Bear Arms gets OK for loan from city
Mequon gun range aims for early 2018 opening

By Gary Achterberg - News Graphic Staff

Nov. 2, 2017

MEQUON — The developer of a planned indoor shooting range on Mequon’s far southwest side has received initial approval for a $50,000 loan from the city’s revolving loan fund.

The Economic Development Board approved the loan request Oct. 24. It must next be approved by the city’s Finance-Personnel Committee and the Common Council, That action likely will occur on the same evening, possibly as early as Nov. 14.

Mequon residents Mark and Cheryle Rebholz are building the eight-lane range in the Dhaliwal Enterprises building, 9653 N. Granville Road. In addition, the 9,500-square-foot facility will include a boutique pro shop, a café, separate lounge areas for members and the general public and a reception area.

The loan from the city’s revolving fund – intended to spark economic development in the city – is in addition to an $806,000 loan over 10.3 years that Bear Arms has received from First Bank Financial Centre.

The city loan will be at 2percent interest over a 10year period. There will be a three-month deferral of principal to ease the original start-up costs, according to a memo from Ozaukee Economic Development that accompanied the application to the Economic Development Board.

Contingencies of the loan include that Bear Arms will create at least 1-1/2 full-time-equivalent jobs within two years of closing on the loan with the city. The new jobs will be made available through the Ozaukee County Workforce Development Center. At least 51 percent of the employees will be hired from low- to moderate-income households, according to the OED memo.

The funds from the loan will be used to purchase capital equipment for the business.

The opening of Bear Arms has been delayed. Cheryle Rebholz said in January that she hoped to have the business open by May. She said Monday the goal is to open in “early 2018.” She said there have been several delays associated with permits and required approvals.

“I wish it were faster,” she said. “Everything is moving ahead; we’re very excited.”

While the facility will be open to all, the OED memo said the “target market will be women looking to learn more about guns, gun safety and self-defense.”

A pre-sale of charter memberships has sold out. The business is working to create partnerships with the police science program at Milwaukee Area Technical College and a collegiate gun league at Concordia University Wisconsin, according to the OED.