Who Owns What On Kinnickinnic?, Part Two

November 1, 2017

By Katherine Keller

Looking south, the intersection of South Kinnickinnic Avenue and East Potter Street. PHOTO Katherine Keller

Last month Part One of this series looked at property ownership on Bay View’s main commercial district focusing on the stretch of South Kinnickinnic Avenue between East Bay and East Conway streets. Analyzing the construction dates, it is apparent that development moved from north to south on the street that has long-served as Bay View’s most prominent commercial strip and a main thoroughfare.

This month we look at the section of Kinnickinnic between Homer and California streets. Private homes are scattered between the commercial buildings along the entire swath of Kinnickinnic from East Bay Street to East St. Francis and many of those commercial buildings include dwelling units. The mercantile buildings, for the most part, are two-storied with storefronts at street level and apartments above, although in some instances, there are also apartments behind the storefronts. Examples of those are the Alchemist Theatre building, 2569 S. Kinnickinnic and the South Shore Gallery & Framing building, 2627 S. Kinnickinnic.

The earliest existing example of a mid-century modern apartment building is the “two-story ranch-style” that now houses the Tessmer law practice, 2616 S. Kinnickinnic, that was built in 1958. PHOTO Katherine Keller

Constructed in 1968, this was the only solely-apartments-building in the Bay/Becher to Homer stretch of KK, the section featured in Part One of this series, until Dwell was built in 2012. PHOTO Katherine Keller

Another trend that becomes apparent, as one travels south on KK is the introduction multi-unit apartment buildings. The first example, though not first-built, is two-story Lannon Stone, 2390 S. Kinnickinnic, on the north side of Café Corazon. The stark contrast of its mid-century modern architectural style to that of the existing buildings most likely raised a few eyebrows when it made its debut in 1968.

The earliest existing example of the mid-century modern apartment building is the two-story “ranch-style” that now houses the Tessmer law practice, built in 1958, 2616 S. Kinnickinnic. Two more examples are found at 2501 S. Kinnickinnic, built in 1961, and 2549 S. Kinnickinnic, in 1967. The 2501 building was used as a location site in the 2011 Bridesmaids movie.

The multi-use Dwell development was constructed in 2012. It features retail units at street level and apartments above. PHOTO Katherine Keller

Now, half a century later, there is another apartment-development boom on Kinnickinnic. The new buildings are characterized by three- or more stories with retail at street level. Century-old architecture of a bygone Bay View is being razed for the new construction.Since we published Part One, the Compass learned that the Bay View Bowl property is listed for sale.

The .29-acre parcel on the northeast corner of Kinnickinnic Avenue and East Conway Street includes the two-story bowling alley/apartment building and 17 parking spaces. To the south, the parking lot faces Dwell, the apartment and retail development constructed in 2012.

The two vacant lots above, 2557-2557 and 2563-2565 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue, were purchased by Scott Genke in 2016 for $250,000 each. The 2016 assessment was $16,900 for each parce

This Who Owns What on KK Property List includes the ownership and assessed value of the properties located on the 2000 to 2400 blocks of South Kinnickinnic Avenue and a small section of South Howell Avenue. Addresses, built-dates, ownership, and assessment values were found in the City of Milwaukee Assessor’s records. Read Part 1 of this report.

A likely development site is the northwest and southwest corners of South Kinnickinnic Avenue and South Herman Street, where 10 parcels are owned by entities associated with Milwaukee developer Tim Olson.

The most obvious potential development site in this strip is the northwest and southwest corners of South Kinnickinnic Avenue and South Herman Street, where 10 parcels are owned by entities associated with Milwaukee developer Tim Olson. The parcels include the former Bella’s Fat Cat restaurant, a large empty lot, and eight homes. 

These homes on the west side of South Herman Street between Kinnickinnic and Montana Street are three of the eight homes in the parcel featured in the satellite photo below. PHOTO Katherine Keller

Developer Scott Genke added apartments to the roof of the King Building, 2534 S.Kinnickinnic Ave. The building originally served as the King Chevrolet dealership when it was built in 1928. PHOTO Katherine Keller

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Comments

One Comment on "Who Owns What On Kinnickinnic?, Part Two"

  1. Tim Mueller on Fri, 10th Nov 2017 1:18 pm 

    Great series, I love the detailed information I get in Compass articles. The Dwell development is a monstrosity and doesn’t blend in with the area at all, just a cheep way to get a Bay View address. It replaced a row of lovely, identical, stand-a-lone row houses, a real loss to Bay View.

    I believe Tim Olson is waiting to purchase one more house parcel on Herman Street before he does any development.

    The north end of KK is more desirable for development because it’s closer to the downtown and has freeway access at Becher Street. It’s also on the edge of the inner harbor area which is set to be redeveloped in the future.

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