Wimmer Communities advancing possible hotel project in Historic Third Ward

Hoffco building, 125 N. Water St.
Hoffco building, 125 N. Water St.

Last updated on January 26th, 2021 at 11:21 am

Hales Corners-based Wimmer Communities is moving forward with plans to redevelop the former Harri Hoffmann Co. Inc. building in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

The project, called “Hotel Third Ward,” is scheduled for consideration by the neighborhood’s Architectural Review Board on Wednesday.

No further details were provided in the agenda notice. A representative of Wimmer said the company will share more project details during Wednesday’s meeting.

The old Hoffco building is located at 125 N. Water St., and is one of a handful of Third Ward buildings that Wimmer owns.

A Wimmer affiliate purchased the Hoffco building in spring 2019 for $3.3 million. Wimmer additionally purchased two other properties owned by Hoffco: A five-story building at 217 N. Water St. and a 4,600-square-foot parking lot at 239 E. Erie St. for $800,000 a piece.

Brothers Mark and John Wimmer, who co-own Wimmer Communities, also plan to turn an old fire house next to the Hoffco building into a family retreat.

Hoffco was a manufacturer of leather care products sold under its own brand, as well as private label products including Dux-Bak Leather, Cadet and Whittemore. The company was run by Harri Hoffmann’s daughter, Lorraine Hoffmann, until her death in July 2017. Ownership of the company and properties were then transferred to Hoffmann’s estate.

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Alex Zank covers commercial and residential real estate for BizTimes. Alex previously worked for Farm Equipment magazine and also covered statewide construction news at The Daily Reporter. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied journalism, political science and economics. Having grown up in rural western Wisconsin, Alex loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, four-wheeling and hunting.

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