Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Lurie Buys Milwaukee Street Blackhole

Long-vacant, one-story building was originally three stories. Now will find new life.

By - Oct 10th, 2019 05:16 pm
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733-737 N. Milwaukee St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

733-737 N. Milwaukee St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Developer Scott Lurie has acquired the long-vacant, one-story building at 733-737 N. Milwaukee St.

Lurie, through his firm F Street Group, acquired the property for $575,000 from the estate of Caroline Kondos. A crew has been spotted clearing out the building in recent weeks.

The block is one of the most food-centric in the city with Brunch, Carnevor, Cubanitas, Indulge, Lucid Light Lounge, Pastiche at the Metro, Third Coast Provisions and Zarletti. But throughout the past two decades, and enough closing and openings on the block to make your head spin, the one-story building at 733-737 N. Milwaukee St. has been vacant.

F Street Group might be just the firm to turn things around. The firm recently developed The 42 at The Brewery, home to Milwaukee Brewing Company and the firm’s own Glass + Griddle restaurant. It also owns and operates Pizza Man.

Lurie also knows the block. Firms affiliated with the developer own the building across the street at 730 N. Milwaukee St., most recently occupied by the three-story Dick’s nightclub, and the office building at 400 E. Wisconsin Ave.

The developer told Urban Milwaukee in an interview that he’s engaged architecture firm RINKA, located one block north, to explore design concepts for the 5,700-square-foot space. “We don’t have any plans yet,” said Lurie, who noted that F Street could lease the space to a tenant or develop a concept themselves.

Unusual Building History

The building holds the rare distinction of being one of the few structures in Milwaukee that has gotten smaller as time went along. What is now a one-story Art Deco building was originally a three-story Italianate building in line with the rest of the street when it was built in 1877.

The change was made in 1939 for the Lou Fritzel women’s clothing store. The store occupied the building until 1989. Peter and Caroline Kondos acquired the property in 1991.

Since then the Department of Neighborhood Services has routinely issued order violations and fines to the property owners for offenses ranging from defective windows to failing to shovel. The latter became a common refrain, with the city issuing four such violations already in 2019.

The property was first listed for sale on July 9th.

733-737 N. Milwaukee St.

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