October 24, 2019 – West Bend, WI – The Volunteer Center of Washington County has announced its intent to purchase the building at 303 Water Street in downtown West Bend home to the Volunteer Center of Washington County (VCWC) and The Hub coffee shop.
The closing date on the property purchase is Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 at a price of $945,000.
“Bader Philanthropies along with a number of other large foundations have offered a substantial amount of money that our actual mortgage will be less than what we’re paying for our rent right now,” said Volunteer Center Board President Jeff Szukalski.
“We looked for other buildings in the city and we were interested in one location, that would have still been in our current area. However, that building had an accepted offer and came off the market.”
Szukalski said the site on Water Street is a perfect location considering the current development in the surrounding area with the upgrade to the Downtown Riverwalk, the new Marriott TownePlace Hotel, Water Street Office Building, and the new active senior living complex.
“We paid that much for the building because our benefactors said we can’t move,” said Szukalski. “This purchase will provide more opportunities for community members to volunteer as well as give nonprofit partners much-needed access to multipurpose event and meeting space.”
The Hub, which opened in 2018, has served as a popular volunteer-run coffee shop with all tips benefiting a different local nonprofit every week.
The purchase of the building by the VCWC secures the long-term location of The Bub which was created as an inspirational community gathering place.
By purchasing the building, the VCWC also plans to install a commercial kitchen which will improve the quality efficiency and cost effectiveness of food preparation for the coffee shop and other VCWC events.
“An offer has been made on the building at 303 Water St. and in order to protect this wonderful asset to the community we needed to move quickly,” said Sue Millin, VCWC executive director.
“Our community built The Hub and feels a real sense of ownership we’re excited to build on this incredible support as we look to expand we can’t wait to bring our full vision to life community gathering space where every person discovers their power to make a difference.”
In addition to The Hub expansion the VCWC will create multi-purpose space for nonprofit partners available at low or no cost. These events will likely include classes presentations, board meetings, fundraising events and more.
“We have the full support of our major donors to make this commitment to the community,” said Szukalski. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to invest in this location in the heart of downtown West Bend it will serve as a valuable resource for all of Washington County for years to come.”
A history note on the property:
Westbury Bank sold the property, 303 Water Street, on Dec. 3, 2015 for $30,000 to 303 Water Street LLC aka Kevin and Amy Zimmer.
On Feb. 9, 2017 the building sold to 303H20 LLC for $350,000. The buyer was Ric Hartmann.
According to the city assessor the assessed value on the parcel for 2019 is $410,500.
This week, October 2019 the parcel has an offer on the table for $945,000. Closing is set for Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.
Szukalski said after the purchase is complete the property owner will file paperwork to show the building holds non-profit status and will thus be taken off the tax roll.
Records in the city assessor’s office show Robert and Mary Kuester and John and Grace Kuester sold the property to Harley and Alice Koehler on Dec. 9, 1970. Many folks in the community will remember that corner lot as a Goodyear station. At one time it was also home to a furniture and restoration shop, colorfully called ‘The Male Stripper.’
Here is an article from Around the Bend in Dec. 2007.
It was an early exit for The Male Stripper, otherwise known as Main Street Antiques, as owner Mike Hansen closed his shop at 303 Water Street. During an interview in June, Hansen said he was closing to start a new full time job. The Male Stripper has been in business in West Bend for 23 years. The furniture refinishing and antique shop moved into the old Goodyear building on Water Street about five years ago, after spending nearly 20 years at South Main Street in the cream city brick building which currently houses The Apple Barrel. “I think I saved a lot of our history and I’m proud of that,” said Hansen about the pieces restored over the years. However, a changing market and growing competition on the Internet made things difficult for Hansen who emptied his shop in November, one month before his lease expired.