Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Downtown Building Grows Apartments

Century Building would (mostly) convert from offices to 50 low-income residential units.

By - Feb 2nd, 2016 04:14 pm
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Century Building would (mostly) convert from offices to 50 low-income residential units. Back to the full article.

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6 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Downtown Building Grows Apartments”

  1. John R. Thomas says:

    When a large number of units are occupied by low income families in one concentrated area, there often is nothing but trouble. A percentage of them have a tendency of not getting along with each other. Sprinkle them through out the building with the retail renters, the polite habits may rub off. Here in the city of Waukesha, we have a few concentrations of apartments of low income residents. The authorities know these areas well. I hope that the developer of this downtown
    project does not have his plans locked in place yet. Good Luck city of Milwaukee.

  2. Izzy says:

    It baffles me that his gem is not on any historic register, yet some old foundry along the river on the Walker’s Point/Third Ward border was! Hopefully the buyer will restore the building respectively and meticulously, there are many elements that are worth saving. Dare I say the reason Bauman is not supportive of the conversion is because the majority of the project would be reserved for low-income residents (P.S. is this the best descriptive term, low-income has such negative connotations, I prefer ‘Affordable Housing’ myself). I think if a developer came in with a plan to convert it to high-end luxury apartments, he would be 100% on board. I think it adds a good mix of residents, especially since projects like The Buckler and MKE Lofts are priced way out of budget for young professionals/millennials like myself, who want to live downtown but can’t afford it.

  3. MidnightSon says:

    Ack. Izzy, I spent a good 30 minutes last night online checking to see of “low-income housing” was the best term to use. I had the same reaction you did. The article referred to it as “below market rate” (BMR) rentals, which I prefer and am more used to hearing. “Low-income” sounds judgmental and “poor,” and I wondered about distinctions between “low income,” “moderate income” and “affordable housing.”

    Needless to say, its a hornet’s nest of terminology out there. WHEDA does, indeed, refer to grants for projects involving “low-income housing.” And, I never found an answer to the question as to distinctions between the various other terms. Low-income refers to households that earn no more than 60% of an area’s median income. In San Francisco, where I lived last before moving to Chicago, that is also the definition of eligibility for BMR rentals and purchases. However, at least in that crazy market, BMR is hardly low-income. It is solidly middle-class!

    Given what the current downtown Milwaukee market is “bearing” in terms of higher rents for “luxury” apartments, I wondered of if “low-income” was the right term.

  4. Thanks for the comments.

    I used low-income housing because that’s the exact terminology on the tax credits they’re applying for.

  5. Izzy says:

    Noted, I just cringe at that term, thanks for the clarification Jeramey. I do enjoy reading your columns, and in no way was trying to imply that it was an error on your part. None the less, I am excited to see more investment west of the river. Now if only someone would step up and renovate the Chalet, personally having lived there for over a year, it is outdated and could use some investment. It has great views going for it, and is a good candidate for redevelopment.

  6. I agree with the alderman Robert Bauman that the Century Bldg should be renovated and kept an office building. It would serve Milwaukee to better to renovate the building to service the Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce, African American Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce, Asian American Chamber of Commerce, American Women Chamber of Commerce, Jewish American Chamber of Commerce, meeting rooms and etc. This building could bring the Milwaukee communities closer and enhance our city image as a progressive entity to be reckon with across the nation and hopefully throughout the world.. The location is perfect and will service the western part of downtown well, This is jewel that we must preserve and allow our city to shine and help erase our image as being one of US most segregated city, but a city with many ethnics group and cultures working side by side. I too, will like to have space set aside for several three to 4 stars restaurants along with preserving George Webb as a tenant.

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