Sale of warehouse possible
Not completed, but Habitat for Humanity asked to move inventory

By DAVE RANK - Daily News

Oct. 23, 2014

 Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties volunteer Ted Mueller of West Bend sweeps an area around donated items at 535 North Main Street on Wednesday afternoon in West Bend. The Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties will sell all of their donated items Saturday morning. Items such as furniture, light fixtures and toys will all be sold for $10.  
Photo by John Ehlke

A Saturday warehouse sale by Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties may be the first indication the otherwise vacant two-story building at 535 N. Main St., West Bend, might soon have a new owner.

Habitat uses a portion of the building as storage space for its ReStore shop across the street.

Habitat will sell excess inventory, Executive Director Russ Wanta said, which has filled more space in the building than the 5,000 square feet it is leasing.

Wanta said the potential new owner asked Habitat to move its inventory back into the 5,000-square-foot area Habitat rents.

Built in 1958, the building’s second floor fronts North Main Street with its lower level accessible from an alley to the east along the Milwaukee River.

“We really just have too much inventory,” Wanta said. “We had so many donations we didn’t know where to go with it all.”

If the building sale goes through, he said, the new owner apparently wants to rent the building as storage units.

 Chuck McCall of West Bend removes cardboard from 535 N. Main Street on
Wednesday afternoon in West Bend.   

Photo by John Ehlke

But, he cautioned, the sale has not been completed. “We were asked to be done (moving inventory) by the end of November,” Wanta said. “But with real estate transactions, these things are really volatile. They can change in a heartbeat.”

For the last two years, the 11,070-square-foot building has been vacant and looking a little worst for wear with plywood sheets covering broken windows.

Since June the former auto dealership has been owned by New York-based hedge fund Dyer R&R LLC, which was incorporated in Wilmington, Delaware, in April and headquartered in New York, which purchased the property from Dyer Trust 2012-1. Dyer Trust acquired the mortgage for 535 N. Main St. in 2012 for $190,000, the same price it sold it to namesake Dyer R&R.

Sweet Creations Village Bakery had leased a portion of 535 N. Main St. for less than two years before moving to South Main Street in 2013.

 The exterior of 535 N. Main Street shown on Wednesday afternoon in West Bend.    
Photo by John Ehlke

Wanta said he did not know the potential owner of the building, although he said he understood he was as an investor in southeast Wisconsin.

Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties will hold its “Big Blow Out Rummage Sale” to thin out its stored inventory from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at 535 N. Main St. in West Bend, across from its ReStore shop 508 N. Main St.

The cash-and-carry sale includes furniture, boxes of natural wood, filing cabinets and light fixtures.