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West Theatre in foreclosure; Nicolet Mill turns 125

GREEN BAY – The West Theatre building isn’t haunted, but it might be cursed.

The Broadway district is in the midst of a resurgence these days. The Rail Yard developers have detailed plans for the final 16 acres of the Larsen Canning site and The Shipyard could bring baseball to South Broadway. The Night Market is providing a spark for artists and musicians and Copper State has added a new craft brewery and cafe to the region.

Everything’s coming up Milhouse along Broadway, but the only interest the West Theatre, 405 W. Walnut St., has garnered is from the bank that foreclosed on the property.

On June 12, Farmers and Merchant Bank filed a lawsuit in Brown County Circuit Court against Vertical Butterfly Investments LLC and Funky Monkey LLC, and their registered agents, Mary Vanden Boom and Joey Hawthorne.

Vertical Butterfly and Funky Monkey are just the latest proprietors to fall short in trying to make the West viable as a business. In the last 15 years, the building has been a brew-and-view theater, a retail store and night club. None lasted more than a few years. 

Vanden Boom and Hawthorne bought the West in 2011 and opened Funky Monkey, a computer, lighting and sound systems retailer in late 2013. The original vision was to convert the theater space into West Restaurant and Entertainment, a full-service restaurant with a 50-foot high-definition screen for special parties and sporting events.

According to the complaint, the companies borrowed more than $370,000 from the bank in 2014 and 2015, when the theater was being converted into a restaurant. Payments to the bank stopped in early 2016, prompting the bank to notify Vanden Boom she was in default in May 2016. The bank initiated foreclosure in June after receiving no response from Vanden Boom.

Including interest, late penalties, attorney’s costs and fees, the bank’s complaint says the pair still owe $380,908.

Hawthorne still runs a business on Main Street that uses the name Funky Monkey, but he said his company is a separate entity that he created after Vanden Boom dissolved her Funky Monkey LLC, the one involved in the West renovations, in May 2016.

He said the pair are no longer business partners, and lamented the inability to find a buyer for the building.

“We’ve been trying to sell it for $299,000. No one in Green Bay has stepped up. No one wants to invest in Green Bay,” Hawthorne said. “There’s too much infighting. Everyone wants to be in De Pere, Ashwaubenon, Allouez and Bellevue.”

Attempts to locate Vanden Boom were unsuccessful.

Nicolet Mill Milestone

Congratulations are in order for the men and women who have kept the Expera Specialty Solutions Nicolet Mill humming for 125 years . The company marked the downtown De Pere mill’s 125th anniversary with a celebration on Wednesday that brought past and present employees to the mill for tours and a little birthday party.

 

Article source: http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/2017/08/10/west-theatre-foreclosure/552025001/

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