Dave Reid
Plats and Parcels

1,449 New Apartments Coming

And more are on the way, all within a two-mile radius of City Hall.

By - May 29th, 2015 11:00 am
Apartments under construction.

Apartments under construction.

The most visible signs of an active real estate market in Milwaukee are the tower cranes hovering over the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons and 833 East sites. There’s no doubt these two massive construction projects in downtown Milwaukee will change the city’s skyline, but those are only a part of the ongoing real estate story.

The neighborhoods of Beerline B, Brewers’ Hill, East Side (Lower East Side and Murray Hill), East Town, Historic Third Ward, Riverwest, The Brewery, Walker’s Point, and Westown all have new residential units under construction. In fact within just two miles from City Hall there are a 1,449 residential units under construction today.

The Lower East Side, which year after year sees the strongest development pressures in the city, is still going strong with 238 units under construction, and an additional 39 in Murray Hill (greater East Side).

Although no new residential buildings are rising in the ever-popular Historic Third Ward, there are three small warehouse-conversion projects which total up to 49 units under construction.

And the neighborhood that is always on Milwaukee’s next boom neighborhood list, Walker’s Point, has 240 units spread over three projects currently under construction.

Just north of downtown, Milwaukee’s newest neighborhood, The Brewery, has 250 units split between new construction and conversions currently under construction. Gorman & Company‘s 100-unit Frederick Lofts is slated to open this year, while Building 29 is being converted into 150 student apartments.

But the surprise of the data is Westown. This neighborhood which traditionally trails behind in the new residential development race is seeing multiple redevelopment projects that will bring 400 new units to the neighborhood, more than any of the other near downtown neighborhoods.

One Westown project of particular interest due to its prominent location along W. Wisconsin Ave. and the number of units its bringing to the neighborhood is HKS Holdings LLC’s redevelopment of the Posner Building. Located at the corner 152 W. Wisconsin Ave. the former owner Johnny Vassallo had for years attempted to convert it into a hotel, but never found the right deal (I always thought Mo’ Tel Milwaukee would have been the perfect name) and in 2014 sold the property to HKS. But Vassallo isn’t gone from the street some called “MoTown”: Mo’s Irish Pub will remain as a first floor tenant in the Posner Building, across the street Mo’s A Place for Steaks,  and in a collaboration with his brother Jamie Vassallo, Johnny plans to open Pomodoro Pizzeria & Pub in another first-floor space, the former home of Mo’s Cucina, in the Posner Building. (Hm. Maybe the new restaurant’s name should be PoMOdoro.)

The breakdown of the 1,449 rental units: 1,192 are market-rate, 86 are affordable units (45 in Ingram Place Apartments and 41 in 700 Lofts), and 171 are student housing. Here is the list:

Project Units Neighborhood Address Distance to City Hall
Walker’s Landing 113 Beerline B 2056 N. Commerce St. 1.5 Miles
Ingram Place Apartments 53 Brewers’ Hill 2101 N. Holton St. 1.4 Miles
MSOE Tower Apartments 21 East Town 1150 N. Water St. 0.3 Mile
Broadway Market Lofts 14 Historic Third Ward 325 N. Broadway 0.5 Mile
Martin Building 20 Historic Third Ward 211 N. Broadway 0.5 Mile
Mayer Building Residences 15 Historic Third Ward 342 N. Water St. 0.4 Miles
Sage on Prospect 34 Lower East Side 1825 N. Prospect Ave. 1.5 Miles
North End – Phase III 168 Lower East Side 1635 N. Water St. 0.9 Mile
Flats 1809 36 Lower East Side 1809 N. Cambridge Ave. 1.5 Miles
OaklandNorth 39 Murray Hill 2310 N. Oakland Ave. 2.0 Miles
Rivercrest Phase II 46 Riverwest 2240 N. Commerce St. 1.7 Miles
Building 29 150 The Brewery 1128 N. 10th St. 1.0 Mile
Frederick Lofts 100 The Brewery 926 W. Juneau Ave. 1.0 Mile
Brix Apartment Lofts 98 Walker’s Point 408 W. Florida St. 1.2 Miles
Oregon at South Water Works 78 Walker’s Point 221 E. Oregon St. 1.0 Mile
River Place Lofts 64 Walker’s Point 606 W. Oregon St. 1.2 Miles
Plankinton Lofts 46 Westown 161 W. Wisconsin Ave. 0.3 Mile
The 401 200 Westown 401 W. Michigan St. 0.6 Mile
The Posner Building 105 Westown 152 W. Wisconsin Ave. 0.3 Mile
700 Lofts 49 Westown 700 W. Michigan St. 0.7 Mile

You can track these and other construction projects in our Building’s database system here.

Projects Under Construction

More on the Way

Along the lakefront in downtown Milwaukee, the 44-story skyscraper The Couture could add 294 more luxury units to the mix, if the the land isn’t ruled undevelopable. A lawsuit brought by Preserve our Parks against Milwaukee County and the city argues the Transit Center site, where The Couture is to be built, is on former lakebed and can’t be developed. This same dispute could impact land the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is clearing through a re-arrangement of the Lake Interchange and which Johnson Controls is looking at as a possible expansion site.

In a story for the Business Journal, Sean Ryan reports that Wisconsin DOT has asked to join the lawsuit, with the city and county, as it would impact their ability to sell the 2.66 acres of land being opened up by the interchange reconfiguration. At the Wednesday meeting of the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee a $250,000 grant which will be used to fund a study to determine if the site could be used for expansion was unanimously approved by the committee. The study will cost $500,000, with JCI picking up the other half.

Also reviewed at the ZND committee was both the $3.9 million RiverWalk tax incremental financing proposal and the Detailed Planned Development (the zoning) for the 243-unit, $40 million first phase of the River House development along the Milwaukee River on Milwaukee’s Lower East Side. Both files were unanimously approved by the committee. These items still need approval by the Common Council and the Mayor, but if all goes as planned construction could start in June.

In the soon-to-break ground category, on May 27, Andrew Weiland, of the Biztimes, tweeted:

This would bring an additional 140 units to the Lower East Side at The Rhythm and 120 more units to Walker’s Point.

In Other News

-According to a Tom Daykin story in the Journal Sentinel, construction of the four-story, 80,000 square-foot Water TechOne office building has been delayed. But a second office building is moving toward starting construction at the Reed Street Yards.

-Although construction has yet to start on the downtown Westin hotel, planned to be built near the intersection of N. Van Buren and E. Michigan street next to the US Bank Center, the Starwood Hotels website lists a February 2017 opening date.

-According to Jackson Street Holdings LLC’s website, a new Marriott hotel is scheduled to open in downtown Milwaukee in 2016. Jackson Street will convert the six-story Commerce Building, located at 744 N. 4th St., into a 150-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott.

-And in arena news, this May 28 tweet by Weiland suggests the Bucks think the deal is nearly done:

There’s almost no way the team’s owners would have approved the tests earlier, not while they (and the the NBA) were dangling the possibility that the franchise could move to another city. 

7 thoughts on “Plats and Parcels: 1,449 New Apartments Coming”

  1. Anthony Kosobucki says:


    Exciting news! Any word on 700 E. Kilbourn? Last I heard, the project was estimated to break ground during the first quarter of this year.

  2. David says:

    I think 700 E. Kilbourn is still looking for financing. The costs came in a little high. They may be reworking the design and unit mix as well.

  3. Joshua says:

    What about the 3 units going up on Washington between 1st and 2nd in Walkers Point? Construction has begun there as well.

  4. Dave Reid says:

    @Joshua Ii is my understanding a construction fence recently went up there, but actual construction doesn’t start for two weeks (it’s mentioned in the first tweet from Andrew Weiland).

  5. M says:

    Dave, thanks for the thorough update/analysis. The chart is great!

  6. James says:

    Hi Dave. What’s the status of the Fortress redevelopment? Is there a timeline for that?

  7. cait says:

    Any update on these numbers? JSonline just wrote about how the population has dropped by 4,000 people this last year.

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