Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Construction Starts on The Legacy Lofts

Project will redevelop former central city ice cream factory.

By - Nov 2nd, 2017 06:54 pm
Legacy Lofts Construction

Legacy Lofts Construction

Work is underway on the development of the Legacy Lofts mixed-use apartment project in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood. Located at 1500 W. North Ave., the project includes a mix of new construction and redevelopment of the former Blommer Ice Cream factory. In total, 64 apartments will be developed on the site.

The former Blommer Ice Cream factory, which hasn’t made delicious treats since the 1930s, was originally built in 1910 and expanded in 1925. It is being redeveloped to house 38 apartments. The new building, would be located next door to the old factory on a site that currently is occupied by a vacant surface parking lot and duplex. The duplex is being razed to accommodate the new building, which would be a 26-unit apartment building.

The Milwaukee Common Council unanimously approved city financing and a zoning variance to support the project in July. Known as the The Legacy Lofts at the Blommer Ice Cream Factory, the project will also include first-floor commercial space that would house the Legacy Midwest Renewal Corp.

The project is being developed by a partnership of Legacy Midwest Renewal Corp and Chicago-based Evergreen Real Estate Group. Continuum Architects + Planners is serving as the project architect, bringing extensive knowledge of adaptive reuse projects and historic preservation tax credits to the project. Greenfire Management Services will serve as the project’s general contractor.

The city created a developer-financed tax-incremental financing district to support the project. The developer will advance the city $635,000 as part of the district, which will be invested back into the project. The development team will then be paid back over a period of no more than 20 years from incremental property tax revenue generated by the project. The financing mechanism, which places the risk solely on the developer, allows the city to help developers plug a project financing gap with virtually no risk to the taxpayers.

Of the 64 units in the total project, only 10 would be available as market-rate housing. The bulk of the units in the project would be set aside for those making between $17,400 and $46,920 according to the developer’s presentation. Those would be financed in part with $723,000 in low-income housing tax credits from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority. Sixteen of the units will be made available for those participating in WHEDA’s supportive housing program designed to combat homelessness.

The apartments in both buildings would be a mix of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units.

The first units are scheduled to be available in August 2018.

The project has an estimated cost of $13.7 million.

More information on the project can be found in our June coverage.


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