Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Funeral Home Becoming Apartments

Kinnickinnic Ave. building proposed for apartment conversion.

By - May 26th, 2022 01:03 pm
Former Niemann/Suminski Funeral Home at 2480-2486 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Former Niemann/Suminski Funeral Home at 2480-2486 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A Bay View funeral home is poised to see new life as an apartment building.

Urban Milwaukee reported in November that interior demolition was underway at the former Niemann/Suminski funeral home, 2480-2486 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Now, a commercial alteration permit pending before the city would enable the building to be converted to housing.

The two-story, Mediterranean Revival-style building would be converted into 14 apartments.

BV KK, LLC, an investment group affiliated with Tim Olson, acquired the property and an adjacent surface parking lot for $875,000 in September from an affiliate of the funeral home.

Permit records refer to the development as the “2486 Apartments.” Striegel-Agacki Studio is serving as the design firm. Adrian Cerda‘s OC Development is listed as the general contractor.

It would not be the first time someone has lived in the 17,397-square-foot building. Before interior demolition began, assessment records indicate it had two three-bedroom apartments on its upper floor.

The new plan calls for apartments on every floor, including a lower level that is exposed only from the building’s eastern facade. Located on the northeast corner of S. Kinnickinnic Ave. and E. Homer St., the side street slopes slightly downhill to the east.

The building permit does not indicate that a zoning change is necessary to develop the project.

A 19-stall surface parking lot at 2442-2444 S. Woodward St. was included in the November sale. The eastern edge of the 8,400-square-foot lot has a four-car garage. It was previously used for funerals, but is now offered as monthly parking.

Neither Olson nor Striegel-Agacki responded to a request for comment by the time of publication.

Striegel-Agacki Studio has been involved in a number of Bay View projects in recent years. That includes a small, multi-building project at the corner of S. Logan Ave. and E. Otjen St., serving as the architect of record on the BV+ project and designing the Vue Apartments. The Wauwatosa firm has also designed a number of buildings on the city’s East Side.

Searching city property records for PO Box addresses used by investment group affiliated with Olson reveals more than 50 properties, most of which are in Bay View. That includes a cluster of commercial properties on the 2200 block of S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

This isn’t the first time Olson has sought to redevelop a funeral home. The real estate investor, after paying $318,000 in back taxes on other properties, secured approval to redevelop the funeral home at 2001 N. Holton St. in 2007, but a different investment group completed a revised version of the project (Ingram Place Apartments) in 2016.

About the Funeral Home

The funeral home was originally built in 1922, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society, though city assessment records give it a date of 1888. The Mediterranean Revival architectural style is more indicative of a 1920s construction or substantial renovation.

It was originally home to J.W. Niemann Funeral Home, which relocated from 2392-2398 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. (currently home of Cafe Corazon). Jacob Niemann later renamed his firm JW Niemann & Sons to reflect the multi-generational nature of the operation.

In recent decades it became part of Suminski Family Funeral Homes, being referred to as the Niemann/Suminski location. Suminski is now part of Heritage Funeral Homes, part of a statewide trend of consolidation. The business operates six funeral homes in the Milwaukee area.


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