27th Street Tobacco shop shut down, but property owner not ready to sell it just yet

MILWAUKEE -- Officials with the City of Milwaukee have been trying to declare the 27th Street Tobacco shop a nuisance -- asking a court to make the owner fix it, or sell it. As a result of a court order, the business has been shut down. But its owner isn't quite ready to get rid of his property just yet.

"A lot of people are interested," Keith Stanley, executive director of Near West Side Partners, Inc. said.

The property that housed the former 27th Street Tobacco is up for grabs, but the owner doesn't want to sign it over just yet.

27th Street Tobacco

"We need some time," Vincent Bobot, the property owner's attorney said.

On Tuesday morning, February 16th, a decision was supposed to be made regarding the property's future -- determining a fair selling price.

The West Side Neighborhood Association had the property appraised at $70,000.

The property owner says that price is too low.

27th Street Tobacco

"He purchased it for $238,000 in 1994," Bobot said.

Over the years, city officials and those who live near the property have said the property has been a hotbed for criminal activity, and that the owner allowed the property to become run down.

"Our goal is to look at economic revitalization. We support and really believe in businesses. We are for business -- but at the same time, this business has been a hindrance," Stanley said.

Employees remove goods from 27th Street Tobacco after it was ordered shut down

There have been organizations, like the neighboring Penfield Children's Center that have made offers to purchase the property.

"We will consider all legitimate offers because we want to work with the city to resolve this matter," Bobot said.

But the question now involves what would be considered legitimate.

Bobot on Tuesday asked for 60 more days to figure that out -- indicating he wants to review the city's appraisal of the property and get one of his own.

Tobacco and Wireless, 27th and Kilbourn

"My client is also researching and hiring another appraiser and exploring either the sale of the property or leasing it to a tenant that is acceptable to the city and the court," Bobot said.

"It's good to see that we made some progress. We are a little disappointed in not having resolution today," Keith said on Tuesday.

The next and hopefully final status hearing in this case has been scheduled for May.

But we're told both sides feel confident some sort of resolution will come prior to that court date.