DoMUS Heads for Finish Line
132 new Third Ward apartments will open in July.
The Mandel Group‘s new DoMUS apartment building is on track to open in July. When complete, the building at 401 E. Erie St will include 132 apartments and 6,500 square-feet of commercial space. The Mandel Group recently opened a model unit in the building.
HGA Architects & Engineers is leading the design of the building under the watchful eye of firm principal Jim Shields, while CD Smith is heading up the general contracting effort. HGA has a good view of the construction work: their offices are immediately west of the building in the Marine Terminal Lofts condominiums. The new project has an estimated cost of $30 million.
DoMUS, which draws its name from luxury homes in ancient Rome, won’t be targeted primarily at Millennials, like so many new apartment projects are. Instead Andy Wiegman, vice president of development & construction for Mandel, notes the project aims to “to supplement our current inventory in the Third Ward and in particular dedicate a portion of our offering specifically to an older demographic. The level of finishes, design of apartment homes and the overall presentation of the property will really outshine the type of finishes people expect today. We’re looking forward to setting a new standard for luxury apartments that meets the expectations of people coming out of higher‐end single family homes.” Tenant amenities will include a large fitness facility along the riverwalk, club room with outdoor terrace, pet grooming studio and bicycle repair shop.
Floor plans include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments on the second, third and fourth floors. The top floors will include units that Mandel is calling penthouses, targeted at “empty nesters who have been substantially underserved by the current wave of apartment building.”
When the project broke ground in February 2016, Mandel announced they were negotiating with a potential personal training tenant to occupy 4,000 square-feet on the first floor.
Mandel received a $295,000 Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) grant through the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee in October 2015 to fund half the costs of repairing the dockwall at the site and building an extension of the Milwaukee RiverWalk. Future property taxes generated by the project will pay back the TIF grant. Financing for the project is being provided by Anchor Bank.
The site for DoMUS and a number of the lots around it were formerly home to a Wisconsin Gas plant that manufactured gas from coal and oil until the 1950s. With the soil contamination from that, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and We Energies (which is the successor to the plant owner) have created a remediation plan and installed air quality monitoring devices.
Long-time observers of the real estate scene will know this wasn’t the first proposal for the site. Mandel proposed a condominium development by the same name for the site in 2006, before pulling the plug during the Great Recession.