Density Meets Bay View
First building in the massive Stitchweld complex will open next month
A large new apartment complex is taking shape at the north end of Bay View. Developed by Indiana-based Milhaus Development, the multi-building complex will turn a largely vacant industrial complex into an active part of Bay View.
When complete, the complex, known as Stitchweld, will include 288 units spread over four buildings ranging in height from four to five floors. The first building appears virtually complete and is scheduled to open to residents in April.
The project site is located at 2141 S. Robinson Ave., just southwest of the intersection of S. Kinnickinnic Ave. and E. Becher St.
Milwaukee-based Greenfire Management Services is leading the general contracting on the $40 million project. Design work on the project is being led by Engberg Anderson. Blair Williams and his firm WiRED Properties provided extensive consulting services on the project. BMO Harris Bank is providing project financing.
The project was originally approved in August 2015 for as many as 320 units, but soil problems on the site forced a reduction to 288 units. The site includes the building formerly occupied by Sweet Water Organics, the defunct urban farm. Originally built for Milwaukee-crane manufacturer Harnishfeger (now Joy Global), a portion of the building is being preserved and will be converted to a community space. The complex will include up-to 350 parking spaces in underground garages and surface lots. The 69-unit Vue apartment building is rising one block east of the project.
The complex will serve as a test of the principles of market urbanism in Bay View, a neighborhood that has seen rising housing prices as more people flock to the near south side. Will the new supply of housing satisfy demand and slow the rapid rise of housing prices in older housing stock? Will the neighborhood be overrun by traffic from the hundreds of new residents? Will the new residents support all of the local businesses on Bay View’s main street or is S. Kinnickinnic Ave. about to become lined by chains?