Jeramey Jannene
Friday Photos

Ultra Lofts Rise in Deer District

In just a few months people will be living in Milwaukee's newest neighborhood.

By - Apr 19th, 2019 08:19 pm
Five Fifty Ultra Lofts. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Five Fifty Ultra Lofts. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The entertainment center on the east side of Fiserv Forum has received lots of attention, but one of the most impactful parts of the new arena is actually on the arena’s northwest corner.

Connected to the stadium’s parking garage, a new apartment building is quickly taking shape. Known as the Five Fifty Ultra Lofts, the six-story building will contain 112 apartments when it’s completed in the coming months.

The privately-financed building, in which a firm affiliated with the Milwaukee Bucks‘ ownership group is an investor, is being developed by Royal Capital Group.

Its residents will be the first in the arena neighborhood, branded Deer District by the team, which connects Downtown’s Westown neighborhood with The Brewery, Haymarket and Hillside neighborhoods.

The building, along with a large, electronic billboard on the parking garage, will be the first thing people see when they enter Downtown via W. McKinley Ave.

The project is being designed by Engberg Anderson Architects. And one thing they’ll have to pay particular attention to is how that billboard interacts with the building’s north-facing units. It’s just a few feet from a number of windows. Thick blinds, special glass or a protruding fin will need to be installed to prevent residents from turning into Cosmo Kramer on The Chicken Roaster episode of “Seinfeld.”

The building features a unique design, at least for Milwaukee. It is effectively three-sided, with the eastern side featuring a blank wall that abuts the parking garage. It will also be the only apartment building in town with skywalk access to an arena.

Though most of the building fronts N. 6th St., residents will enter it along W. Juneau Ave. The lobby, which gives the building its name, will be located at 550 W. Juneau Ave. Commercial storefronts are planned for the first floor of the N. 6th St. facade.

The units will be a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Amenities in the project include a rooftop deck, club room and fitness center.

Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs raised a sobering point during her remarks at the project’s groundbreaking. The Five Fifty project will only be the second downtown building owned by an African-American developer. The other is the recently completed redevelopment of the Germania Building by Kalan Haywood‘s firm Haywood Group and Cardinal Capital Management.

The Ultra Lofts building is being constructed by CD SmithFounders 3 will manage the property.

The project website touts the project as opening “spring 2019,” a change from November when it listed a June opening.

Future residents will want to keep an eye on the team’s playoff schedule as it relates to moving in. Navigating a Uhaul truck through pre-game traffic would be far from pleasant. But just think of the cash they’ll make renting out a spare bedroom during the Democratic National Convention.


Original and Updated Renderings

Pre-Construction Site Photos and Plans

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