City losing patience with Gipfel building
The Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services is running out of patience waiting for a decision on the historic Gipfel Brewery building.
The 1853 Gipfel Brewery building has sat on stilts next to the Sydney Hih buildings since the brewery was relocated to the Park East corridor site in 2007. It is a nuisance to the neighborhood, said Ron Roberts, the department’s commercial code enforcement manager.
He said the Department of Neighborhood Services does not want to issue a demolition order for the building, but the department will not wait much longer for the owner, Milwaukee-based Sydney Hih Development LLC, to unveil a plan for the structure.
“They should have done something by now,” Roberts said. “So it’s becoming clearer to me that there is no clear plan for the Gipfel.”
David Florsheim, partner in Sydney Hih Development, would not comment on plans for the Gipfel. He told the Historic Preservation Commission on Monday all options for preserving the building are being explored.
However, considering the cost of renovating the structure, it is difficult to get a development with a high enough return to get financing for a project, Florsheim said.
“It’s just making it a reality right now is difficult,” he told the commission.
Roberts said the city understands it is difficult to get money for development, and the economy has factored into its decisions on how to treat the situation.
“If there was a clear belief on our part that there was funding available and they just weren’t going for it,” he said, “we would’ve made a decision by now.”
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