Dave Reid

$12 Million Mixed-Use Building Proposed in Bay View

By - Nov 11th, 2010 04:57 pm
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Bay View Apartment Proposal

Bay View Apartment Proposal

HKS Holdings, LLC is proposing a $12 million 5-story mixed-use building, which would be located on the southeast corner of Kinnickinnic Ave. and Conway St. in Bay View.  It would include 70 high-end loft apartments, 9,000 square feet of first-floor retail, 70 underground parking spots accessible from an alley, and 15 additional parking spots located behind the building.   The project, which is being designed by Engberg Anderson, would include a club room, rooftop garden, a green wall, and the building will be set back to allow for wider sidewalks along Kinnickinnic Ave.

Individual apartments would include stainless steal appliances, and washer and dryers in the units.  Rent for one and two-bedroom units will range from $700 to $1,800.  The development group is seeking WHEDA financing for a portion of the project, which would require 20% of the building to consist of affordable rental units.

This proposal will go before the City Plan Commission on December 6th, 2010 to request a change in zoning to a Detail Planned Development.

Categories: Real Estate

21 thoughts on “$12 Million Mixed-Use Building Proposed in Bay View”

  1. Adam says:

    Can we have some buildings that look like they belong in Milwaukee? Rather than generic modern slab that drops into any city on earth? And maybe stop with the high end and build some places for people who don’t qualify for low income housing and can’t afford the high end stuff?

  2. Peter says:

    Is this going up near the new senior living apartments that are going up? I hadn’t heard of these apartments yet.

  3. Darrin says:

    This project is insensitive to adjacent properties and totally out of character for that section of KK avenue. There are some very nice older buildings on the property that should be retained. If the developer wants to build something like this they should look at other areas on KK north of Lincoln avenue where context is not a problem or possibly consider the former army reserve base. The design of the building is a disgrace for an architecture firm such as Engberg Anderson – it proves that some architecture firms are very hungry and will do lame design work to try earn business. i leve very close to the planned development and can definitely attest to how out of character this building is.

  4. Dave Reid says:

    @Darrin I really didn’t have a problem with the design, is it something special no, but it has a proper streetwall, hides the parking well, and has first floor active uses. And personally I think trying to mimic existing structures normally leads to faux junk, whereas a mixture of styles is often more interesting. Again it is nothing that says wow, but at the same time doesn’t strike me as a problem.

  5. Dave Reid says:

    @Peter I’m not sure which senior living apartments your referring to?

  6. Devin says:

    I can’t really see this being successful, it’s not the proper area. I don’t know who would pay $1800 to live in a two bedroom apartment in Bay View, especially on KK and Conway. If I was paying that much there are other places in the city I would live and if I really wanted to live in Bay View then I would definitely consider something that fits the area better (both in design and price).

    All you have to do is look at how well the development on KK and Becher has done to see that this is probably a bad idea.

  7. Dave Reid says:

    @Devin Well at the low end units would start at $750 which isn’t an unusual price for a new construction 1BR/studio in the city. As far as the high-end I believe that is just a few units and those would actually have lake views. Finally, I don’t know if it will be “successful” or not, but I’m not sure that is a consideration, the risk is to the developer.

  8. Devin says:

    I was looking at it from the developers point of view when I was talking about how it’s probably a bad idea. As far as the rent is concerned $750 may be easier to swallow price wise for the area but I’m guessing you’ll have to sacrifice size for the amenities.

    From a neighborhood perspective I would think that the success of the retail space is important because empty retail space never looks good. I have no idea whether the retail space will be an issue or not for the area. I know other locations have the problem but it could simply be the area that they’re in.

    My curiosity is certainly peaked and it will be interesting to see the floor plans and price breakdowns if this moves forward.

  9. GT says:

    This project will likely be successful as I’m sure Tony Z will streamline any public funding to make this happen and offset the costs of development. If the frontage in the design is along the eastside of KK, then there are a number of nice brownstone-type apartments that would be demolished. Knowing the vacant parcels in the area (Army Reserve site, E Lincoln TIF district, Bay Street) this is kind of disappointing. I would like to see the Avalon get rolling before any demolition occurs across the street.

  10. Julie says:

    The brownstone or multi units with green trim are an eyesore. Inside they are completely broken up into one bedroom units and all original detail gone. It will be nice to see those and the turquoise building gone. Those are bringing the area down. This will be a huge improvement to the street and to business. As well as Bill Doyles Mansion this area will be an added plus for the middle of KK which needs trendy businesses. It would be nice if the building had more architectural detail that mimics or compliments the architectural history and some concrete block bulding like the apartment building Cousins is in. But anything is a vast improvement.

  11. S says:

    I don’t understand why developers are so interested in demolishing already occupied, relatively well taken care of older buildings for new generic stuff in neighborhoods full of vacant and underused lots. Why is this site so much more attractive than all of the vacant land within blocks of there? What about near the M&I at KK & Russell? Along Ward or Bay? At the Omega Burger site, etc…? The DCD should work on some sort of land bank so that when projects like this come (that are mediocre at best), they can say “that site is already occupied, and your new proposal isn’t a better use of the land, but there’s a vacant site a block away that would be perfect for it”.

  12. Dave Reid says:

    @S The simple answer is that they are the property owner of this site. I’d add, at least to me, the former Omega site is not well setup for residential use at all, if that intersection was fixed then maybe.

  13. There goes the neighborhood…

  14. S says:


    The project on the SW corner of Bay and KK seems to be doing fine, as do the condos on the NE corner. The point is more that it’d be one thing to do projects like this if Milwaukee was still a boomtown with a shortage of vacant land. But it’s not, and seeing as the city is heavily involved in all development anyway, we should try to focus it in a way that is more to the city’s long term benefit.

  15. Dave Reid says:

    @S Again I don’t see the negative (well maybe the row houses coming down) but how does the city just push them on to other sites? How does that work? Are you suggesting eminent domain, as I don’t think that would go over very well. Further, projects are designed for sites, you can’t just pick up this design and put it somewhere else, then it is a new project. But again how beyond zoning, and say TIF funds to encourage locations what is the city to do?

  16. S says:


    Eminent domain on vacant properties, stricter historical preservation codes that make it very difficult to do tear downs, and a city council that looks critically on new development that involves tear downs while making it easier to develop on vacant sites. Projects like this aren’t designed in a particularily site specific way- they’re more or less the big-box of mixed use. That’s totally fine for a vacant lot somplace, but we should have higher standards for projects that involve demolishing older buildings.

  17. Dave Reid says:

    @S The city considered eminent domain on a project recently, and it got nasty in the press really fast. I can’t imagine anyone will go down that road anytime soon, nor should they. As far as historic preservation I believe our codes are pretty strict, just watch the Marriott proposal to see just how strict.

  18. Brian says:

    Im more concerned with what Alterra is doing to the lincoln, kk, howell site.

  19. Dave Reid says:

    @Brian What are your concerns regarding Alterra? (the renderings are available on this site).

  20. Jamie says:

    I personally don’t like the look of the thing. Eminent domain? Um yea but NO THANKS. Imagine that being your property. One finger solute to that idea. And from my perspective, that property on KK & Bay looks mostly vacant.

  21. Simone says:

    This is very disappointing to see. I moved to Bayview for the old fashioned character of the neighborhood. This ultra-modern look is incongruent with the style of the neighborhood. The buildings look cheap and ugly. If these were actually classy apartments that looked like they belonged, I might consider renting one. But with this design, I wouldn’t live there if you paid me.

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