Dave Reid

The Bookends Development Receives Approval from City Plan Commission

By - Oct 19th, 2009 07:05 pm
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New Land Enterprises received unanimous approval at the October 19th meeting of the City Plan Commission.  The 19-story building will have 224 residential units, 292 parking spaces, and 3,000 square feet of retail.  Targeting a high-end luxury market it will include upgraded finishes, stainless steel appliances, and hardwood floors.  Additionally, it will offer a 75 foot lap pool with accompanying whirlpool, and concierge service.  If New Land Enterprises were to obtain approval from the Common Council for this project and a propose loaned guarantee from the City of Milwaukee, then the project could break ground as early as February 2010 with an expected opening in two and half years.

Categories: Real Estate

13 thoughts on “The Bookends Development Receives Approval from City Plan Commission”

  1. Jeff Jordan says:

    Really! Do these people ever turn anybody down. I stand on my original comments at the announcement of this project. Does New Land have any prospects for the retail space? What is the market demand for condos in this price range? Why should the taxpayers of Milwaukee underwrite this project?
    I wasn’t at the hearing. Were any of these items discussed?
    New Land has a horrible record of locating tenets for retail and mixed use space. (Sterling, Downer Ave.)
    There is considerable inventory of Condo’s in the city right now.
    What is the justification of bankrolling New Land?

  2. Arlo A. says:

    I see the Marc Levine attitude is catching on! But maybe rather selectively.

  3. MilwaukeeD says:

    Jeff, the City Plan Commission was only suppossed to be voting on the design of the building, so many of the issues that you bring up weren’t suppossed to be part of the debate. Those will be part of the debate at ZND, however.

    Also, these are apartments, not condos.

  4. Cindy says:

    Oooh! Upgraded finishes! The design … Yawn…

  5. Dave Reid says:

    @Jeff This was a zoning change from GPD to DPD so I don’t believe they had much of a leg to stand on as far as turning them down. It met the density, height, massing, and FAR of the original GPD so it moves forward. Understand NLE wouldn’t put in retail space if the city didn’t make them do so. This is apartments not condos, and Boris actually made a pretty good argument for the marketability of the apartments. This didn’t approve the any underwriting or bankrolling of NLE, just zoning.

  6. Rachael says:

    I went to this site and walked around the are the other day, trying to imagine this building. What an impact it will have as you drive up VanBuren! With a location like that, and a luxury building as its anchor, I can’t imagine many retailers NOT coveting the space.

    Has NLE always had problems with renting retail space, or is it because of the economy? I’m not familiar with all their properties.

    Also, what is the difference in financing proposed between this and Moderne? One is a “guarantee” and the other is an actual loan fromt the city? Or are they the same thing?

    @Jeff I too happen to be a taxpayer, and I’m all for this project. Why should we help finance some, but discriminate against others?

  7. Arlo A. says:

    I would like to see someone examine and justify or invalidate Mr. Jordan’s claim that NLE’s record with tenants/occupancy is worse than other comparable firms. Mandel seems to have these problems too. Break it out in some charts for vacancies in residential and commercial space month by whatever chronological period you can get. To simplify the task of rounding the data up, just ask for it at the source, noting that you’ll get a better result than trying to cobble it together yourselves. At least one of the top players must feel confident enough to undergo a public analysis, and then you can get others to go along.

  8. Todd says:

    My understanding is that it would be apartments…which the market for apartments is strong in downtown, as illustrated by the north end being completely leased out for apartments. And you “bankroll” them for the potential of an increase in tax revenue from the property.

  9. Andrew says:

    I think a lot of this has to do with the appearance of density. Where as a empty house is a blight on any neighborhood, an empty condo building does not appear empty. It also is available to fill when the market turns around. Milwaukee wants to fill in the lakeside and is will to risk empty condos to fill it.

    Just my two cents.

  10. Dave Reid says:

    @Andrew to be clear the bookends is proposed to be apartments, not condos.

  11. Jesse Hagen says:

    @Andrew – You act as though it is somehow bad for the city to be pushing development even though it won’t fill immediately. What is your objection based on?

  12. Andrew says:

    Sorry about replacing “condo” for “apartment.”
    I have no problem with the city pushing development that won’t fill immediately, but anything going up in the next year to 18 months if not longer will not be filled for years. This will drive down property values, decrease the city tax base, and increase vacancy rates. I worry that Milwaukee is allowing construction of residential units and crossing its fingers in hopes that something will happen to fill them up rather than waiting for an increase in residents that creates a need for new housing.

  13. Jesse Hagen says:

    Why do you think these units won’t be able to fill, do you think this recession will continue for more than 2 years?

    If construction starts on these projects soon, they will be finished right about when the recession will have turned around. If anything, this is the perfect time for these investments.

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