They Like It, They Really Like It
East Side Architectural Review Board unanimously approves design for 6-story, 100-unit Greenwich Park Apartments
Mercy Housing Lakefront’s proposal to build a 6-story, 100-unit, affordable apartment building, Greenwich Park Apartments, on Milwaukee’s East Side is moving quickly towards Common Council action. We reported on the generally supportive reaction of neighbors to the project and its new design just last week. And yesterday the design was approved by the East Side Architectural Review Board.
The site of the proposed building is located on parking lots owned by the city and US Bank and bounded by N. Murray, E. Thomas and N. Farwell avenues. Although this site has existing zoning under a previously approved Detailed Planned Development, similar sites along this stretch of North Ave. have recently been re-zoned to LB3, and Jason Korb of Korb Tredo Architects, explained that the Greenwich Park Apartments’ design “is within the parameters of both height density of LB3” zoning. He added that the original design “was frankly under-built.”
The project will be broken into two phases to allow Mercy Housing Lakefront to obtain two rounds of financing through WHEDA. Design-wise, this pushed the building to be broken into two stand-alone structures that work together. Speaking about the design Korb explained the use of bay windows, noting they “are designed to capture as much sunlight as possible so we put them on north sides of buildings.” The choice of masonry units to be used on the building allows the building to meet the five-to-seven inch reveal that the design guidelines require. He added that while the original design along N. Murry Ave. was “relentless,” the new design includes a gap or break in the design which thereby achieves less uniformity.
“Personally, for me that’s a really nice mix,” said board member Lincoln Fowler of Collective Coffee, referring to the mix of income ranges (some units will be available for renters making up to 30 percent of the median income, some for those making up to 60 percent of the median income, and some for those earning any income) served by the building. Later he praised the development team saying, “I think you guys have done about a good job as you can.”
Neighborhood resident and Department of City Development staffer, Mike Maierle, added his praise saying, “My buddy Jason has really improved the building,” and added the redesign of the US Bank entrance is a “huge improvement.”
Jim Plaisted, executive director of the East Side BID , offered his thoughts on the project, “I think this project is much better than your previous submittal.” He also kidded multiple times that the view of this building will be nice driving south or north on Farwell Ave., indicating there is still a push by local businesses to convert Farwell Ave. to two-way operation.
Board member Lora Keller, of DeWan Dental Wellness, added “I think you’ve done a wonderful job,” though she had minor concerns over the louvers along Murray St. (but Korb indicated the team will work to minimize or improve them.
“I like how it refers to the bank with the long vertical windows,” board member Lynn Sbonik, of Beans & Barley, pointed out.
Fowler made the motion to approve the design, which was unanimously approved with even Kovac voting himself off the “island.”
The project will now head to the City Plan Commission and Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee for approval of a change in zoning to accommodate the change in height and density from the previously approved Detailed Planned Development zoning.
Boulevard for Milwaukee Street
OnMilwaukee.com reported that the city will begin work on converting N. Milwaukee St. in the Historic Third Ward into a boulevard. The work will start on Oct, 21st and will be completed by the end of November. The boulevard runs from E. St. Paul Ave. to E. Menomonee St., and “will have one driving lane and one parking lane with landscaping in the middle.” This is sure to be a big improvement for the street but the question has to be asked of the city: where are the bike lanes? In response, Sandy Rusch Walton of the Department of Public Works says this: “There will not be striped bike lanes on the reconstructed N. Milwaukee St. There is not enough room to include them, but the traffic/driving lane will be wide enough to accommodate motor vehicles and bicycles.”
- The downtown Blast Fitness, 1237 N. Van Buren St., will be moving to the former Everest College site, 1311 N. 6th St., in November. In October 2010 the for-profit college opened at this location with the assistance of $11 million in city approved bonding, but after two short years of operation the college closed it doors.
- Help Wanted! Both Uber and Lyft are looking for drivers in Milwaukee. These companies are challenging the way that traditional taxi service will operate in cities. Both services have run into legal issues in various cities, encountering outdated legislation (much like Milwaukee’s restriction on taxi cab permits), but continue to expand.
- Last Saturday the Kinnickinnic River Trail opened, further connecting the south side to the north side. And as Tom Held reports, work has started on the West Allis Cross-Town Connector that will better connect the east side to the west side of the region.
- Finally, Greenwich Park Apartments Opens - Graham Kilmer - May 4th, 2017
- Greenwich Park Targets Low-Income Residents - Graham Kilmer - Nov 21st, 2016
- Friday Photos: Greenwich Park Nearly Complete - Jeramey Jannene - Sep 16th, 2016
- Friday Photos: New Apartments for the East Side - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 29th, 2016
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Greenwich Park Apartments Taking Shape - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 12th, 2016
- Friday Photos: Finally Comes Greenwich Park Apartments - Jack Fennimore - Nov 27th, 2015
- Plats and Parcels: 342 More Apartments Approved - Dave Reid - Jun 9th, 2015
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Commission Approves 6-Story East Side Apartments - Dave Reid - Oct 29th, 2013
- Eyes on Milwaukee: They Like It, They Really Like It - Dave Reid - Oct 16th, 2013
- Eyes on Milwaukee: New Design for Greenwich Park Apartments - Dave Reid - Oct 9th, 2013
Read more about Greenwich Park Apartments Development here