Dave Reid
Eyes on Milwaukee

Commission Approves 6-Story East Side Apartments

City Plan Commission unanimously approves proposed, 100-unit apartment complex.

By - Oct 29th, 2013 05:05 pm
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Southeast corner rendering of Greenwich Park Apartments with both phases completed.

Southeast corner rendering of Greenwich Park Apartments with both phases completed.

Mercy Housing Lakefront was before the City Plan Commission on Oct 28th requesting an increase to the limits for unit density and building height for the parking lots owned by the city and US Bank and bounded by N. Murray, E. Thomas and N. Farwell avenues. This change would allow Mercy to build Greenwich Park Apartments, a six-story workforce housing development, on the site.

As we reported previously, the project will now include up to 100 apartment units broken into two phases.  The $9 million first phase will have 56-units and 51 parking spots while the $7 million second phase will have up to 44-units and 68 parking spots. Mercy will apply for tax-credits from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) to finance each phase of the development. To qualify for the credits the complex will have income limited units in the complex as well as a number of market rate units.

Two neighbors appeared before the commission to oppose the project. James Stratte, the owner of a property on E. Thomas Ave., argued “it is going to block every inch of my view.” He went on to argue they should push the building back from the corner to create a place for people to gather. Lawrence Kress, asked “why subsidize housing?” He argued with the commission asking “Why is the city supporting the next housing bubble?” But he offered little to back up his assertion.

Jeff Jordan, former chair of the 3rd District Neighborhood Association, offered his support for the project.

Commissioner J. Allen Stokes took issue with the calling this low-income or subsidized housing arguing that, if anything, the “two dorms [on E. North Ave.] are more like subsidized housing.”

Ald. Nik Kovac responded to Kress’s assertion saying that, yes in the past there was some neighborhood opposition based on the building’s density, but overall the feedback he received was in support of the development.  Further, he stated a goal for WHEDA should be an “economically and racially integrated city,” and that “you can’t only integrate half the city.”

The commission voted unanimously to approve the project.

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