases with OfficeMax and PetSmart for two of the spaces. Itasca, Ill.-based OfficeMax has about 1,000 stores and Phoenix-based PetSmart has more than 800 pet stores, but neither retail chain has a store in Walworth County.

    Construction of the 18,000-square-foot Newport West retail building at the northeast corner of Cook Street and Highway 50 in downtown Lake Geneva is nearing completion. Lake Geneva-based Keefe Real Estate Inc. executives Michael Keefe and Roger Wolff are developing Newport West. A Potbelly Sandwich Works restaurant and a Nine West store will occupy space in the building. Keefe Real Estate Inc. is also negotiating with Caribou Coffee and Cold Stone Creamery to lease space in the building. The site was previously occupied by three old buildings, which were built as homes but were occupied by businesses. Two of those buildings were demolished and a third, built in the 1870s, was moved to a lot north of Newport West on Cook Street. The building is now occupied by Fusion, an Aveda salon and spa. "What we were hoping to achieve is to attract national or regional tenants to help take downtown Lake Geneva to the next level," said Rob Keefe, president of Keefe Real Estate. "We want to make downtown a place that someone from Highland Park (Ill.) will come and go shopping."


    Wauwatosa Savings Bank plans to build a new branch location at W188 N9820 Appleton Ave. The 5,400-square-foot building would be built on an outlot near a Menards store. Wauwatosa Savings Bank has $1.8 billion and has branches in Wauwatosa, Oak Creek, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee and Waukesha.

    Port Washington

    Peter Didier and Ron Farber plan to develop three 3,600-square-foot office buildings on a vacant site along East Seven Hills Road (County Highway LL). The site is located between a park and ride lot and the Country Inn and Suites hotel.

    Knight Barry Title Company (d.b.a. Port Abstract & Title LLC) plans to move its office at 125 W. Grand Ave. to a former Tri-Par gas station, which will be remodeled, at 117 W. Grand Ave.


    Outlook Development LLC plans to build a 7,800-square-foot multi-tenant retail building at 6505 S. 27th St. in front of a Jewel-Osco grocery store.


    Miguel and Beatriz Garcia plan to open La Conquistadora, a Hispanic grocery store, at 1218 Indiana Ave. The building used to be occupied by an Asian grocery store.

    The Weather Center Café, a popular and small café located in the Shanty Village along the Sheboygan River, is planning an expansion. The café currently occupies half of a 1,500-square-foot building at 809 Riverfront Dr. The café plans to expand into the other half of the building and add about 500 square feet to the building. Nature’s Best, which currently occupies the other half of the building, plans to move to another location in the riverfront Shanty Village.


    Tom Gotzion plans to open a Red Robin Gourmet Burgers restaurant in the 7,000-square-foot former Camelot Music location at 7575 Edgerton Ave. Greenwood Village, Colo.-based Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. has more than 250 restaurants in North America, including five in Wisconsin, located in Appleton, Green Bay, Janesville, Madison and Monona. A Red Robin restaurant is also planned for Kenosha. Leases

    Apex Commercial

    Information Technology Partners Inc. leased 2,100 square feet of space at 338 W. Main St., Waukesha, from Nickell Building Partners.

    Nelson, Irvings & Waeffler S.C. leased 2,793 square feet of office space at 3077 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, from MLD/HLP 3077 Office LLC.

    Wiernick, Martin & Neumaier S.C. leased 3,336 square feet of office space and Advanced Learning Resources Ltd. leased 286 square feet of office space at 933 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, from 933 N. Mayfair Road Limited Partnership.

    Velocitie Integration Inc. leased 1,992 square feet of office space at 250 N. Sunny Slope Road, Brookfield, from Maplewood Executive Center LLC.

    Alternative Resources LLC leased 2,174 square feet of office space at 2675 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, from Zenith Administrators Inc.

    Dickman Company

    Best Ceilings & Studs Inc. leased 5,660 square feet of warehouse/office space at W231 N2811 Roundy Circle East, Suite 300, Pewaukee, from Briohn Leasing Company LLP.

    Inland Companies

    Doral Dental leased 22,000 square feet of office space at 2360 Dakota Dr., Grafton. Doral Dental is headquartered in Mequon. The Grafton location will be an additional location for general offices, a call center and document management. About 100 to 125 people will work there.

    Universal Hospital Services Inc. leased 15,622 square feet of office and warehouse space at Stadium Business Park II, 4111 W. Mitchell St. Milwaukee.

    E. Berk leased 1,265 square feet of office space and Croen & Barr leased 1,883 square feet of office space at 250 Plaza, 250 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee.

    Home Instead Senior Care leased 565 square feet of office space at Merchants Grove, 2420-30 N. Grandview Blvd., Waukesha.

    NAI MLG Commercial

    Aerial Beauty Supply leased a 2,400-square-foot space in Pewaukee Plaza from 1256 West Capital LLC.

    Brennan Company leased 5,101 square feet of office space at 330 S. Executive Dr., Brookfield, from Capri Capital Advisors LLC.

    Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC leased 6,083 square feet of retail space in Fountain Square, at the northeast corner of Bluemound Road and Executive Drive in Brookfield from Continental Properties Company LLC.

    The Medical College of Wisconsin leased 2,900 square feet of space in the Squires III Office Center in Pewaukee from M-P Group LLC.


    Dickman Company

    Trakloe Midwest LLC purchased 6.23 acres at

    6500 W. Calumet Road, Milwaukee, from BDL Partnership for $325,000.

    Hot Line Truckload Services LLC purchased 7,000 square feet of industrial space at 6650 N. Industrial Road, Milwaukee, from Clyde W. Jenkins for $525,000.

    New construction

    Briohn Building Corp., Brookfield, recently completed the design and construction of an 80,000-square-foot build-out for World Class Wire & Cable at W234 N2091 Ridgeview Parkway, Waukesha. The project included 15,000 square feet of office space and 65,000 square feet of warehouse space.

    MSI General Corp., Oconomowoc, was selected by Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital to renovate 42 patient rooms on the medical surgery floor of the hospital located at 791 E. Summit Ave., Oconomowoc. The project will be completed in June. The hospital also selected MSI General to renovate the nurse’s station and waiting rooms in the intensive care unit. That project will be completed in April.

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