Last summer, when news emerged that local entrepreneur Jalem Getz had purchased the old Ladder 5 firehouse at 1945 N. Bartlett Ave. on the East Side, many commenters on social media expressed their own desire to live in a classic old firehouse.
This one, designed by Sebastian Brand, is perfect. Cream city brick, a classic design, a great neighborhood.
So, now’s your chance. Getz and his fiancee have a 3-year-old and would like some outdoor space to share with him. So, they've decided to turn their attention elsewhere and have listed the firehouse for sale for $470,000, including the plans they had drawn up for its renovation:
"We remain very excited about the project but have decided to take the winter to look at other options for our family," Getz told me today. "We love the area but even at 4,000 square feet, we would prefer to have more room and a yard."
Getz paid $359,000 for the place last May.
Getz said that delays with contractors were also a concern as the family is currently in a small Downtown-area condo and could use some elbow room sooner than later.
"You add everything up and it's kind of time for us to look elsewhere," he said. "But it was a time-consuming and expensive investment to obtain the approvals and blueprints, so the hard work is really done. The building is in incredible shape given it’s over 130 years old – a testament to the construction and the decades it spent under very light use – and the neighborhood has really embraced the project. It's a wonderful neighborhood."
According to the listing, "This High Victorian Italianate two-story, 4,572 sq. ft cream brick building most recently served as a storage warehouse, but zoning permits residential development up to four units. The exterior has remained largely intact, and was cleaned in 2017. Seller presented plans for renovation and rooftop expansion to the Milwaukee Historic Preservation Commission on September 11, 2017, which were approved."
You can see the listing here.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.