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Year in Review: Top 10 Business Stories of 2011

With two new buildings on the west end of Silver Spring Drive and other businesses coming and going, 2011 was full of local business news in Whitefish Bay.

As 2011 comes to a close, Whitefish Bay Patch is looking back at the top stories of the year. These are the top 10 business headlines from 2011.

Since February, construction crews have erected a new PNC Bank building and an adjacent retail building on the west end of Silver Spring Drive, near Bayshore Town Center.

The site at 106-130 W. Silver Spring Dr. was formerly a funeral home and a law office, but those buildings were razed to make way for the bank at the northeast corner of Lydell Avenue and Silver Spring Drive and a retail building just east of the bank, on the northwest corner of Bay Ridge Avenue and Silver Spring Drive.

The developer is Tom Schafer of Bayside Development. The two-story, 6,000-square-foot PNC Bank building features a new cosmetic treatment business, , on the upper level.

After an uphill journey of getting financing and making renovations to the building, The City Market and is now seeing customers flock to the street's new upscale bistro at 527 E. Silver Spring Drive.

With two locations in Wauwatosa and one in Shorewood, the Whitefish Bay location is the cafe's biggest space yet, seating 140 people in an outdoor patio and inside a 4,600-square-foot space.

It has been roughly two years since cafe co-owners Jeff Swanson and Julie Hollingsworth put a bid on the building. Once they obtained financing, they began construction in September 2010, and after all of their hard work, they are finally in the swing of things.

More than a year after Peabody's Interiors moved from Whitefish Bay to Brown Deer, a new home furnishing company has set its sights on the space with the hope of moving in by January.

Honquest Furniture for Living will sell furniture, rugs, mattress sets and other home accessories. The company, which is more than 50 years old, has a store in Barrington, IL, and an outlet store in Deerfield, IL.

The business received the Plan Commission's approval on Oct. 18. The business plans to occupy 9,100 square feet of the first floor of the building at 121-133 E. Silver Spring Dr. The remainder of the first floor is occupied at Home Care Assistance. Honquest will also utilize 3,000 square feet of space on the lower level of the building.

Zita Bridal Salon’s classic white doors closed for the final time in November, when the new owners moved the store downtown to the first floor of George Watts & Son at 761 N. Jefferson St.

For almost 60 years, Zita has been a fixture at 211 E. Silver Spring Dr. When Marina Kuhn of Fox Point and Cynthia Apfelbach of Mequon , they intended to keep it there, planning to move next door to a smaller space in the same building.

But ultimately they couldn’t settle on a rent for their new location— especially when Sam Watts, president of George Watts & Son, offered a rent that Kuhn said was “significantly less.” With George Watts & Son upstairs selling home décor, and the Watts Tea Shop serving lunch, Kuhn said the space will have a synergy that benefits both businesses.

After 56 years on Silver Spring Drive, has plans to leave Whitefish Bay next summer and move into a new building in Mequon.

Les Moise owner David Rosman said his lease on the space at 151 E. Silver Spring Dr. ends in June, and he hopes to be open in the new building by then. The new location will more closely resemble the Brookfield store, which Rosman said draws traffic from around the Milwaukee area.

Whereas the Whitefish Bay store has skiing equipment on a separate level from other merchandise, the new Mequon store will be more spacious and have all merchandise on one level. The Whitefish Bay store has about 9,000 feet of space, and the Mequon location would have 10,500 square feet of space, with more storage space in the basement.

Anytime Fitness purchased the former Elements East building at 109 E. Silver Spring Dr.

Under the Whitefish Bay zoning code, the club would only be able to operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., which franchise owner John Mathie said would not be acceptable. The Village Board agreed to allow the business to operate from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m every day. The village has four fitness facilities, three of which are personal trainer facilities that might not be affected by the new business. 

, a new four-story development being constructed on the north end of Oakland Avenue in Shorewood. The Asian imports retailer has been on Silver Spring for 10 years.

If you're going to build a home with , you can now start thinking about the inside of the home by tapping into the in-house expertise of a 35-year interior design guru.

The building business that has been located at 401 E. Silver Spring Dr. for the past two years introduced Susan Fredman at Home to Whitefish Bay at a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday morning.

After in August, the space was completely gutted, and in a period of two months, the new studio was outfitted with hardwood floors, reclaimed wood from a Wisconsin barn and old telephone poles from the area. In addition to interior design services, the store will offer lighting, some furniture, tabletops, textiles and other home accessories.

Dunkin' Donuts is seeking a conditional use permit to open in the new Baysider Retail Center under construction on Silver Spring Drive at Bay Ridge Avenue.

The Plan Commission approved the restaurant's conditional use permit after a public hearing, in which residents expressed concerns about parking shortages, traffic congestion, opposition to franchise fast food businesses on Silver Spring and the possibility of odors and greases emitted by the restaurant.

ThinkTOYS! took over the old Oom Yung Doe martial arts studio space at 308 E. Silver Spring Dr. in July.

At 1,400 square feet, the new store is twice the size of its first store at Mayfair Mall. The store puts a special emphasis on education-themed items: puzzles, board games and arts and crafts supplies, to name a few. ThinkTOYS also features products intended for autistic children and those with learning disabilities.

Cutting Group opened its third location at 511 E. Silver Spring Dr. at the beginning of April.

Stefani Miller and her husband Tom Miller started their own salon, Beauty, in 1983, and soon after they recognized a market for quality hair cuts at a lower cost from stylists that were still in their two-year training period. Since then, they have opened Cutting Groups  at 2216 N. Farwell Ave. in 2006, and then later at 773 N. Jefferson St. in Milwaukee's Third Ward.

A WFB Resident December 28, 2011 at 02:03 AM
is the donut shop still coming? how about the fitness store? How is City Market doing?
Been there done that December 28, 2011 at 03:04 AM
Seeing that Silver Spring retail is slowly decaying, maybe we need another shop to drink coffee at...
Margaret Chmiel December 28, 2011 at 03:06 PM
once again Shorewood is booming with an outstanding day and night-life, while Whitefishbay withers away

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