Jeffers Starts Work on Second Journal Apartment Project
Verdigris joins Westtown Green project in former newspaper complex.
Construction work is underway on Verdigris, the second new apartment building to be carved out of the former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel complex.
Verdigis will fill the signature Journal Building, 333 W. State St., with 141 market-rate apartments. The six-story building was originally built in 1924 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well as being locally historically protected.
“We are excited to instill new life and restored beauty into this iconic, historic building in the very heart of downtown and leading into the city’s thriving sports and entertainment district,” said project developer Joshua Jeffers in a statement. “This western portion of the block will evolve into a beautiful, historic residential property with modern amenities, and we are thrilled to have construction underway.”
Amenities include underground heated parking, a coworking lounge and rooftop clubroom and deck.
Verdigris is a word for the green patina that forms on copper or brass, with Jeffers noting that the Journal Building is partially covered in the substance.
The projects were previously jointly referred to as Journal Square Lofts.
An environmental cleanup of the Journal Building was completed over the past year. In addition to offices for employees, the building long held the printing presses for employees. The projects jointly received $1.7 million in loans from the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee to support environmental remediation.
The newspaper vacated the complex in late 2020, while the printing press operation was relocated in 2004 to a new plant in West Milwaukee.
A press release issued Monday indicates that the total development costs of the two projects has risen to at least $63 million. The Verdigris costs are given as $35.6 million, while the Westtown Green costs were previously reported as $27.7 million.
Illinois-based Busey Bank is the construction lender on Verdigris with Midland States Bank serving as a bridge lender and US Bank as an equity investor. The project financing relies on federal and state historic preservation tax credits.
A portion of the units in Westtown Green will be set aside at below-market rates for individuals making less than 60% of the county median income. The City of Milwaukee provided $1 million through a developer-financed tax incremental financing district, which functions like a property tax rebate, to support the affordable housing component and restoration of a frieze depicting the history of communication that Journal Communications removed in 2011.
The former Sentinel Building on the southwest portion of the complex is being redeveloped as a home for Tenor High School. A surface parking lot on the southeast corner is slated to become a Tempo by Hilton Milwaukee hotel.
J. Jeffers & Co. acquired the entire complex in 2019 from an affiliate of newspaper owner Gannett.
Journal Sentinel Complex Photos
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Jeffers Starts Work on Second Journal Apartment Project - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 3rd, 2021
- Plats and Parcels: Journal Sentinel Complex Becoming Education Pipeline - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 28th, 2021
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Journal Sentinel Redevelopment Secures Two Environmental Cleanup Loans - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 16th, 2020
- Eyes on Milwaukee: $1 Million For ‘Really Unique Project’ - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 21st, 2020
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Funds Get First Approval for Journal Square Lofts - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 16th, 2020
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Jeffers Advancing New Plan to Redevelop Journal Sentinel Complex - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 9th, 2020
- Eyes on Milwaukee: $6.9 Million Won for 317 Affordable Apartments - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 28th, 2020
- Plats and Parcels: Journal Square Will Be Hundreds of Apartments - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 24th, 2019
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Plans Submitted for Journal Square Lofts - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 4th, 2019
- Plats and Parcels: Journal Sentinel Complex Sold - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 3rd, 2019
Read more about Journal Square development here