Jack Fennimore
Friday Photos

Old Bottling House Becomes Student Housing

Transformation of Building 29, a former Pabst bottling house, is well under way, as our photos show.

By - Oct 2nd, 2015 04:17 pm
Building 29. Photo by Jack Fennimore.

Building 29. Photo by Jack Fennimore.

Building 29, the former Pabst Brewery Bottling House, is being transformed into apartments for university students, and our photos show that the renovation is well under way. The building is being renovated under a partnership between Blue Ribbon Management and Zilber Property Group.

Zilber bought the entire former brewery in 2006 and Blue Ribbon Management has been involved in a number of projects in the complex including the Pabst Professional Center and the Brewhouse Inn & Suites. Blue Ribbon Management specializes in the use of EB-5 financing, which allows foreign nationals to obtain green cards in exchange for job-creating investments in targeted areas. To achieve the job creation goals, projects like this become student apartments with a staffing contingent as opposed to traditional apartments with no on-site staff. Similarly, the Brewhouse Inn & Suites is a hotel as opposed to an apartment building.

Building 29, located on the southeast corner of W. Highland Ave. and N. 10th St., was originally constructed in 1889 as a bottling plant for the Pabst Brewery. It served in that capacity until December 1996, when the Pabst Brewing Co. abruptly shuttered the brewery. It has remained vacant and in disrepair ever since then.

The 237,000 sq-ft building is being renovated in a historically sensitive manner for up-to 400 international students attending local universities. There will also be a small number of extended stay hotel rooms for visiting parents, relatives and professors. The building will also include offices, dining services, fitness rooms, study lounges, laundry room and retail spaces.

Michael Kelly, Vice President of Blue Ribbon Management LLCsaid in a press release that he and his company are partnering with architecture firm Hammel Green & Abrahamson Inc. (HGA) for the project. HGA architect Jim Shields and general contractor KM Development Corp. (a Zilber subsidiary) are directing the project. The Scion Group LLC, a property management company specializing in student housing, will serve as the project operator. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District are providing grant funding. In terms of the restoration, Kelly said that they are “following the guidelines established for historic preservation by the National Parks Service, the State of Wisconsin and the City of Milwaukee Historic Preservation Commission.” The building will be ready for students in the fall of 2016.

“We think this new, yet historic facility will make a positive contribution to the well-being of our community and its ability to attract students and educators from throughout the world who will hopefully choose to live, work and invest in Milwaukee after they have completed their educational pursuits,” said The Brewery Project LLC President John Kersey in the press release.

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8 thoughts on “Friday Photos: Old Bottling House Becomes Student Housing”

  1. mbradleyc says:

    That’s going to be a real beauty when it’s done!

  2. Barb-West Bend says:

    “Blue Ribbon Management specializes in the use of EB-5 financing, which allows foreign nationals to obtain green cards in exchange for job-creating investments in targeted areas.”

    How much money must a foreign national invest to get a green card, and how many jobs are created by that investment? Are the foreign nationals “vetted” before accepting their money and providing them a green card or is it given to any foreign national with money to invest? What countries are represented in this investment?

  3. AG says:

    I can see the benefits of this type of housing for the international students, but at the same time both the international students and the “local” students miss out on a great opportunity to live among one another. Both benefit when you can integrate the international students more into the local community. The exchange of ideas and cultures is extremely beneficial… hiding international students away in a residential building all by themselves tends to isolate them. Everyone’s experiences are enriched the more they interact with US born students.

  4. Tim says:

    I suppose the students can have a choice about where they live; is that a problem for you AG?

  5. Barb - West Bend says:

    Thanks for the link, Sam. It provided answers to most of my questions. I couldn’t find the answer to what countries are investing in this particular project.

    It seems like a good project.

  6. AG says:

    Tim- Of course I have no problem with them having a choice. I’m just stating my opinion on all international student housing. Both the international and the local students miss out on a great opportunity by them choosing to live in places like that.

    I know from personal experience and working with others who have had personal experiences, that being an international student is stressful and often times it can be too easy to fall into a comfort zone by finding others like you. Being forced to interact with the local culture is not an easy, but can have vast benefits.

  7. Jackie says:

    Hi all,

    As the General Manager for the property, now officially named Eleven25 At Pabst, I wanted to let you know there have been some changes along the way. We are excited to be working with local universities to house students in their international programs but we will also be housing domestic students from Marquette, MSOE & UWM. The community will open in the summer of 2016 and we are now leasing for the ’16-’17 school year. We appreciate your interest in the development and are thrilled to be part of The Brewery neighborhood revitalization!

    Best regards,

    Jackie Higgins
    General Manager

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