The longtime Milwaukee home of Ma Baensch Marinated Herring went on the market in June and quickly sold to an investor group with roots in the surrounding east side neighborhood.
Bender-McNamara LLC of Milwaukee acquired the currently vacant building for $625,000, according to state records. Managing partner Nathan Bernstein said there are no specific plans yet for the future of the property, but the intent is to turn it into a gathering place for the neighborhoods that includes jobs.
He added that, as a resident with history in that east side neighborhood, he’s enjoyed Ma Baensch’s products since childhood.
“We grew up on the east side,” Bernstein said. “We like these sort of iconic, east side properties. We don’t have a specific plan for it right now. We’ll hold onto it for a long time.”
That 9,650-square-foot building at East Locust Street and North Humboldt Boulevard was put on the market in June. It was a packaging facility for Baensch Food Products Co.’s iconic pickled herring dating to 1946. Company operations moved out after Baensch more recently outgrew the facility. Current Baensch Food owner Kim Wall listed it for sale and worked with Colliers International | Wisconsin brokers Bill and Joe Langhoff.
“It’s an iconic location and there is a really strong variety of uses in the area,” Bernstein said.
Bernstein’s day job is to manage the commercial holdings of Milwaukee-based Joseph Property Development LLC. This acquisition is through a completely separate venture that Bernstein manages.
The same group a year ago acquired the east side building at 1950 N. Bartlett St. Bernstein said that property has three residential units, and discussions are underway to bring a new use to its former tavern space that includes a historic ice cream bar.
Bernstein said he knew the brokers listing the Baensch building and reached out last month after seeing it was on the market. He called the quick turnaround on the sale a “seamless transaction.”