Dave Reid

Mercy Housing’s East Side Proposal is Recommended for Approval by City Plan Commission

By - Dec 6th, 2010 11:09 pm
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West Elevation Perspective

West Elevation Perspective – Rendering by Korb Tredo Architects

Mercy Housing Lakefront’s Greenwich Park Apartments proposal was recommended for approval at the December 6th, 2010 meeting of the City Plan Commission.

The $8.5 million apartment building is planned for the corner of N. Farwell Ave. and Thomas St. on Milwaukee’s East Side.  It will be 5-stories tall with 54-units, ranging from studios to 3-bedroom units, and include 109 parking spots, of which 39 will be available for public use.  The project will provide workforce housing in attempt to create walk to work opportunities for East Side residents, and will utilize federal affordable housing tax credits to finance construction.

David Lyon, of Mercy Housing, explained that “one of the goals was to make this a more pedestrian friendly block”.  Examples of this were the including of curb bump-outs, street-level activation within the building, backlit storefront style windows, and how the building connects with the surrounding buildings.  For example, it ties together the existing US Bank building with the new structure by matching the masonry materials at the pedestrian level, and with a garden wall, to be constructed, which will shield the US Bank drive through operations.

Alderman Nik Kovac spoke regarding the project, and although he didn’t come out in support of it, he didn’t oppose the project either.  He went on to say “Do we want economic diversity in the area I represent?  Yes”.  But later qualified the apparent support saying he still wanted to take further community input.

Despite multiple neighborhood groups opposing the project, many more neighbors actually showed up to speak in support of the project.  Jeff Jordan stated “I think they [Mercy Housing] have bent over backwards,” to work with the neighborhood.

The City Plan Commission recommended approval for the project and the three associated files.  The Detailed Planned Development will go before the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee on January 11th, and the land sale will go before the Public Works Committee on January 6th.  If these approvals are granted, the proposal will then go before the full Common Council on January 19th.

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