Former Mutual Mall likely to be razed, says official
Milwaukee developer buying it for $500K

By McLean Bennett

March 7, 2019

Traffic moves along South Main Street near the Mutual Mall on Wednesday afternoon in West Bend. ICAP Development LLC hasn’t told the city exactly what it plans to do with the former mall, but an official says it will likely be razed.
John Ehlke/Daily News

WEST BEND — A strip mall building along South Main Street and near West Bend’s City Hall could meet the wrecking ball after a Milwaukee real estate developer agreed to buy the city-owned property for $500,000.

The real estate firm, ICAP Development LLC, hasn’t told the city exactly what it plans to do with the former West Bend Mutual Mall, but City Administrator Jay Shambeau said he expects the new owners will likely tear it down.

The building is located at 1043 S. Main St., next to City Hall and several blocks south of West Bend’s downtown.

Dan Jeserig, ICAP’s senior vice president of acquisitions and development, didn’t return a reporter’s phone message or email Wednesday  seeking comment. But Shambeau said he believes the new owners are looking for another company to help redevelop the site with a new structure.

“They would move as soon as they can is what we’ve been told by ICAP,” Shambeau told a reporter about potential construction timelines.

The Milwaukee real estate firm struck a deal with the city last month to buy the property for half a million dollars. Closing on the sale is expected within three months, according to Shambeau.

The building is currently home to the West Bend Joint School District’s Pathways charter school, which had enrolled nearly 60 students at the beginning of this school year, according to state public instruction data. But Pathways is slated to close this summer after local school officials voted in January not to renew its charter.

Shambeau said the building’s handful of other tenants are slated to see their lease contracts expire by the end of June, meaning the building is poised to become almost completely vacant within months. (Some city officials work in the building without a lease, he added, though they’re prepared to move out eventually, too.) The city administrator said West Bend officials had been looking for a buyer for several years. Shambeau said Wednesday he wasn’t sure how old the facility is, but that it had been in the city’s hands since the early 1990s.