Lately, there’s been a promising rash of businesses moving their suburban headquarters to the Downtown Milwaukee area.
Retailworks, a commercial interior design, display and branding firm that has offices in Mequon and in the Steinmeyer Building on 3rd and Highland, announced today it will consolidate those offices into one space at 424 W. Walnut St., on the border of Bronzeville and Haymarket, a neighborhood on the rise.
According to a press release, the new office provides 2.5 times more workspace and includes a large warehouse/workshop, design and marketing studios, a conference room, creative lounge and showroom.
The move reinforces the great things going on in both neighborhoods, where a number of developments are underway or have been completed.
"Retailworks has improved Main Street businesses around the country and we’re excited to have their expertise in our district. We believe that their proven ability to improve customer experiences in small and large businesses can help contribute to growing businesses in the King Drive BID," said Deshea Agee, the executive director of the BID, in a statement.
A block west, the City Place apartment building is under construction, and a couple doors to the east, Sweetbush Tropical Plant Service opened last year.
Interestingly, the new office is located in an 1893 cream city brick building that has a connection to the Steinmeyer Building. The new place was built as a stable for the horses that drew the Steinmeyer Grocery delivery wagons.
The building was purchased last year by Sid Grinker Restoration, which also owns a building just across the alley to the east. Previously, the building housed the Dillon Bindery.
"We’re very excited to grow our brand in an area that is also expanding and reinventing itself. We’re passionate proponents of Main Street development and we’re grateful for the opportunity to trailblaze the King Drive BID’s new Main Street," said Lyn Falk, president and founder of Retailworks, Inc.
"The support of the King Drive BID and the City of Milwaukee has made our move an easy decision, and we’re looking forward to strengthening our presence Downtown."
Contractor JP Cullen will move from the suburbs this summer to occupy office space in The Fortress, and last year, Bader Rutter moved its headquarters from the ‘burbs to Water Street and the Hammes Company is building a new structure directly across the street so it can relocate from Brookfield.
Of course, just a few blocks south is Manpower's headquarters, which moved Downtown from Glendale more than a decade ago.
Retailworks will make its move later this month.
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.