By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 25, 2022 at 4:15 PM

Barely a week after news emerged that the former Boston Store in Downtown Milwaukee will soon get a Kohl’s department store, the Wauwatosa Community Development Authority has won an auction to assume ownership of the former Boston Store location at Mayfair Mall.

The authority’s successful bid of $3,950,000 got it the 216,664-square-foot building located on the south end of Mayfair Mall, as well as about 15 acres of parking.

Before housing the Boston Store, the multi-level store was home to a Gimbels. Mayfair opened Oct. 9, 1958 and at that point, the Gimbels had already opened.

The building has been vacant since Boston Store closed in 2018 and two previous auctions failed to land a buyer.

The auction was held in June but the successful high bidder was not identified at that time. 

According to a statement issued Monday, “City of Wauwatosa staff members are actively working on innovative uses for this space and crafting a development agreement that will be presented to the Common Council in the near future.

“Redevelopment requires a balanced approach to future growth and change. We are taking a proactive approach through a private-public partnership to ensure redevelopment of the site occurs at the highest and best use.”

Mayfair currently boasts the highest retail sales figures of any mall in Wisconsin.

Zoned C2 General Commercial, there are a number of potential mixed uses the building could house.

“Maintaining Mayfair Mall as the premier mall in Wisconsin is critical to our local economy,” said Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride in the announcement.

“We’re excited about the redevelopment of this property and finding the right mix of uses that drive visitors, provide jobs, and increase our tax base.”

Check out these vintage images of Mayfair Mall, including photos of this building.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

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.