Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

City Selling “Prime” E. North Ave Site

Seeks developer for Riverwest site that could host affordable housing.

By - Mar 10th, 2020 12:11 pm
1136-1146 E. North Ave. Rendering by Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, site layout by City of Milwaukee.

1136-1146 E. North Ave. Rendering by Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, site layout by City of Milwaukee.

A vacant, 1.34-acre site along E. North Ave. in Riverwest is available for development.

The City of Milwaukee has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the development of its property at 1136-1146 E. North Ave. The asking price is $750,000.

The Common Council approved a 122-unit, five-story apartment for the property and two adjacent parcels in 2012, but developer Todd Davies was never able to complete the project.

If a developer is able to acquire the two bookend parcels, totaling 0.53 acres, from owner ReadCo. it would be able to build Davies’ proposed development without a zoning change. Because the site is subject to a Detailed Planned Development zoning package, any other kind of development would require a zoning change.

The site is just west of UW-Milwaukee’s RiverView student housing complex. A Pick ‘n Save grocery store is located on the other side of E. North Ave.

“Located just west of the Milwaukee River, the City Site is well-positioned between Milwaukee’s East Side, Riverwest, and the Beerline, three of the most desirable neighborhoods in Milwaukee. The area has a well-established residential market with over 1,000 market rate condominium or apartment units constructed within one-half mile of the site since 2000,” says the RFP.

Area Alderman Nik Kovac has been an advocate for increasing the amount of affordable housing in his district and a Department of City Development representative said it was something the city sees as well-suited for the site. “Proposals that incorporate income/rent restricted affordable units within the proposed development are highly encouraged, with a preference for [two bedroom] or larger units and/or units targeting low income individuals below 50% [area median income],” says the city RFP.

The site has a retaining wall near its northern border that compensates for the sharp grade change between E. North Ave. and E. Walworth St.

Although construction never started on Davies’ project, the developer did perform excavation and other pre-development work on the site in 2012.

Davies’ L-shaped building, known as 1150 North Apartments, was proposed to be built to the sidewalk along E. North Ave. and set back 30 feet from the stub of N. Commerce St. that divides the site from UW-Milwaukee’s housing complex. Designed by Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, the building was proposed to include 125 parking spots, including 65 located indoors.

The 2012 proposal from Davies included relocating an existing Clear Channel billboard on the site to the top of the building, but a 2013 modification dropped the billboard.

The city previously used a building on the site for sanitation services.

Proposals are due by 2:00 p.m. on May 15th.

Site Photos and Renderings

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