The first Milwaukee location for Wheel & Sprocket, a well-known regional bike shop group, was approved Monday by the Plan Commission for a reviving portion of the Bay View neighborhood.

The Bay View Wheel & Sprocket, which would include the company’s offices, is proposed for a renovated 10,800-square-foot warehouse at 187 E. Becher St.

Co-owner Amelia Kegel said the company hopes to complete the $1.5 million project by spring 2019. 

“It’s always been our dream to have a location in the heart of the city,” Kegel told commission members.

The commission recommended rezoning the property to accommodate the bike shop, which could include a restaurant and tavern. The proposal also needs Common Council approval.

Wheel & Sprocket operates four stores in the Milwaukee area, one in Oshkosh, one in Appleton and two in the Chicago suburbs. The offices are in the Hales Corners store.

The company’s growth largely occurred under the ownership of Chris Kegel, Amelia Kegel’s father, who died in February from cancer at the age of 63. 

Chris Kegel was hired at Wheel & Sprocket as a bicycle mechanic in 1973, just a few weeks after the business opened in Hales Corners. By 1989, he had become president and owner, and eventually grew Wheel & Sprocket into a nationally known dealer.

The company, now owned by Amelia Kegel and her brother, Noel, has been looking for a location in the area from downtown through Bay View over roughly the past five years.

Wheel & Sprocket is going through its due diligence phase on the Bay View property before making a final decision on buying it.

The Bay View shop and offices, with 10 to 20 employees, would be within a few blocks of hundreds of new apartments, including the 291-unit Stitchweld community, 2151-2181 S. Robinson Ave.

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