Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Street Car Flats Moving Forward

New apartments to be created from 96-year-old office building.

By - Oct 1st, 2020 06:53 pm
828 N. Broadway. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

828 N. Broadway. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A new apartment complex will take shape in a 96-year-old office building in the heart of Downtown.

Chicago-based developer Paul Dincin plans to convert the nine-story Underwriters Exchange Building at 828 N. Broadway into 75 apartments.

“Our concept is to keep the rents relatively small and attainable,” said Dincin in an interview.

Much of the building will be studios starting at $1,100. But the building’s top two floors will feature larger, two-story units. “The views are surprising,” said Dincin, noting you can see the lake and much of the skyline.

The top floor features circular windows like one would find in a ship. Dincin said pre-demolition work found the original windows covered over.

Demolition work revealed other historic charm. “We found some of the most beautiful crown molding that was preserved on the first floor,” he said. Terrazo flooring was also found.

The proposal relies on historic preservation tax credits, which will have those historical elements preserved and rehabilitated.

“We have a beautiful lobby, really nice amenities,” said Dincin. He said a lounge with pool table and community room were planned. Units will have the standard package for new market-rate apartments in the city, including in-unit washer and driers.

Construction is expected to start in January and be completed in spring 2022. A construction permit is pending before the city.

Chicago-based Built Form is serving as the project architect. Peridot Construction Management will lead the general contracting.

Dincin acquired the property for $1.25 million in 2018 through 850 W. Jackson LLC and Catapult 828 Broadway LLC, according to state records. His firm, Catapult Real Estate Solutions, specializes in turning around distressed real estate.

The developer sees an opportunity in the location. “It’s close to everything,” he said, ticking off a list including Cathedral Square, the Milwaukee School of Engineering campus, Milwaukee City Hall, BMO Tower and The Hop. “It’s so centrally located, it’s really untapped.”

It’s the last thing in his list the building will draw its name from. The redeveloped building will be known as the Street Car Flats, a reference to the streetcar station immediately outside of the building.

The 57,111 square-foot building was built in 1924 according to city records. It was designed by the firm of Rosman and Wierdsma, who also designed the Knickerbocker Hotel. The office building was previously known as the American Republic Building.

This isn’t Dincin’s first project in Milwaukee. Through his prior firm, Tandem Development, Dincin developed Cobbler’s Lofts at 234 E. Reservoir Ave.Shoeworks Lofts at 1924 N. Hubbard St. and partnered with local developer Gary Grunau on The Edge, a 77-unit, six-story condominium project at 1890 N. Commerce St.

2018 Photos

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