The former M&I Bank
building in Thiensville likely will be demolished soon.
Photo by Mark Justesen
THIENSVILLE — The bank
building that has sat vacant at 200 Green
Bay Road for the last 10 years likely will
be coming down.
Preservation Commission – “with regret” –
cleared the way Wednesday for a demolition
permit, which the Planning Commission likely
will approve tonight.
The demolition is the final
step in a 10-month effort in which the
village directed owner MSP Real Estate Inc.
to make a final effort to locate a
prospective buyer for the building and
The new bank building opened
in August 1963 as the third home of
Thiensville State Bank, which had been in
operation in the village since 1910. The
building operated under several other names
over the years. Thiensville State Bank
changed its name to Colonial State Bank in
1973. It was bought by Valley Bank in 1989.
Valley was acquired by M& I in 1994. The
branch closed May 18, 2007. The building has
been vacant since.
Over the past years,
developers made several proposals for the
site, most of which were met with opposition
from neighbors. They included an
assisted-living facility, a three-story
luxury apartment development and a smaller
apartment project. In all cases, the plans
were withdrawn by the developer.
Twin Cities-based MSP made
several of the proposals for the 1.19-acre
site. Another developer, who built the
condominiums on Elm Street just west of
Village Hall, proposed the smaller apartment
MSP asked the village to
issue a demolition permit last September.
The HPC denied that request. The Village
Board conducted a public hearing in October
before directing the owner to try again to
find a buyer interested in occupying the
“There were a number of
people who expressed interest,” Village
President Van Mobley said Monday. “There was
one serious person, but it never really
looked at it very carefully and very
The HPC, led by Trustee Ron
Heinritz, made a strong effort to keep the
building standing, arguing it was a historic
structure. Even after the demolition permit
advanced last week, Heinritz continued to
urge the MSP representative to keep looking
for a tenant who might keep the building
The expected issuance of the
demolition permit tonight is basically a
done deal. Mobley said he plans to discuss
how the water well on the property will be
dealt with. Otherwise, he said plans to tear
down the building and remove all the asphalt
and concrete are detailed in a landscaping
plan MSP has submitted.
Village Administrator Dianne
Robertson said Friday that the state
Department of Natural Resources has rules
that say a water well cannot remain dormant
for more than three years.
Mark Hammond, director of
development for MSP, attended the HPC
meeting and walked through the details of
the already-submitted landscaping plan. He
said the site will be completely cleared and
will be seeded with grass. MSP intends to
keep all the trees on the land.
Hammond agreed that efforts
to sell the property in the last 10 months
Mobley said he suspects the
parcel will be easier to sell without the
“They’re sophisticated land
owners. They think the parcel is (more
marketable) if it’s vacant and cleaned up,”
he said. “They could very well be right.”