New Apartments at The Brewery
Florida developer creating 118 apartments; Pabst opening a micro-brewery.
The Brewery isn’t like it used to be. The neighborhood emerging out of the former Pabst Brewery complex on the northwest edge of downtown Milwaukee is quickly becoming an active neighborhood. A number of new buildings have been added to the area, historic buildings have been converted to new uses and now two more historic structures are finding new life. Florida-based Whitestone Realty Capital is converting the former malt house and elevator to an apartment complex. Just to the west of that, the former First German Methodist Church, long owned by the Pabst, is undergoing restoration to become a micro-brewery for the born-again brewery. The development of the latter is happening under the guidance of KM Development Corp, an arm of Zilber Ltd. that is leading the brewery’s redevelopment.
Friday Photos last paid a visit to The Brewery in June, and even since then its become a dramatically different neighborhood. In addition to the two construction projects, preliminary work on Preservation Park is underway, the massive Milwaukee Bucks arena project is underway just to the east and most notably Eleven25, a 400-bed student housing development, has opened in the former Building 29.
Apartment Project Underway
Whitestone is converting the former malt house and malt elevator buildings into 118 market-rate apartments. The project, which was originally approved in 2014, has been anticipated for years, with the development team originally proposing it as senior housing. Global Builders Inc. is serving as the project’s general contractor.
The buildings date back as far back as 1882 and contain a combined 158,500 square-feet of space. They’re instantly recognizable to many as Building 24 (the malt house) serves as the southern anchor of the gigantic Pabst sign that straddles W. Juneau Ave. Building 25, the malt elevator, is a narrow building that stands between the former church and the significantly larger malt house. Work is underway on both to restore the brick-covered windows and clear out the interior. Our photos show the impressive cleaning job that is underway on the Cream City brick facade.
For more on this project, see my 2014 article on the project’s approval.
From Church to Brewery
The former church is a turning point in the redevelopment of the former brewery: it’s the final historic structure to be redeveloped. Zilber Vice President emeritus Mike Mervis made what he said was a final appearance before the city’s Historic Preservation Committee to secure design approval for the project. That building, originally built as the First German Methodist Church, was last used as a training center by Pabst. Ironically, the brewing giant, under new ownership, is reopening the facility as a micro-brewery for some of their lesser-known recipes.
A summer and then fall opening was originally planned, but it looks like its going to take a few more months. Crews were on-hand working on the rear addition to the building. For more, see my 2015 article from the project’s announcement.
Other Projects at The Brewery
A substantial number of projects have been completed at The Brewery.
- The Pabst Professional Center office building is complete and has attracted a number of tenants, including recently profiled SafeNet Consulting and a satellite office for Pabst Brewing.
- Streetscaping work has been completed that gives W. Juneau Ave. a layout very similar to Broadway in the Historic Third Ward.
- The Frederick Lofts (new construction), Brewery Point Apartments (new construction), Eleven25 (adaptive reuse) and Blue Ribbon Lofts (adaptive reuse) apartment buildings have been completed.
- #Cardinal Stritch University# (adaptive reuse) and the UW-Milwaukee Zilber School of Public Health (adaptive reuse and new construction) both have a significant presence in the neighborhood. Cardinal Stritch, which occupies the Research Lab building, is looking to sublease their space as part of changes at the university.
- Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery, a bar and hall, has opened a second hall known as the Great Hall.
- The Brewhouse Inn and Suites hotel and attached Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub do a brisk business.
- The LEED Gold certified parking garage opened in 2009 with 908 stalls.
- The former boiler house (Building 10) is now the Boiler House Office Building and has been open since 2008.
- Zilber Park is open, honoring the legacy of Joseph and Vera Zilber.
- Preservation Park is under construction just east of the Whitestone project.
- Milwaukee Brewing Company is working to open a brewery in the former Shipping Center (Building 42), originally built in 1970.
- Milhaus Development is planning two apartment buildings, totaling 274 units, for vacant lots in the complex
- A 150-room Hyatt Place hotel is being explored for a currently vacant lot on the complex’s eastern edge