By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Mar 07, 2017 at 8:30 AM

On Friday, folks from Menomonee Valley Partners, City of Milwaukee, Design 2 Construct, Paradigm Real Estate and BMO Harris were on hand as Plum Media President Rich Schmig turned the ceremonial shovel of dirt on the project to restore a 1920s Milwaukee building and turn it into Plum’s new home.

Currently located in the Third Ward, Plum – a 20-year-old video and event production firm – is spending $1.85 million to transform the 1929 Milwaukee Casket Company building at 1418 W. St. Paul Ave., which you may have spied peeking up next to I-94.

Milwaukee Casket is now located in Menomonee Falls.

The finished project – designed by Design 2 Construct – will include what Plum describes as "an enhanced production studio, advanced video production and post-production facilities and live web-streaming capabilities."

The 15,000-square foot, neo-Gothic building was designed by A. C. Runzler and was part of a complex that encompassed at least three buildings located on a once-moribund section of the valley that was little more than a motor corridor and industrial area. The remaining building, from 1901, was designed by Charles Lesser. A third, now demolished appears to have been the work of Ferry and Clas.

Now, there’s Sobelman’s down the block and Third Space Brewing across the street. City Lights Brewing and Potawatomi Hotel and Casino, as well as Twisted Fisherman, are pretty close, too.

"Everyone at Plum [Media] is excited to be part of this growth," Schmig said.

I guess you might say this former industrial building is rising from the dead.

Stay tuned for a tour of this building, coming soon to OnMilwaukee.

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 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.