Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Construction Underway on The Yards

Pile driver getting plenty of use to construct foundation for Walker's Point apartment building.

By - Jan 11th, 2019 04:03 pm
Pile driving for The Yards. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Pile driving for The Yards, The Quin in the background. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

What’s that banging sound in Walker’s Point? It’s a Michels Corp. pile driver repeatedly hammering a steel support structure into the ground for a new apartment building.

Construction is underway on The Yards, an 87-unit apartment building. The L-shaped building is being constructed on a long-vacant lot at 223 W. Oregon St.

The steel piles being driven into the ground will be used to support the building. Underground piles, which are fairly common in Milwaukee, are one of a handful of techniques available to support buildings on soft soils.

The project is the second Milwaukee project for Linden Street Partners. The firm recently celebrated the completion of The Quin, a 70-unit apartment building located a stone’s throw away. Things must have gone pretty well because Linden again hired architecture firm RINKA and general contractor Altius Building Company.

We last covered The Yards in October when soil testing was underway. At that point, Linden partner Scott Richardson told Urban Milwaukee that foundation work would begin in December and January. Right on schedule, equipment from Michels and general contractor Altius can be found on the site.

The Yards will be quite similar to the firm’s other Milwaukee project. The two buildings, located kiddy corner from one another across S. 2nd St., both feature market-rate apartments, a small commercial space, fitness center and interior deck. The second building, which started with a pitch from landowners General Capital Group and Peter Moede, is slightly larger. Both were built on vacant lots.

Richardson told Urban Milwaukee that the building’s name, The Yards, is a double entendre. It’s both a reference to the building’s location, on the eastern edge of the Reed Street Yards water technology business park, and to the proposed amenities, which include a dog walk, second-story rooftop deck and balconies on every unit.

When asked what the firm sees in the neighborhood that has drawn them to do not one, but two projects, Richardson stated: “It’s a walkable neighborhood. It has a lot of new activity of different types, lots of new restaurants, offices going in and a little bit of housing in the area, but not the amount of housing you have in other areas of Downtown.”

The fact that the two sites are divided by an active freight rail line doesn’t bother Linden Street. “We don’t see freight trains as a negative at all. It lends to the urban feel of the project,” says Richardson. He adds that modern wall and window systems are substantially better than those of even a decade ago and very little additional work is required to block out the sound of a passing train.

An approximately 1,900 square-foot commercial space is planned for the building’s first floor at the southwest corner of S. 2nd and W. Oregon streets. Another first-floor space is planned as a fitness center for tenants.

The building’s design was approved by the City Plan Commission in March 2018. The Common Council’s Public Works Committee approved an air space lease last week to allow a small portion of the building to hang over the sidewalk.




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