Jeramey Jannene
Plats and Parcels

Work Starts on Bay View Complex

BV+ building will add 18 apartments, commercial space to Bay View's main street.

By - May 17th, 2020 10:37 pm
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BV+ construction has started. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

BV+ construction has started. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Soil has been moved at 2557-2565 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. marking the start of construction on the BV+ (Bay View Addition) project.

Scott Genke is developing an 18-unit, two-story building on a vacant lot as a complement to the existing Bay View Building to the south.

Work is also progressing on the redevelopment of that building, which Genke acquired in 2019. The first-floor facade is now visible, having been shrouded in plywood for the past few months. The building, most recently home to the Alchemist Theatre, will house Honeypie on its first floor and four apartments above. A patio will occupy the space between the two buildings.

The restaurant will relocate from its original space a block south at 2643 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

The Alchemist closed in December 2018 after twelve years of operation. Genke purchased the 7,683 square-foot building in February 2019 for $433,133.

SG Property Development + Management owns and operates a number of properties in the area, including the redeveloped King Building, which has 14 apartments, including live-work units, and two street-facing commercial spaces.

SG Property Development is leading the design of the BV+ building, with Joel Agacki of Striegel-Agacki Studio serving as the architect of record.

The building will consist of 15 studio apartments, two one-bedroom units and a live-work unit. “Rent will start at $995 and the building will be energy efficient,” said Genke via email in February. Eighteen indoor parking spaces will be included, as well as one outdoor space. Approximately 1,200 square feet of commercial space will be included on the building’s first floor.

New Life for Old Main

The redevelopment of Old Main, the signature building at the Civil War-era Soldiers’ Home complex on Milwaukee’s west side, is continuing despite the pandemic.

Built in 1867 to house returning soldiers after the Civil War, much of the complex, located behind the Milwaukee Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, has been vacant for decades. But come spring 2021, veterans will again reside in 101 apartments in the century-and-a-half-old complex.

The $44.5 million project, years in the making, is being led by the Madison-based Alexander CompanyJ.P. Cullen is leading the general contracting.

“Some impressive progress has been made, both inside and out,” said firm president Joe Alexander in a statement. “As to the exterior, window restoration continues, as does work on the roof, trim, and tuck pointing. Scaffolding is starting to come down in some areas and you can see the finished product. On the interior, installation of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing is in process. New housing units are being framed on the ground and first floors, in addition to restoring wood flooring, plaster walls, and wainscoting. Next steps include continuing work on the interior with drywall and finishes.

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Judge Rules Northridge Mall Must Be Demolished

A year after the City of Milwaukee ramped up a fight over the future of Northridge Mall, a judge has ruled the vacant complex should be demolished.

“I am very pleased that we have reached this point in the process.  The dilapidated former mall had become a hazard, a threat to the health and safety of people in the immediate vicinity,” said Mayor Tom Barrett in a statement. “The Northridge Mall site has great potential, and I am hopeful that potential can be realized in the not-too-distant future.”

Barrett and other city officials gathered outside the mall in April 2019 to announce a plan to issue a raze order on the property.

The vacant mall’s owner, the China-based U.S. Black Spruce Enterprise Group, had appealed the city’s decision to raze the structures it deems hazardous. A trial was held in January and February.

Wednesday afternoon Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge William Pocan issued a written ruling that the city’s move to raze the property was valid and dismissed Black Spruce’s appeal. He affirmed the city’s opinion that the buildings pose “significant safety and environmental hazards.” The company may appeal the decision.

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Is A Couture Deal Finally Coming?

The Couture, a proposed 44-story, $122 million apartment tower, has been on the drawing boards since 2012. And while developer Barrett Lo Visionary Development continues to work to secure financing, a planned streetcar station in its base has been on hold.

But city officials say an announcement on the real estate project is coming next month. “We believe late June we will have an announcement,” said Lori LutzkaDepartment of City Development special projects manager, during a Wednesday morning meeting of the Public Works Committee.

The project is key to the city’s plan to open an extension of The Hop.  The tracks and stations, without the planned loop through the project site at 909 E. Michigan St., have sat idle since 2018 and members of the Common Council have asked city officials to consider other options to complete the transit line.

“The concern I have had for two years is we tied this streetcar to the completion of a private real estate project,” said Alderman Robert Bauman . “We all hope The Couture gets built, it’s a beautiful building, outstanding architecture, the problem is that we married that project to a public infrastructure project.”

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You Have Three More Weeks To Appeal Your Assessment

The due date to appeal a property value assessment in Milwaukee has been extended from May 18th to June 8th.

Residential property assessments, released in late April, increased an average of 11.95 percent in Milwaukee compared to last year, causing sticker shock for a number of property owners. The assessments are based on sales data and, under state law, designed to reflect the value on a pre-pandemic date of January 1st.

The Board of Review, a citizen-led board that oversees assessment appeals, extended the deadline Friday at the request of multiple members of the Milwaukee Common Council.

The Assessor’s Office has already received requests for 5,171 objection forms, up from 2,085 in 2019.

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