Jeramey Jannene

Park East Square Moving Forward

By - Dec 22nd, 2007 03:01 pm
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Park East Square sign
Originally uploaded by repowers

The first phase of the development of Park East Square appears ready to begin. On Friday, Milwaukee County announced that they had completed the sale (read: RSC & Associates LLC exercised their option to purchase) of a 2.1 acre parcel of land at the western edge of the Pick ‘N’ Save parking lot and just north of Convent Hill for $2,725,000. To be exact, that’s the plot of land bordered by Lyon St, Jefferson St, Ogden St, and Milwaukee St.

Nothing I can find indicates when construction will start, but since they purchased the land I would imagine it’s imminent.

The development will include a 122-room Hyatt Place, 102-room Hyatt Summerfield Suites, along with 105 apartments and retail space.

Back in March there was talk of the first phase of the development (this parcel) including 126 high-end apartments, a 148-room boutique hotel and 80,000 square feet of office, retail, restaurant and entertainment space if RSC & Associates LLC could get $9.2 million in a TIF from the city. Typical of developments of this scale in the Park East neighborhood, the TIF request was not granted. President Richard Curto said he would drop the hotel if that was the case, but clearly he thought better of that idea. He instead dropped a significant amount of retail space and went with more hotel rooms, which dropped costs significantly by eliminating the need for a massive parking structure.

The final value of the development will be around $65 million, and as reported in September will include 6,900 square feet of retail space.

Construction was originally supposed to begin in November, but financing hasn’t been easy to come by for anyone lately, and explains the delay. The plan in September called for construction on the hotels to begin first and take 14 months, followed by construction of the apartments (which includes 5 town houses), which will take another 15 months. I would imagine this is the same today, but with a pushed back start-date.

According to the September Journal Sentinel article about the current development.

The development will pay $21.5 million in property taxes over 10 years, RSC estimates, and would create 230 construction jobs and 64 to 74 hotel and retail jobs.

The original plan, which the city favored

…called for no public cash. That smaller project would pay $10.7 million in property taxes, and create 250 construction jobs and 50 to 75 retail jobs.

The plan RSC wanted that included city financing

…would generate $21.6 million in property taxes over 10 years, create 310 construction jobs and provide 150 to 200 retail and hotel jobs. The property taxes would pay back the city’s loan.

RSC & Associates and the city both deserve applause for creating a development that will not only avoid the creation of an expensive TIF district, but will generate nearly the same amount of property tax revenue for the city. On top of that, the smaller retail space is more consistent with the rest of the area and encourages the continued development of pedestrian-friendly retail shops in every building.

Urban Milwaukee looks forward to tracking the construction of the Park East Square and the North End as they together reshape the east side of the Park East neighborhood.

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