Second Phase of Avenir Apartments Advancing
Developer selects Stevens to lead construction, building permit applied for.
Construction on the second phase of the Avenir apartment complex is poised to get underway in the coming months. Weidner Investment Services applied for a building permit to construct a 64-unit apartment building at 418 E. Ogden St.
The project would build off of the 104-unit first phase that opened in 2014 at 1425 N. Jefferson St. Completed by Wangard Partners, the building represents the first phase of a three-phase effort that is eventually intended to fill the entire block bounded by E. Lyon St., N. Jefferson St., E. Ogden St. and N. Milwaukee St. The site was made available following the demolition of the Park East Freeway spur.
AG Architecture is serving as the project architect on the building. The Wauwatosa-based firm also designed the first building in the complex.
Stevens Construction, according to city permits, has been selected to serve as the general contractor.
Units would primarily be one-bedroom with an additional 11 studio and 11 two-bedroom units. The 91,660-square-foot building would include 4,897 square feet of retail space. By occupancy standards, the retail spaces in the first phase have been very successful, being effectively full since 2015.
Weidner acquired the site and first building for $22.7 million in December 2018 according to city records. In addition to Avenir, the firm also owns the nearby River House apartment complex at 17 85 N. Water St., Latitude at 1857 E. Kenilworth Pl. and a host of northwest side complexes. All have been acquired in recent years.
Weidner, according to a report submitted to the county in October, is the 15th largest owner of apartments in the United States and first overall in 12 states. The firm owns 52,624 units. It has investments in 12 US markets, including Milwaukee. The report states that one percent of the firm’s units are located in the Milwaukee market.
The site is governed by a 2012 development agreement with Milwaukee County, which owned the land under the freeway. As part of the revised deal, the original development team, consisting of RSC and Wangard, will pay Milwaukee County $100,000 in compensation for lost property tax revenue and expenses related to a failure to move forward with the second phase. Weidner, the new developer, was required to post a $250,000 letter of credit to guarantee the new agreement’s completion. Wangard will maintain a minority interest in the project.
The development cost for the remaining two phases is estimated at $26 million. A total of 145 units are projected.
Based on plans submitted to the county and city permits, Weidner is advancing what project plans call the third phase before completing the second phase. The three buildings are proposed to eventually surround a central parking garage that was constructed with the first phase.
Weidner did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication. Required documentation, including construction plans, to issue the building permit have yet to be submitted.
The complex’s name, Avenir, is French for future. And apparently it’s becoming popular. A project on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago was given the Avenir name in 2019.
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