Redevelopment plans sought for Milwaukee's historic Wildenberg Hotel

2022-09-17 04:56:28 By : Ms. shelly bian

Milwaukee officials again are seeking redevelopment proposals for the historic former Wildenberg Hotel on the city's south side.

The two-story, 4,400-square-foot building, constructed around 1850, and its 81,400-square-foot lot are listed for sale at $200,000 by the Department of City Development.

That new sale listing for the property, 3774 S. 27th St., comes after an attempt by two development firms to create affordable housing there fell through.

Cardinal Capital Management Inc. and Scott Crawford Inc. in January 2020 disclosed plans to create 67 apartments at the site, with 56 units to be set aside at below-market rents for people with low and moderate incomes.

Their plans called for 59 units in a four-story apartment building, as well as eight townhouse units.

They would have been built on land left vacant after a mobile home court was demolished.

The former hotel, known for its Italianate architectural style, was to be renovated into community space for the apartment residents or some other commercial use.

That proposal didn't obtain financing. So, city officials are again listing the property.

The city's conditions include a requirement that the Wildenberg building be restored in accordance with preservation guidelines.

The Cream City brick Wildenberg building was originally constructed as a home for Jacob Nunnemacher, who immigrated to Milwaukee from Switzerland in 1843 — three years before the city was incorporated.

Nunnemacher, a butcher, operated a public market meat stall and used the profits to buy real estate. That included a farm on what was then known as Kilbourn Road, in the Town of Lake, where he raised beef cattle and opened a distillery.

The Italianate mansion, Nunnemacher's home, was built in 1854. The building was sold after Nunnemacher's death in 1876 and it later became the Evergreen Hotel, which included a campground.

It was sold in 1947 to Ed Wildenberg, who replaced the campsites with mobile homes. The hotel eventually became a rooming house, with a tavern that served as a community center for Wildenberg's tenants.

The city acquired the Wildenberg property through property tax foreclosure in 2013.

The mobile home court closed in 2014 and the dilapidated mobile homes were demolished in 2015.

Tom Daykin can be emailed at and followed on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.