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REAL ESTATE | Construction underway for building at 1100 N. Main St. in West Bend, WI

West Bend, WI – Construction underway as a new look is taking place for the Advanced Focus Eye Health Care building, 1100 N. Main Street in West Bend, Wi. The remodel comes on the heels of a devastating fire September 29, 2022.
building

The fresh upgrade features two separate office suites, removal of the endcap on the south side of the building and one suite open for lease. Building owner Dr. Michael Bardenwerper will reopen his Advanced Focus Eye Health Care on the north end of the building and take over an adjacent spot to the south, formerly home to an insurance office.

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Wendy Wendorf

American

Bardenwerper worked with American Companies on a design. “Basically, we’re going to remove some of the dormers, put up new gray siding, have black colored shingles, and the peak will be painted the same black trim,” he said.

 

Bardenwerper’s previous tenants indicated they will not be returning.

The building sat empty since the fire in September 2022 as Bardenwerper waited for an investigation and then move forward with an insurance settlement.

In April 2023 Bardenwerper was told little more than the investigation had closed.

“They said they had a meeting about it, and they literally just phrase it as both insurances have decided to withdraw their investigation,” he said. “So that, basically I can proceed but no determination of cause will be found.”

“Ultimately I’m left with the decision of what can I afford, and the reality is the insurance total limit does not cover the entirety of the building by a few $100,000,” he said. “So, I’m told by my accountant and basically everyone around me that I have no choice but to basically maintain what is still standing.”

design

American

“I can only pray there is no further delay particularly given that I am more so remodeling my existing space and not truly building anything new; only fixing what is still standing,” he said.

“It is sad to even look at a drawing that doesn’t include the Braising Pan. I can only imagine the apparent void mentally and physically when it is filled in as proposed.”

Bardenwerper called Braising Pan restaurant owner Heather Ford. “Her own insurance had not yet told her that their investigation was withdrawn,” he said. “So, she got the shocking news about that, in addition to the fact the building policy is short of replacing everything in its entirety. So, it’s been a pretty horrible situation, to be honest.”

During the past few months Bardenwerper operated out of a space on Highway 60 in Jackson.  He praised his clients for making the drive and sticking with him.

“All along I’ve simply wanted to return ‘home’ asap,” said Bardenwerper. “It has been a long-drawn-out process that has at times, seemingly lacked some basic logic and a feeling of doing what is just the right thing. I never like to be a part of those situations when I have a choice and it has been difficult and frustrating to be a part of thus far. I’m hoping the remaining steps to getting home’ are smooth sailing.”

American Commercial Real Estate

Below is the original fire story from September 29, 2022. 

The call came in just after 1:14 a.m. and Ford rushed to her restaurant on the corner of Park Avenue in West Bend. Her employees responded as well, with children in tow as they were met by a brutal picture of flames, fire, smoke, and despair.

devastated
Remnants of devastating fire at 1100 N. Main Street

“We closed at 2 p.m. on Wednesday,” said Ford. “We know the fire was in two parts of the restaurant and the FD said this was not an easy task because it was a well-constructed building with cement block, nooks and crannies, and double walls.”

devastating
Remnants of devastating fire at 1100 N. Main Street

Ford moved into the building about 12 years ago on October 10, 2010.

“I want to thank every firefighter who came and worked tirelessly for four hours straight,” she said. “They did all they could do.

“The support from the community has been overwhelming… I don’t know what anyone can do. I haven’t processed that myself yet.”

devestating

West Bend Fire Department Captain Kenny Asselin said the initial call came from the cleaning person who is on scene to clean the restaurant.

The caller evacuated the building and West Bend Fire Department was on scene within six minutes of receiving the call.

Click HERE to watch firefighters battle the fire at Braising Pan

Jackson Fire Department also responded with a fire engine and chief officer.

West Bend fire fighters made an interior attack on the fire in the basement, conditions rapidly deteriorated and forced firefighters to exit the building and fight the fire from the exterior.

Wendy Wendorf

At 1:38 a.m. the alarm was upgraded to the box level; fire fighters from five departments responded including Allenton, Fillmore, Grafton, Kewaskum, Newburg, and Slinger.

The department of public works brought in a backhoe to tear down the structure to gain access to the areas still burning.

There is damage to the three adjoining units in the building and the restaurant area is a total loss.  The building did not have a fire sprinkler system. The fire is under investigation by the West Bend Fire Department in West Bend Police. 

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