Jeramey Jannene
Plats and Parcels

Milwaukee Developers Plan 959 Affordable Apartments

Plus: First tenants announced for North Avenue Market

By - Jan 10th, 2021 06:16 pm
Filer & Stowell, 147 E. Becher St., conceptual rendering. Rendering by Engberg Anderson Architects.

Filer & Stowell, 147 E. Becher St., conceptual rendering. Rendering by Engberg Anderson Architects.

Developers intend to create 959 new affordable apartments across Milwaukee, if allocated housing tax credits.

The Milwaukee projects are just 13 of the 54 applications submitted to the Wisconsin Housing Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) as part of its annual competitive allocation of low-income housing tax credits. Applications, like in past years, exceed the amount of available federal credits.

“The demand for these highly competitive tax credits indicates a continuing, acute shortage of affordable housing throughout Wisconsin,” said WHEDA CEO Joaquín Altoro in a statement announcing the annual applications. “However, tax credits and WHEDA-backed financing are not sufficient to address the needs. Many factors are contributing to the shortage and at WHEDA we are continuing to work with our partners to achieve better alignment through federal resources, private investment incentives, local development policies, employment opportunities and other tools.”

The credits are the most common tool used to create affordable housing in Wisconsin and require developers to set aside a pre-determined number of units at a discounted rate for those making no more than 80 percent of the area’s median income. The rental rate structure, tailored to different income thresholds and credit allocations, is designed to cap rents at 30 percent of an individual’s or family’s income.

The developers, who range from big, for-profit firms to small, non-profit agencies, can utilize the credits to offset, dollar-for-dollar, their tax liability. More often, the credits are sold to large institutions at an approximately 10 percent discount to their stated value. The proceeds from the sale create equity for the projects. In Milwaukee, additional funding sources are often used to provide the necessary equity to advance the projects.

The credit amounts, detailed below, are awarded annually for a 10-year period. In exchange, developers agree to set aside the units at below-market rates to qualifying residents for a period of at least 30 years.

Two different competitive grant programs exist. One provides a 9% federal tax credit and the other provides a 4% federal and 4% state income tax credit. Capacity on both programs is limited by federal credit allocations provided to the state.

The applicants include a list of program veterans, like Gorman & Company and the Martin Luther King Economic Development Corp., as well as rising-star firms like KG Development. Bear Development is advancing its redevelopment of the Filer and Stowell site in Bay View alongside an undisclosed project on Michigan Street (the firm did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication).

The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) also regularly vies for credits, and this year was no exception, with three applications submitted. The tax-exempt organization uses a public-private partnership model to redevelop its aging public housing complexes.

Projects in the city were allocated credits for 520 units in 2019 and 317 units in 2020. Totals do not include the market-rate units in each development.

Credit allocations are announced in the spring, with other projects deemed ineligible or placed on hold. Developers frequently resubmit projects in future years following WHEDA feedback.

We have previously reported on a number of the projects because they involve previously approved city land sales or rezoning requests, but others are entirely private and more information will not be available unless credits are allocated. We included links to additional reporting on each project where available.

Project List

Five Points Lofts

Bronzeville Scattered Sites

Townhomes at Carver Park

Garden District Apartments

Bethesda Cornerstone Village – Highland

Westlawn Renaissance V

  • Developer: Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee
  • Units: 44 (Affordable: 44)
  • Type: New Construction – Supportive
  • Credit Request: $930,677
  • Program: 9% Federal
  • Location: N. 64th St. and W. Silver Spring Dr.

Century Building – Phase II

  • Developer: Crown Court Properties
  • Units: 38 (Affordable: 32)
  • Type: Adaptive Reuse – Nonprofit Set Aside
  • Credit Request: $644,659
  • Program: 9% Federal
  • Location: 808 N. Old World Third St.
  • Learn More

Riverwest Workforce Apartments & Food Accelerator

Filer & Stowell Machine Shop Lofts

Filer & Stowell Foundry Lofts

  • Developer: Bear Development
  • Units: 78 (Affordable: 66)
  • Type: Adaptive Reuse
  • Credit Request: $654,125
  • Program: 4% State
  • Location: 147 E. Becher St.
  • Learn More

Michigan Street Commons

  • Developer: Bear Development
  • Units: 140 (Affordable: 140)
  • Type: New Construction
  • Credit Request: $1,007,500
  • Program: 4% State
  • Location: W. Michigan St. and N. James Lovell St.

Edison School Apartments

Westlawn Renaissance VII

  • Developer: Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee
  • Units: 97 (Affordable: 87)
  • Type: New Construction
  • Credit Request: $1,399,712
  • Program: 4% State
  • Location: N. 64th St. and W. Silver Spring Dr.

MLK Library Apartments

North Avenue Market Announces Tenants

The initial tenants for a new food hall and market at 5900 W. North Ave. in the city’s Uptown neighborhood have been announced.

Construction is expected to start in March, according to a report from Tom Daykin. The marketplace, led by developer William “Chris” Harris-Wimsatt, will occupy a former Associated Bank branch.

Mosler’s Vault, a bar from Bittercube, will anchor the space, as well as soul food provider Sharon’s Table, Rubryx Coffee Shop, Juana Tacos, Mango’s Cafe and Arty’s Sweet Talk Cupcakes. Daykin’s January 5th report has additional details.

Weekly Recap

Downtown Apartment Building Nears Completion

Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton will soon have a shorter commute to work. His first Milwaukee real estate development is nearly complete.

An in-house contracting team from Connaughton’s real estate development firm, Three Leaf Development, is leading the construction of a three-unit apartment building at the southwest corner of N. Milwaukee St. and E. Knapp St.

The new building replaces a Civil War-era duplex that Connaughton’s firm spent the latter part of 2019 working with the city on approvals to deconstruct.

Read the full article

Massive Harbor, River Cleanup Moving Forward

After over a century of dumping, Milwaukee’s waterways were federally designated an “area of concern” in 1987. Now the city and its partners hope to spend the next six years completing cleanup work to get off the federal list.

The effort, which will cost over $100 million, was first announced in January 2020, and the city is now formalizing its financial commitment to the first phase of sediment removal.

“These are projects that are generally legacy projects,” said Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee assistant executive director Dave Misky to members of the Public Works Committee on Wednesday. “These were created when the city was built by foundries, tanneries, breweries and metal shops along the waterways. But we also have some responsible parties that still exist like We Energies.”

Read the full article

Nunemaker Buys UWM Alumni House

One of Milwaukee’s largest homes has a new owner.

Andy Nunemaker purchased the UW-Milwaukee Alumni House, 3230 E. Kenwood Blvd., for $1.8 million. According to a press release from the university, Nunemaker will renovate the home for use as a private residence. It would be the third time Nunemaker, a healthcare entrepreneur and philanthropist, has purchased and renovated a home on the East Side, each larger than the one before it.

The three-story house sits on a 3.9-acre property with 175 feet of Lake Michigan frontage. It has 14 bedrooms and six bathrooms according to assessment records.

Read the full article

Milwaukee’s 10 Most Valuable Properties

What’s the most valuable building in Milwaukee? According to Assessor’s Office, it’s an office building at the east end of Wisconsin Avenue.

But not all of the city’s most valuable buildings are office towers. The list includes a mix of office buildings, apartment complexes and a hotel.

Read the full article

2020 Mayor’s Design Awards Announced

The annual City of Milwaukee Mayor’s Design Awards ceremony looked a bit different in 2020. What is normally a well-attended May event at UW-Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning became a late fall virtual affair due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of City Development announced the awards over the course of a week on social media instead of hosting an in-person gathering. The awards, given to projects big and small, mark the 23rd installment of a program started under Mayor John Norquist and continued under Mayor Tom Barrett.

“Design matters in cities because it is all around us. It shapes the streets and public spaces we enjoy, the neighborhoods where we live, and the ways we interact with each other,” said Barrett in announcing the 2020 awards. “Our streets and urban spaces, and the built environment that shapes them, belong to everyone.  These award winning projects demonstrate respect for all Milwaukee residents.”

Read the full article

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One thought on “Plats and Parcels: Milwaukee Developers Plan 959 Affordable Apartments”

  1. Barbara Richards says:

    SO glad to see North Ave market going forward!!! Hurray!!!

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