Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Large Harbor District Development Site Hits The Market

Tender Car property appears to be on a collision course with redevelopment.

By - Sep 14th, 2023 08:30 pm
Tender Car Collision site on S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Tender Car Collision site on S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Change could be coming to a highly visible site between Walker’s Point and Bay View.

The Tender Car Collision auto body shop at 1825 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. is for sale. The 1.4-acre site is being marketed as a “fantastic redevelopment opportunity.”

The Harbor District property fronts E. Maple St. between S. Kinnickinnic Ave. and S. 1st St. and is located just north of the Kinnickinnic River. It’s located in the middle of a corridor that has seen substantial development to the north and south in the past decade.

“High visibility and endless possibilities in a prime location,” says the listing. The KinetiK apartment building, Michels Corp’s River One complex, Komatsu Mining South Harbor Campus and Freshwater Plaza are all within a half mile. The southern entry to the northern leg of the Kinnickinnic River Trail starts kittycorner from the property. In recent weeks, Porter Pipe & Supply opened a new distribution facility across the street,

The asking price for the Tender Car property is $5.49 million.

The site is technically four parcels, 1803-1817 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., 1823-1825 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., 1827 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. and 1800 S. 1st St. A city-owned alley divides the two parcels and serves only Tender Car and Bay View Bark, 1820 S. 1st St. The listing suggests the alley could be vacated and combined with the properties to form an L-shaped development site.

The city’s Water and Land Use Plan, which governs land-use planning in the area and helps guide the Harbor District, suggests the site be redeveloped for either housing, office, retail or light industrial use in an urban form as part of a broader strategy to create a pedestrian-friendly corridor along S. Kinnickinnic Avenue and S. 1st Street.

Tender Car, founded in 2002, is owned by Jon Petrie. An affiliate of the company owns the property. Tender Car has four locations, with other facilities in Greenfield, Waukesha and the Far Northwest Side of the city, 8025 N. 76th St.

The Kinnickinnic Avenue facility regularly greets passersby with witty or humourous signs, including “Car Possessed? Auto Body Excorcisms Here” and “We Fix The Dent And Save Your Rent.”

Tender Car has steadily expanded its footprint in the area in the past decade, acquiring the neighboring properties to assemble what is now marketed as a redevelopment opportunity. Three buildings, totaling approximately 15,000 square feet, dot the properties.

The main Tender Car property was previously home to a host of industrial users, including Milwaukee Motive Manufacturing and Tru-Cut Abrasive Discs. Gary Freuden, who led Standard Roofing & Restoration across the street, owned the property for two decades before selling it to an affiliate of Tender Car for $250,000 in 2015. The 1st Street property was previously owned by Honigman Recycling Corp. and acquired by a Tender Car affiliate in 2014 for $250,000.

The property is listed with Aiste Sterle of RE/MAX.


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