Historic industrial building on the east side converted into 17 apartments


A historic industrial building on the east side of Milwaukee will be transformed into 17 apartments under a zoning change recommended for approval Monday.

The apartments will be created in a 30,000 square foot two-story building, 1617-1633 E. North Ave.

Developer Ken Breunig, who has remodeled other historic Milwaukee properties, plans to renovate the building on the east side, a former milk distribution center known for its Art Deco design.

Breunig plans to create one and two bedroom apartments, as well as 21 indoor parking spaces on the first floor of the building. He expects to rent many of these units to students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The first floor could also have a commercial tenant, Breunig told members of the Planning Commission.

He’s hoping to land an ice cream stand for that building’s former dairy bar, he said.

The commission approved a zoning change for the site. This also requires the approval of the Common Council.

The estimated conversion cost is $ 2.2 million, according to the zoning change application filed with the Department of City Development.

Breunig’s investment group bought the building in 2017 for $ 600,000. He hopes to use historic preservation funds from the state and the federal government to help fund his redevelopment.

Breunig abandoned his initial plans to use the building as a self-storage center.

His company, Sunset Investors LLC, last year sold several EZ self-service storage centers that Breunig operated across the Milwaukee area.

This sales contract included a clause preventing him from competing with his old business.

The building was built in 1946, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society. It was originally used by Dairy Distributors Inc.

Trombetta Corp., which makes solenoids and other industrial electrical products, moved to the building in 1964 from Milwaukee’s Historic Third District.

Trombetta eventually moved and the building has since been used as a warehouse.

Other Breunig projects include the redevelopment of the old downtown Pritzlaff Hardware Co. buildings into apartments, offices, event venues and other new uses, and the conversion of part of the Plankinton Arcade offices into apartments.

The change would allow the production of frozen empanadas

Additionally, a zoning change was approved to allow the development of a frozen empanadas business linked to the Triciclo Peru restaurant near Washington Park.

The Planning Commission approved a zoning change for a 3,900 square foot two-story building at 3616 W. Vliet St., and vacant land adjacent to 3610 W. Vliet St.

Proximity operators Restaurant Triciclo Peru, 3801 W. Vliet St., plans to renovate the first floor of the building into a commercial kitchen to produce frozen empanadas sold in supermarkets.

This new product line, Pachamama Empanadas, has grown rapidly, co-owner Amy Narr told commission members. The second floor of the building would be used for the company’s office, she said.

The sale of this city-owned building would require separate joint council approval if the zoning change obtains council approval.

Tom Daykin can be emailed to [email protected] and followed by Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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