Rebecca Heissel of West Bend walks to Old Settler’s
Park to find a bench
Thursday afternoon in West Bend
John Ehlke/Daily News
WEST BEND - More than two years after the state approved
a construction plan to expand the building at 156 N.
Main St. for a new sports bar in downtown West Bend,
that suite remains vacant.
“The client that was initially interested pulled out,”
building owner Geoff Littrel said. “The permitting
process took awhile but we got state approval for those
plans. Then the client backed out.”
Littrel will soon face another vacancy. Earlier this
month, owner Betty Jo Kiefert announced she will close
her organic food store, Settler’s Park Market, 152 N.
Main St., on July 12.
That 800-square-foot suite is adjacent to 156 N. Main
“I’m trying to find a tenant for the Settler’s Park
suite,” Littrel said. “I don’t have any tenants for the
vacant suite. I am looking for someone to move their
Combining both suites into a single unit is a
possibility if a prospective tenant is interested,
Littrel said. “That is an option I will offer.”
The building, which houses six commercial tenant suites
and second floor apartments, is located just south of
Old Settlers Park. Littrel bought the building in
December 2010. The four other commercial units are
Kellie Boone, event manager for the Downtown West Bend
Association, sees Littrel’s building as a key site in
the Historic Downtown District.
“With it’s visibility, it would be a great spot for
someone to fill in,” she said. “It would be great for
downtown to fill in any vacancy.”
Littrel owns Littrel
Home Repair LLC.
“I would very much like to do
something with the building because of its prominent
locations next to Old Settlers Park, Music on Main and
the Farmers’ Market,” he said.
Boone said the vacancy isn’t
detrimental to downtown events, “But I know it makes a
visual impact on the people who come downtown. It would
be nice if it was filled.”
The vacant suite has 800 square
feet. The planned addition would have added another 800
square feet, Littrel said.
The addition was planned for the
north side of the building facing the park. It would
have been built on the foundation of the portion of the
existing building’s basement that extends beneath the
sidewalk, which is in need of repairs.
No one knows why the building’s
basement extends under the sidewalk, which in years past
was the rightof- way for Elm Street that once
intersected with North Main Street there.
That right-of-way was the reason for
the delay in getting state approval from the Department
of Safety and Professional Services, according to a
Daily News article in November 2011.
When Old Settlers Park was created,
the city never vacated the Elm Street right-of-way, city
officials said. The DSPS worried that the city would
someday re-extend Elm Street to North Main Street, which
would block required exiting for the three-level sports
bar and a planned exterior staircase.
The problem was solved when the city
approved a Grant of Privilege to Littrel.
tenant dropped out of the project before any of the
remodeling began, he said. “I think the cost of the
remodeling was an issue. That got to be quite