Jeramey Jannene
Friday Photos

Villard Commons Opens

New apartment building is already full

By - Mar 12th, 2021 08:56 pm
Villard Commons. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Villard Commons. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Villard Avenue, the one-time main street in the Village of North Milwaukee, has a new anchor.

Villard Commons, a four-story, 43-unit apartment building, is open for residents at the corner of N. 37th St. and W. Villard Ave.

But if you want to move in, you’ll have to get in line. Developer Que El-Amin told Urban Milwaukee the building is already full.

Thirty-six of the apartments, through the low-income housing tax credit program, are set for those making less than 60% of the area’s median income. Those units, for which eligibility is determined through a state program, often draw a waiting list and the new building is no exception.

Apartments include one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts. A handful of townhome-style units are included on the first floor, along both N. 37th St. and W. Villard Ave. Surface parking is hidden behind the L-shaped building.

El-Amin, Alexander WalkerRafael GarciaJackie Carter and Heidi Turner, 2015 graduates of the Associates in Commercial Real Estate (ACRE) program, are developing the building as Index Development Group. The idea was born as a class project.

They ultimately partnered with Brinshore Development to bring the building to fruition.

Construction started in November 2019.

Korb + Associates Architects designed the building. BCM is serving as the general contractor.

The latter appears to be down to a final punch list of tasks. A handful of facade components must still be installed, but residents have moved in.

Marineland Pets, a pet store, will open a store on the building’s first floor. It closed its nearby location at 3519 W. Villard Ave. several years ago. A cafe was originally planned for the building’s first floor.

The new building marks the second major investment on the former streetcar suburb’s main street in the past decade. Villard Square Library, a mixed-use building with a library on the first floor, opened two blocks east a decade earlier.

But area stakeholders hope that the two new buildings are just the start of a reinvigoration of Old North Milwaukee. A design charette was completed last year. The resulting plans are intended not only to establish a shared vision for the area’s future, but to inspire future development. Included in the charette was a vision to turn the long-closed Villa Theater, 3608 W. Villard Ave., into an open-air music venue. A park and a redesigned street are also planned.

Meanwhile, the development team is broadening its reach. El-Amin, with different partners, is developing The Community Within The Corridor project along W. Center St. Garcia was recently appointed to the Historic Preservation Commission. Carter was promoted to director of economic empowerment at the YWCA.

The partners, at their groundbreaking ceremony, said they hope the building is just the start.

The city backed the $7.4 million project with a $500,000 developer-financed tax incremental financing district, a $368,500 grant allocation from the city’s pool of federal HOME funds and $315,000 grant from the Housing Trust Fund. A series of properties were sold by the city for less than $5,000 to form the development site.

Photos

June 2020 Photos

November 2019 Photos

Renderings

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One thought on “Friday Photos: Villard Commons Opens”

  1. ringo muldano says:

    Great to see what this group of young people are doing.

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