Jeramey Jannene
Plats and Parcels

Journal Sentinel Complex Becoming Education Pipeline

Plus: A recap of the week's real estate news

By - Mar 28th, 2021 09:13 pm
Sentinel Building, 918 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Sentinel Building, 918 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The former home of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is set to gain another education-focused tenant.

The Sentinel Building, a legacy of when the newspaper was two different papers run out of adjacent buildings, will house an expansion of Tenor High School.

The charter high school, operated by Seeds of Health, educates students on-site for their first three years of high school before integrating them, at no additional cost, into Milwaukee Area Technical College for their senior year.

“Since Tenor’s beginning, over 500 students have participated in this unique program, experiencing their 4th year at MATC. That has led to students continuing at MATC to receive a certificate, working toward an associate degree, entering a four-year degree program, or entering the workforce directly after high school,” said principal Tyson Tlachac in a statement.

An affiliate of the school purchased the four-story building, located at 918 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave., for $1.9 million. Immediately to the north, two new apartment complexes are being created in former Journal Sentinel buildings, one specially reserved for students of nearby MATC.

Seeds of Health Executive Director Marcia Spector called the new school building a “jackpot” in a press release announcing the move. It fits the organization’s desire to be near MATC, on north-south bus lines, close to the existing school, in a highly-visible location and in a building capable of growing to serve 500 students within four years.

The redesigned Sentinel Building will include flexible classrooms that can be rearranged based on class size, interactive spaces, alcoves, a multi-purpose room, first-floor cafeteria, special education room and office space.

Seeds of Health hopes to open the expanded school in time for the 2021-2022 school year.

According to the organization’s 2019-2020 annual report, Tenor had an enrollment of 234 students last year. The school, located at 840 N. Jackson St., opened 15 years ago. It operates in an annex of St. John’s Cathedral. Last fall another Seeds of Health high school, MC2 High School at 131 S. 1st St., was merged into Tenor. The combined school continues to use the Walker’s Point location in addition to the downtown location.

Seeds of Health also operates Grandview High School (2745 S. 13th St.), Veritas High School (3025 W. Oklahoma Ave.) and Seeds of Health Elementary School (1445 S. 32nd St.). Tenor’s charter is authorized by UW-Milwaukee.

The Sentinel Building was originally constructed as a three-story factory in 1919. It was known as the Republic Building until the Sentinel moved in in 1962. Before the Sentinel took up residence, the structure was merged with another to the south and given a fourth floor and new facade. A skywalk was added in 1962 to connect it to the Journal Communications building to the north. In 1981 the facade was updated.

“The changes to this building have been dramatic. There is a question of whether or not this building should be preserved,” wrote Historic Preservation Commission staffer Carlen Hatala in her 2019 designation report for the full-block complex. The city ultimately included it in the broader designation and a request from Seeds of Health to make a series of modifications is now pending before the commission.

It’s been vacant for at least a decade as the since-combined newspaper relocated its printing operations to West Milwaukee and continually cut the remaining staff left in the Journal Communications building to the north.

J. Jeffers & Co. acquired the entire complex in 2019 with the newspaper relocating in 2020. The company is now leading the redevelopment of the block.

A 1962 addition, located on the northeast corner of the block, will house student apartments for MATC. The main Journal Communications is becoming market-rate apartments. A surface parking lot at the southeast corner of the building is poised to be redeveloped as a 155-guest-room Tempo by Hilton Milwaukee hotel. Major Goolsby’s restaurant continues to operate in a one-story building owned by J. Jeffers & Co. at the southwest corner of the building.


Weekly Recap

New Homes Take Shape in Urban Subdivisions

While this week’s installment of Friday Photos again focuses on new single-family homes, it’s a very different story than last week’s profile of new high-end housing in the North Point Historic District.

This week’s homes are urban in form, but visually appear to be rising in a greenfield subdivision.

That’s not what’s happening though. This week’s homes, three in Josey Heights and one in Walnut Circle, are rising on near west side city blocks that were the victim of misguided urban renewal efforts.

Read the full article

Bay View’s Most Valuable House Has New Owner

Bay View‘s most polarizing and valuable house has a new owner. Former Alderman Tony Zielinski sold his three-story house overlooking Lake Michigan for $1.63 million to Shane Zweck.

The sale comes approximately a year after the house, located just south of the intersection of E. Oklahoma Ave. and S. Superior St., was finished. Zielinski lost his bid for mayor at the same time the house was being completed.

The house has 5,901 square feet of living space according to Assessor’s Office records. It sits on the west side of Superior Street, directly across from Bay View Park and Lake Michigan.

Read the full article

Third Ward Building Wins Design Approval

A new Historic Third Ward event venue, to be called the Coach Yards, will draw on the neighborhood’s manufacturing past for its design.

Black Swan Enterprises is proposing a 13,000-square-foot new building for a vacant site, 100 N. Jefferson St., at the south end of the neighborhood. The venue would be designed for 300 person events, with a large open space and a mezzanine level.

But Black Swan’s first proposal, presented to the Historic Third Ward Architectural Review Board last month, drew mixed reviews.

Black Swan owner Peter Sheperd and project architect MSI returned Wednesday with three options. They left with glowing reviews and a clear direction to proceed.

Read the full article

City Selling Commercial Buildings

Have a vision to launch a new business? Want to move an existing one? The City of Milwaukee has just the place for you to do so.

The Department of City Development recently listed three properties for sale via a request for proposals process.

The properties, all acquired via property tax foreclosure, range from two-story, mixed-use commercial buildings to vacant lots suited for industrial firms. They include…

Read the full article

State Sees Record Winter Home Sales

New figures show Wisconsin had record home sales for the second winter in a row.

The latest report from the Wisconsin Realtors Association found nearly 4,395 sales of existing homes last month, up 5.5 percent from February 2020.

Read the full article

North and Summit Apartment Proposal Revised

The development team behind a proposed apartment building for E. North Ave. near Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital released revised plans Tuesday for its seven-story, 90-unit building.

First introduced in February 2020 for the southwest corner of E. North Ave. and N. Summit Ave., the then-secret development team found little support from attendees at a community meeting.

Read the full article

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