Jeramey Jannene
Friday Photos

Clarke Square Apartments Open

New buildings bookend south side park, provide affordable housing.

By - Jul 24th, 2020 04:46 pm
Clarke Square Apartments building at 2331 W. Vieau Pl. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Clarke Square Apartments building at 2331 W. Vieau Pl. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Two new apartment buildings are open, and full, on Milwaukee’s South Side.

The Clarke Square Apartments anchor the northwest and southwest corner of Clarke Square Park between S. 24th and S. 23rd streets.

First proposed in 2016, the buildings were developed as part of a partnership between Cardinal Capital Management and Journey House.

“At Journey House, we believe one person can change the course of their family,” said Journey House CEO Michele Bria at a May 2019 groundbreaking ceremony for the project. To that end, the project provides 40 units of affordable housing. And 10 of the units are set aside for individuals aging out of foster care.

The $8.5 million project relies on a lot of partnerships. Cardinal Capital Management secured $5.6 million in low-income housing tax credits from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority. Boston Capital, a frequent Cardinal partner, is buying the credits that provide the equity for the project. The city contributed over $500,000 from its federal allotment of HOME loan funds. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago also contributed $600,000 from a grant program. Associated Bank provided a loan. And Milwaukee County’s Wraparound Milwaukee program pays the rent for individuals aging out of foster care.

“I don’t know of anyone in this city that is better at creating partnerships,” said Mayor Tom Barrett of Bria at the groundbreaking. “You can work with anyone.”

There are 20 one-bedroom units, 14 two-bedroom units and six-three bedroom units. The 30 units not included in the post-foster care program are set aside for residents making no more than 60 percent of the Milwaukee area’s median income.

Occupancy permits for the buildings were issued earlier this year. A leasing website shows no vacancies.

The buildings were designed by Dimension IV Madison Design Group. Cardinal Capital’s in house team served as the general contractor.

The northern building is located at 2330 W. Mineral St., the southern one at 2331 W. Vieau Pl.

As part of the development, the city sold two vacant parcels to the development team for $50,000. One of those parcels, 2331 W. Vieau Pl., housed the recently demolished and long-vacant Lao Family Center, which was severely damaged in a three-alarm fire in 2014. A vacant home on W. Mineral St. was demolished to form the northern building site.

The project’s origins, according to a 2017 presentation by Bria, can be traced back to the 2009 Clarke Square plan sponsored by the Zilber Neighborhood Initiative.

This isn’t the first time Journey House has sought to create housing in the area. The non-profit has already opened two buildings, totaling 10 apartments, in previously tax-foreclosed buildings purchased from the city.


July 2019 Construction Photos


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