Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Still No Deal For The Couture. Yet

Sorry, Mark Belling, deal still isn't quite done, says developer.

By - Dec 11th, 2019 03:26 pm
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The Couture. Rendering by Rinka Chung Architecture.

The Couture. Rendering by RINKA.

“Finally! Financing finally complete for Couture. Developer Rick Barrett gets $31 million today in deal underwritten by Baird,” said conservative radio host Mark Belling in a tweet Tuesday evening.

Not quite, says Barrett.

“We are hard at work to complete the last piece of financing to make this iconic, transformative building a reality,” wrote the developer in a request for comment from Urban Milwaukee. “We continue to make good progress, but have nothing new to share at this time.”

The developer has been seeking the final equity investment to make the 44-story, $122 million apartment tower a reality for at least the past year. Earlier this year his firm, Barrett Lo Visionary Development, partnered with investment firm Robert W. Baird and Co. on finding those last investors to make the deal move forward.

Barrett, when he has funding in hand, will also need to submit a “firm commitment” for a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He was first invited to do so in November 2018. The department, through spokesperson Gina Rodriguez, said that has yet to happen. “On our end we have nothing new to report,” said Rodriguez. She noted that the department has had continued discussions with Barrett’s team.

Department of City Development officials “remain optimistic” that the deal will come to fruition, said spokesperson Jeff Fleming.

Completing the financing package and starting construction on the 322-unit luxury apartment tower would solve another problem: the delayed extension of The Hop to the lakefront. City officials have spent much time publicly, and privately, debating what to do with the line’s eastern terminus planned to go through the tower’s base.

The tower is being designed by architecture firm RINKA. J.H. Findorff & Son is slated to serve as the general contractor and oversaw the demolition of the Downtown Transit Center on the two-acre project site.

The Tweet

Renderings

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