By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Dec 08, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Wisconsin Vision announced today that it will open its first location near Downtown in the Historic Third Ward.  

The 2,000-square foot Third Ward store is scheduled to open in early February in the former Metro Eye space at 309 N. Water St.

It will be named and branded Wisconsin Vision, LTD differentiating the location in style and product from other Wisconsin Vision stores. Focusing exclusively on a select list of popular, upscale brands that include Ray Ban, Prada, Coach, John Varvatos and Cole Haan – among others – Wisconsin Vision, LTD will offer customers more of a boutique than its standard retail experience. The Third Ward location also will be custom designed to reflect the neighborhood’s local aesthetic.

"The Third Ward has been one of Downtown’s fastest growing housing markets and has become much more than just a destination to dine and drink. Filled with emptynesters and young professionals that live and work there, we see a diverse, growing and attractive retail market for us," explained Wisconsin Vision President and CEO Darren Horndasch. "We believe this market is ready for additional choice in eyewear brands as well as the high level of lens technology and personalized service that Wisconsin Vision brings."

Wisconsin Vision also announced it acquired two new locations in Indiana where it operates as Heartland Vision. This expansion brings the total number of locations owned or managed by the optical company to 37. 

Wisconsin Vision has 24 locations in the state and is a managing partner of Chicago-area Eye Boutique with seven locations. With its latest Indiana acquisitions the company now has 6 locations under the Heartland Vision brand.