Jeramey Jannene
Friday Photos

700 Lofts Takes Shape in Westown

49 new apartments are slated to open in June 2015 on the west side of Downtown.

By - Jan 23rd, 2015 03:15 pm
700 Lofts Rendering

700 Lofts Rendering

The amount of vacant office space in Downtown Milwaukee is being reduced thanks to a number of office-to-apartment conversions. Three such projects exist in Westown alone:  the former Blue Cross Blue Shield building, Germania Building and today’s featured building at 712 W. Michigan St. Kenosha-based Bear Development is converting the largely vacant office building at 712 W. Michigan St. and the smaller, attached building at 700 W. Michigan St into 49 family-style apartments. When complete, it will be known as the 700 Lofts.

The conversion required a $6.7 million creatively financed investment. In 2013, developer S.R. Mills and his Bear Development firm was awarded low-income housing tax credits for the project totaling $469,150 in exchange for setting aside 41 of the 49 units for residents that earn no more than 60 percent of the area’s median income. In addition, the firm received $1.3 million in historic preservation tax credits from the state (20 percent of the project cost total as allowed under state law). According to a sign at the site, PNC Bank is participating in financing the project.

In addition to the apartments, the building includes 66 underground parking spaces which will be available to tenants.

We first reported on the project in November 2012. At that time I opined the project was a welcome addition to a “dead zone” in downtown, which seems as true today. The corner it will occupy also includes the nearly windowless Butch’s Casino Steakhouse, a drab parking garage that was formerly the Greyhound bus station and a suburban-style Ramada Inn hotel. But the neighborhood is poised to become more active in the coming years; just east, the former Blue Cross Blue Shield office building at 401 W. Michigan St. is under-construction to become a nearly 200-unit apartment building. Marquette University has also bought seven acres of land in the block to the west, including a large, now- empty parcel from the state that was home to a circular on-off ramp prior to the Marquette Interchange rebuild.

Construction Photos

One thought on “Friday Photos: 700 Lofts Takes Shape in Westown”

  1. WiscoLover says:

    Any word on the construction completion date? This is very exciting news!

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us