Jeramey Jannene
Plats and Parcels

Klement’s Sausage Factory Sells, Redevelopment Coming?

Plus: A recap of the week's real estate news.

By - Sep 10th, 2023 01:22 pm
Former Klement's Sausage Co. plant at 207 E. Lincoln Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Former Klement’s Sausage Co. plant at 207 E. Lincoln Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The former Klement’s Sausage Co. plant in Bay View could be redeveloped following a sale to a Caledonia-based ownership group.

The complex, which covers portions of three blocks near E. Lincoln Avenue, spans nearly three acres. It was acquired by an affiliate of Hintz Holdings. Properties include the former factory, a parking lot and three houses. The complex is located just west of the busy southside interaction of S. Howell, S. Kinnickinnic and E. Lincoln avenues.

“As with any piece of real estate, we understand that it is already part of an existing ecosystem, and we want to listen and learn about what we can do to enhance that,” said Alex Hintz to Tom Daykin. “Whether the project is a redevelopment, an adaptive reuse, or simply an infusion of capital into the existing stock, we’re excited about being able to invest in the city of Milwaukee, with the goal of creating something of value that will be really special.”

Starting with a $7.5 million 2018 project, the sausage maker consolidated its production operations into an expanded, newer plant at 2650 S. Chase Ave. in the southwest corner of the neighborhood. It listed the older plant for sale in 2019 with brokerage firm Founders 3 and WiRED Properties.

The central property in Hintz’s new holdings, 207 E. Lincoln Ave., includes a 98,725 square feet building that still sports a large Klement’s sign. It was constructed in 1927 according to a Wisconsin Historical Society report and expanded several times. Across W. Burrell Street to the west, Hintz acquired three parcels, 2301-2303, 2305-2307 and 2321 S. Burrell St., that are primarily used for parking and include only a 4,000-square-foot building from 1978. Across S. Austin Street to the east, Hintz acquired three houses, 2318, 2324 and 2332 S. Austin St., that it will lease out for the time being.

As part of the sale, Klement’s will lease the parking lot and former production facility for storage. The sale, according to state real estate transfer records, was for $550,000, but is listed as a non-arms-length transaction. The assessed value according to the 2019 listing was $1.75 million.

The houses sit on unusually deep lots with the rear previously used for Klement’s parking. The residential properties are already zoned RM-6, which would allow an apartment building to be built on what is effectively a rectangular 1.07-acre lot.

A mixed-use development on the former factory and parking lot properties would require a zoning change and public hearings, which could be as ugly as the sausage-making process. A new land-use plan for the area, pending Common Council adoption, will also attempt to guide what a suitable development would look like. There is precedent across E. Lincoln Ave. and a couple blocks north, where the Stitchweld apartments replaced a former industrial site in the past decade.

Klement’s was founded in 1956 when brothers John, George and Ronald Klement purchased the then-Badger Sausage Co. and its Lincoln Avenue factory. The Chase plant was added in 1988. The family sold the company to a private equity firm in 2014. In 2021, the company sold the Chase Ave. plant for $12.2 million to a separate investment group and entered into a lease that runs through 2036.

Hintz is no stranger to Milwaukee. Alex Hintz purchased a foreclosed home at 319 E. Clarence St. in 2017 through a sheriff’s sale and in 2019 completed and sold a new house on the property. In 2018, Hintz Holdings partnered with Klein Development to purchase the Historic Third Ward condominiums in the River Renaissance building for $2.4 million that contain all of the first-floor commercial spaces. Current tenants include The Starling and Grace Coffee Co. Hintz Holdings is the real estate investment arm of the family’s flagship firm, general contractor Ray Hintz Inc.


Weekly Recap

County, Habitat for Humanity To Partner on Suburban Affordable Homes

Milwaukee County’s Housing Division is planning to establish a formal partnership with Habitat for Humanity in order to advance affordable housing in suburban communities.

The division wants to officially designate the non-profit housing developer a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO). Such a designation will give Habitat access to 15% of the county’s annual allocation of federal HOME Investment Partnership Funds.

The designation “solidifies our relationship with them,” said James Mathy, housing division administrator, and allows the organization to build affordable, single-family homes in the county’s suburbs.

HOME program funding is managed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and federal regulations preclude the county from operating the program within the city of Milwaukee, which has the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM).

Read the full article

Conference Touts Milwaukee’s Cream City Brick, How To Preserve It

Several dozen architects, developers, preservation consultants and history enthusiasts gathered Friday at Best Place at The Historic Pabst Brewery to celebrate the bricks that made Milwaukee famous, and discuss how to preserve it.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson even showed up, proclaiming the day Cream City Brick Day throughout Milwaukee.

The event was the first Cream City Brick Symposium, an event from the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance and AIA Milwaukee.

The cream-colored bricks clad many of the city’s 19th-century buildings. Made with Menomonee Valley clay, the distinctive brick became a defining architectural feature for the city and served as a regional export for decades. But you won’t find any new Cream City brick being made today, a result of a shift to mass production and easier-to-produce competitors.

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Regal Rexnord Moving HQ To Milwaukee

A major Wisconsin manufacturer is moving its headquarters to downtown Milwaukee.

Regal Rexnord Corporation (RRX), which reported 26,000 global employees and $5.2 billion in annual revenue according to its latest annual 10-K, is moving its corporate headquarters from Beloit to the 10-story office complex at 105-111 W. Michigan St. in Westown.

“We are pleased to make this change, recognizing our increased presence in Southeastern Wisconsin. We honor our roots and appreciate the wonderful relationship we continue to maintain with the Beloit-Stateline area,” said CEO Louis Pinkham in a statement. “While we anticipate some of our leaders spending more time in Milwaukee, we are a decentralized organization, and we continue to collaborate effectively among all our RRX sites, for the benefit of all our stakeholders. Changing our headquarters address does not change that approach to collaboration.”

The building is currently home to the company’s industrial powertrain solutions business unit and RRX says it is one of its largest offices. It was briefly home to Rexnord Corp.‘s headquarters.

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Milwaukee’s Oldest Bar Is For Sale

A tavern as old as Milwaukee is looking for a new owner to write its next chapter.

Joseph G. Halser III owned and operated Landmark 1850 Inn from 1983 until his passing in 2022, when the bar closed.

The 10.6-acre site, located at 5905 S. Howell Ave. across from Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport, is now for sale for $5 million.

The listing from Halser’s family includes the two-story Cream City brick building that housed the bar, a former trucking building Halser used historic objects to repurpose into The Terminal beer garden and event venue, a wood-frame building that previously housed the Port of Hamburg bar, a garage that sits on its own parcel and lots of open land.

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Market-Rate Apartments Planned Near 76th and Brown Deer

A new market-rate apartment complex is planned for the city’s Northwest Side, with the idea that it will compete for residents who would otherwise move to Downtown or the suburbs.

The proposal follows the success Florida-based AB Asset Management has seen in rehabilitating the adjacent senior-focused Trinity Village into Sycamore Place, a 322-unit complex at 7500 W. Dean Rd. that is immediately south of the proposed development.

“We think the Northwest Side is prime for new development and market-rate apartments,” said Michael D’Amato, a lobbyist and former alderman who serves as the project’s owner representative, to members of the Granville Advisory Committee Wednesday morning.

The new, two-building complex would replace a former farm along N. 76th St., less than a half mile south of W. Brown Deer Rd. and the former Northridge Mall. It would have approximately 220 units and 330 parking spaces. Nearly 60% of the apartments would have a one-bedroom layout, with a third having a two-bedroom layout and 7% having a three-bedroom floor plan.

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City Seeks ‘Landmark’ Redevelopment of Marcus Center Parking Structure

The City of Milwaukee is formally seeking a developer to replace an aging, full-block parking structure in Downtown with a mixed-use, “landmark” development.

A request for proposals (RFP) was issued on Wednesday for the Marcus Performing Arts Center parking structure, 1001 N. Water St. The city would like to see proposals include housing, a hotel or office space on the upper floors, with active first-floor uses including commercial or restaurant space, art gallery space or space for cultural tenants.

“Downtown has many very active blocks, however this site has been a non-contributor to the activation of the North Water Street corridor due to its singular use as a parking facility and its setback from North Water Street. A key outcome of the successful RFP responder will be to raise the vibrancy of this block and its new use to offer activation of the site’s urban edges,” says the announcement by the Department of City Development (DCD).

The structure is owned by the city and leased to the nonprofit Marcus Performing Arts Center, which is located just across the street. A skywalk across E. State Street connects the two buildings. The parking structure opened in 1970 and includes 690 spaces. DCD officials, speaking before the City Plan Commission in March, suggested the city intended to market the 2.45-acre site for sale and it was included as a catalytic site in the recently approved downtown plan. The lease is currently due for renewal.

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Bank of America Entering Milwaukee At 76th and Good Hope

One of the country’s largest banks is making a foray into the Milwaukee market.

Bank of America plans to open five modern branches, which it calls “financial centers,” in Milwaukee.

The first entry is planned for the city’s Northwest Side near the intersection of N. 76th St. and W. Good Hope Rd.

“This won’t be a one-and-done for us,” said Felicia Lewis, regional executive for expansion markets, to the Granville Advisory Committee Wednesday morning.

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Northridge Mall’s Fate Hinges On Appeals Court Ruling, Second Attorney Quits

The future of the shuttered Northridge Mall awaits the ruling of a three-judge panel at the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge William Sosnay reiterated during a hearing Friday morning that he is prepared to rule once a decision comes down. The mall’s Chinese ownership group, U.S. Black Spruce Enterprise Group, is appealing Sosnay’s 2022 ruling that the city’s raze order for the approximately 900,000-square-foot complex is valid.

If the appeals court affirms Sosnay’s earlier ruling, the judge indicated he is poised to rule on the city’s request to take ownership of the property in lieu of the unpaid fines. “The court is not going to wait six months or a year,” said Sosnay, who has repeatedly pledged not to delay since inheriting the 2019 case in 2022.

The next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 29. “Should we get a decision before the 29th, my clerk will probably call you to see if we can address this sooner,” said Sosnay. An open raze order stands on the property, which requires Black Spruce to demolish the structure or gives the city the ability to step in to demolish it and place the cost, estimated at several million, on Black Spruce’s property tax bill. The city, citing an undisclosed source of funds to perform the work, has asked for title to the property instead of waiting to resolve the matter through property tax foreclosure.

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