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Presidents' Plaza gets a new look — minus the presidents

Owner looking for new name for Waukesha shopping center

May 23, 2014

Presidents' Plaza is now missing a key part of its name.

As part of the shopping center's ongoing makeover, the presidential faces that once overlooked Waukesha's Sunset Drive and East Avenue have been removed.

The 30,000-square-foot shopping center was purchased by John Marek, the town of Waukesha's chairman, at the end of January. While the building is in relatively good shape, Marek said the plaza, which was assessed at $1.5 million, needed a little TLC when he purchased it.

"It's a very solid building that hadn't been adequately maintained," Marek said. "It's in a very good area that's only going to get better."

The shopping center's new look comes at the same time as the hoped-for addition of Meijer to the east and the redevelopment of the nearby Kmart property across the street — both of which will keep the area prospering, he said.

The maintenance work has been ongoing since Marek purchased the building, and more work will continue to be done on an as-needed basis, he said.

Building improvements include landscaping, remodeling the tenant spaces, resurfacing and resealing the parking lot, removing the blue awning, and, of course, ridding the plaza of its infamous presidential faces.

"I think that removing the presidential faces and the awnings will be substantial, visible changes," Marek said.

With the presidents gone, Marek is also in the market for a new name for the shopping center. Inspiration as to what hasn't struck him yet, he said.

Marek is hoping to see some fresh faces to match the building's fresh look. There are several tenants already in the shopping center, including Little Caesar's, Security Finance, Check Into Cash, Waukesha Learning Academy, Gordy's Barber Shop and Kim's Garden.

But, there's still room for more, he said.

There is office and retail space and at least a dozen salon suites available for lease, in addition to space that's outfitted for a restaurant, Marek said. Those interested can contact Marek at john@johnmarek.com.

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