Wantable pulling plug on Clarke Square move

Issues with the building led to increasing costs

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:58 pm

Milwaukee-based online retailer Wantable Inc. will no longer move its headquarters to the former Clarke Square Pick ‘n Save building on National Avenue, founder and chief executive officer Jalem Getz said.

Jalem Getz
Jalem Getz

Getz said there are a number of issues, including some environmental challenges and the general decay and maintenance of the building, which promoted the change in plans. The company announced last year it planned to buy the building and move its headquarters there from Walker’s Point.

“We ran into a combination of things that just drove the price up,” Getz said, adding that individually the problems may not have sunk the project, but collectively they were too much to overcome.

Wantable, which provides customers with personalized clothing, makeup and accessories through a subscription service, has been growing quickly since its founding in 2012. Getz doesn’t provide financial figures, but has said the company was profitable in 2016 and plans to double revenue in 2017.

“The good news is we’re actually growing a little bit faster than we had planned,” Getz said, noting the company reached 100 employees this week, a mark he expected to hit this summer.

Wantable has already relocated its headquarters several times and has filled up its current facility at 112 E. Mineral St. in Walker’s Point. The company is leasing some additional space nearby on South 2nd Street, taking some of the pressure off for an immediate move.

“Even in the best case scenario, it’s a short-term solution,” Getz said.

He said the company does have several locations in mind as potential alternatives to the Clarke Square location and that played a role in the decision to not move forward with the project.

“The unfortunate piece of this is we really like the (Clarke Square) community,” Getz said, praising the neighborhood for its support of the company’s plans.

Department of City Development spokesman Jeff Fleming said the city has been in communication with the company.

“We’re optimistic that their future in Milwaukee will be bright,” he said, adding the city is also optimistic about the future of the former Pick ‘n Save location in Clarke Square.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.