New Development For Villard Avenue
City zoning change will allow four-story, 33-unit apartment complex on 37th and Villard.
After the Common Council’s committee on zoning and development recommended a land sale and rezoning for approval Tuesday, a new four-story, mixed-use building on 37th and Villard is a step closer to realization.
The proposed development, called 3600@Villard, will include 2,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and 43 affordable apartment units in the building at the corner of N. 37th St. and W. Villard Ave. The project is being led by Index Development Group, a new outfit comprised of recent graduates of Milwaukee’s Associates in Commercial Real Estate (ACRE) program, which trains minorities in the business.
The owner, Que El-Amin, and other partners at Index graduated from ACRE in 2016. El-Amin was congratulated at the meeting by committee members and fellow ACRE Grads Ald. Milele Coggs and Dwayne Edwards of the Department of City Development.
The development site encompasses five lots, totaling 23,778 square feet. Three lots are city owned, and all are vacant or occupied by unused buildings. For the three lots, the city charged developers $20,000, taking into account demolition costs as the developers plan to raze any existing structures, said Edwards.
The four-story building will feature a brick base, that will either house a communal area or town homes, per requirements of Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), Korb said. The top three floors will feature bay windows on the Villard Ave. facing frontage, sided with cement board.
Ald. Nik Kovac raised a question concerning the depth of the windows, saying, “I really think it’s important to give a building depth so it feels like it has more presence on the street.”
Korb told the committee that window depth was a detail that would be worked out later in the project.
Index partnered with Brinshore Development LLC, a firm from Northbrook Ill. Brinshore is helping to secure financing for the project. This is the firm’s seventh project in Milwaukee.
The developers plan to apply for low-income housing tax credits from WHEDA, said Mike Roane, a vice-president with Brinshore. If acquired, the credits will comprise 82 percent of the project financing. Other sources of funding, such as commercial debt, will be layered on top. Roane also mentioned the developers are in talks with with the city for further public financing.
Right now, the housing units are entirely below market rate housing, with a mix that includes some for residents whose incomes are 30 percent, 50 percent, and 60 percent of the area median income.
Roane said the lack an any market rate units is because of the current market for tax credits. Following the election of Donald Trump, there is uncertainty about future tax reforms.
“We must increase the number of affordable units,” he said. “Because you can’t include market rate units and count those towards affordable housing.”