Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

90-Unit Apartment Complex for East Side

Proposal would raze four buildings for seven-story complex across from Columbia St. Mary's Hospital.

By - Feb 5th, 2020 02:21 pm
E North development site. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

E North development site. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A new apartment building could rise on the East Side if the city grants the necessary zoning change.

A development group is seeking to purchase and demolish four two-story residential structures at the southwest corner of E. North Ave. and N. Summit Ave. to form a triangular development site. Two single-family homes would also be demolished.

A seven-story building with up to 90 units would be constructed on the site. JLA Architects is working on the building’s design.

Randy Bryant, home restoration specialist and head of the Ten Chimneys Foundation, has been representing the development group, E North LLC, in discussions with Kovac and other city officials. Bryant owns two of the four properties to be redeveloped. A zoning change application lists Madison-based attorney Ed Layton as the agent for investment group.

The development has an estimated cost of $19 million.

The public will get its first chance to weigh in on the proposal at a February 12th community meeting organized by area Alderman Nik Kovac. The meeting will be held at the East Library starting at 6:00 p.m. Hearings before the City Plan Commission and Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee would also be required before the full council could vote on the deal.

The project is just outside the borders of the East Side Architectural Review Board, but Kovac said he expects the proposed development to still comply with the spirit of the district’s guidelines. That includes a height of no more than 85 feet specified by city zoning requirements for this area.

Kovac’s particularly focused on how pedestrians would interact with the building at street level, including ensuring active uses like a community room, lobby or fitness center are included rather than blank walls or visible parking. “That’s the direction we pushed them in the most,” said the alderman in an interview. Kovac told Urban Milwaukee that commercial space currently isn’t planned as part of the development, but townhomes would be included along the N. Summit Ave. facade.

The alderman doesn’t believe that developing the site would trigger a wave of other development on lots currently occupied by single-family homes and duplexes. He said the rear entrance to the Clock Tower Building along N. Summit Ave. provides a buffer between the proposed building and other adjacent homes.

The properties to be razed include two nearly identical four-unit apartment buildings at 2231 E. North Ave. and 2239 E. North Ave. Bryant has owned both properties, built in 1943, since 2005. Two single-family homes, located at 2275 N. Summit Ave. and 2279 N. Summit Ave., would also be demolished. Both were built in 1889 and contain four bedrooms according to city records

The properties have a combined assessment of $1,068,700. The combined lot would be 0.35 acres according to city records.

The new building would be opposite Ascension‘s nine-story Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital. It would be immediately east of the six-story Clock Tower Building.


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