Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Wildenberg Hotel Will Be Redeveloped

Developer Que El-Amin giving 1856 building new life as anchor of housing development.

By - Nov 20th, 2018 01:58 pm
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The Wildenberg Hotel and mobile home park in 2011. Image from Google Maps.

The Wildenberg Hotel and mobile home park in 2011. Image from Google Maps.

Developer Que El-Amin, head of Scott Crawford Inc., will partner with Brinshore Development to redevelop the historic Wildenberg Hotel at 3774 S. 27th St.

The building, originally built in 1856 as a country mansion for Jacob Nunnemacher, sits on a 1.86-acre site. That was a draw for El-Amin. “What I really like about this is the open land. We didn’t just want to put one multi-family building on the site,” the developer told the Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee.

El-Amin is proposing to develop 23 apartment units and 22 townhomes on the site. “We didn’t just want to put one multifamily building on the site,” he said.

This isn’t the first partnership between El-Amin and Brinshore. Along with additional ACRE graduates, El-Amin is working with Brinshore to develop a 43-unit apartment building known as Villard Commons in the Old North Milwaukee neighborhood. The developer has a number of other projects in the works, including a multi-phase, $60 million housing complex in the Sherman Park neighborhood and a medical office building in Bronzeville.

The city is happy the developers have a vision for the property. “We’ve listed it through [a request for proposals process]. We’ve listed it through a regular listing. This is a very challenging site to develop,” said Department of City Development real estate services manager Amy Turim.

El-Amin said at the request of area alderman Terry Witkowski, a three-story apartment building would be developed along S. 27th St., with the townhomes at the rear of the site. “He wants something that will stand out,” said the developer. The property currently sits between a strip mall and one-story office building. The concrete-channeled Wilson Park Creek formers the eastern border of the site.

The mansion-turned-hotel will be redeveloped. “Alderman Witkowski was very adamant about keeping and maintaining the Wildenberg Hotel,” said El-Amin. He said his group is exploring using the building as office space or a community room.

El-Amin was before the committee to secure an exclusive right to negotiate for the purchase of the property, a necessary precursor to applying for low-income housing tax credits from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority by its December 14th deadline. If the credits are not secured, the exclusive right to negotiate would be terminated.

The committee unanimously endorsed the request, which will now go before the full Common Council.

Before the city acquired it through property tax foreclosure in 2014, the property was operated jointly as a bar, hotel and mobile home park. Edward Wildenberg had acquired the property in 1947, operating the Evergreen Hotel and bar, as well as a mobile home park on what was a former campground. His descendants operated the complex until the city seized the property in 2014.

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