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Northridge Mall owners file appeal, halt Milwaukee’s demo order

The owners of the Northridge Mall have blocked Milwaukee’s order to demolish the building by filing an appeal of a judge’s ruling, court documents showed.

U.S. Black Spruce Enterprise filed an appeal in late October to keep the former Northridge Mall, 8110 W. Brown Deer Road, standing despite Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge William Sosnay’s order to raze the property in early October. Sosnay ordered the ownership group to pay $109,000 before Oct. 31.

A notice of appeal was given to the court on Thursday, court records showed. This continues a back-and-forth between the ownership group and the city whether to demolish the building after four fires broke out over the summer. City officials have wanted the building torn down since 2019.

Sosnay’s ruling dismissed a previous appeal Black Spruce made and said the raze order would be enforced. Reports from city officials said building conditions were “deplorable” and access to the building was unsecure.

Black Spruce will pay $2,000 per day while the building is unsecured, according to court records. Company Executive Director Li Yang submitted the name and address of a registered agent after the court’s order.

A report from assistant city attorney Theresa Montag said garbage wasn’t removed from the property, access points were unsecured and landscaping hadn’t been cut back to appropriate standards. “Lack of compliance with these requirements endanger the community and greatly impact public safety,” she added.

Broken glass covering the floors inside also made treacherous walking conditions inside, particularly for first responders, Montag’s report added. Milwaukee Fire Chief Aaron Lipski said at a press conference fighting fires potentially started by trespassers have been a drag on city resources and endangered firefighters in his department.

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