April 4, 2023 – West Bend, WI – It was January 2023 when WashingtonCountyInsider.com first relayed the news regarding the sale of West Bend Transit at 105 S. Forest Avenue and East Water Street. The property, belonging to Jamela/Michigan LLC of Milwaukee, sold F Street West Bend, LLC. As predicted in the original article, the site will soon be home to a 106-unit apartment complex.
Jamela/Michigan LLC of Milwaukee purchased the lot in July 2015 for $940,000. The sale is dated January 17, 2023 and covers two parcels; both sold for $1,584,000 a piece. To be clear, the property sold and not the business.
Mike Doney, with F Street Group LLC said a market study on an industrial project in Washington County found the West Bend area in general was in need of housing options.
“It just seemed like a great opportunity to further our portfolio, but also to, to get into an area that is definitely seeing some growth,” he said.
F Street Group LLC purchased two lots, as indicated in the January 2023 article.
“The layout is designed as such, where the buildings themselves almost encircle the entire area,” said Doney. “Within the middle, there’ll be more of like, parking and courtyard-type amenities including a pool. The buildings will be around the edges, along with detached garages.”
The early estimate, according to Doney, is for 100, apartment units, and then six townhome units. “Potential (and likely) to change pending some additional design work and approvals for the project,” said Doney about the development currently tagged “West Bend Transit.:
The proposal has yet to go before the Plan Commission. The next meeting is Wednesday, April 5, 2023 however the item is not on the agenda. The early prediction it will be addressed in May as Doney said they want to start construction ASAP.
“We’re definitely planning to create this sort of inside area for the tenants to be able to utilize, where inside the complex itself, you’ll have some featured amenities,” he said.
F Street Group LLC has similar developments in Lakeshore Commons in Oak Creek and a multi-family, GreenLink Residence in Brown Deer.
Doney said the plan is to break ground in 2023.
“Once we break ground, we’re looking for a pretty quick turnaround to get everything up and running and get some tenants moved in,” he said. “The end of Q-3 or, maybe early fourth quarter is our goal at this point. “Our anticipation is for about 18 months of development.”
Taking a look at some recent history on that parcel shows there was a public hearing Sept. 7. 2021 as the West Bend Plan Commission reviewed a change in rezoning proposal for the southeast and northeast corners of S. Forest Avenue and Water Street.
One parcel is a parking lot and the other is the West Bend Transit location, 105 S. Forest Avenue.
There has been a trend over the past 20 years in West Bend where jobs and industry have been swapped out for residential including Gehl Co., Enger Kress, Amity Leather, West Bend Company, West Bend Brewery, Lynn’s Recycling and the old West Bend Elevator.
Photo when there was industry, is courtesy You Know You Are From West Bend If….
The above photo, circa 1955, shows vibrant industry with round-the-clock shifts at Gehl Co. and West Bend Company.
Old timers will recall when an officer had to be assigned to swing traffic during the afternoon on Highway 33 near the railroad track. Many of the factory shifts ended at the same time and caused a traffic jam. The situation got trickier when the train went through.
That area, to the west of West Bend Transit, used to be zoned industrial and was changed to mixed use to allow for the hotel, office space and residential.
The West Bend Company is now home to Cast Iron Luxury Living and Rivershores Regency. The old Lynn’s Recycling was moved for Auxiliary Court Apartments. Enger Kress and Amity were remodeled to house apartments.
The West Bend Brewery has been razed to make way for apartments.
Remember in 2018 when the Amish built these apartments in West Bend?
West Bend Transit, a commercial trucking company, is across the road from the hotel and Trail’s Edge development and the Plan Commission considered a zoning change on approximately 4.2 acres of land.
Early indications are West Bend Transit and Ben Schloemer will be moving its offices to the upper level of the BMO Bank building on N. Main Street.
Below are the tax records for the property, 105 S. Forest Avenue.
This is a working story and more information will be posted when details are available.
On a side note: The other property sales show…
3650 W. Washington Street sold January 1, 2023 for $700,000. That parcel is currently home to Charcoal Grill. To be clear, the property sold and not the business. The buyer is reportedly “an affiliate” of the restaurant.
723 S. Main Street sold January 1, 2023 for $823,788. The parcel, owned by MJM West Bend, LLC traces to the Amity Apartments. The buyer is listed as JNG West Bend, LLC