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Coakley Bros. starts $6 million renovation of Walker’s Point building, including showroom

Coakley Brothers Co. is starting a $6 million renovation of its Walker’s Point building that will include an office furniture showroom and other new features.

The work is expected to be completed by mid-2018.

Once the work is done, the company will serve as Wisconsin’s only dealer of a commercial furniture line from home furnishings retailer West Elm.

The seven-story, 175,000-square-foot building, 400 S. 5th St., will include a showroom for West Elm’s Workspace brand, which was launched in 2015.

Coakley Brothers, known mainly as a moving and storage company, also operates Brothers Business Interiors, a dealership representing several office furniture manufacturers. That division also provides interior design and construction management services.

“The designation as the first West Elm Workspace with Inscape showroom in Wisconsin will reinforce that Brothers Interiors is a growing player in the local design industry,” Peggy Coakley, Coakley Brothers chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The Walker’s Point building was constructed in 1911 and originally housed Milwaukee Printing Co.

The renovations will expose the building’s original wood beams and trusses, and restore the original concrete floor and brick facade. An employee gym will be added.

Other improvements will include an outdoor patio and deck for employees, parking lot resurfacing and landscaping, new windows that will be replicas of the building’s original windows, public art and a “blue roof” that will help control storm water.

The renovations will be partly financed with federal and state historic preservation tax credits, with Kubala Washatko Architects serving as the project architect.

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