Civil War-Era Building Becoming Apartments
Cream City brick building in Walker's Point receiving historically-sensitive redevelopment.
One of the oldest buildings in Walker’s Point is getting a new lease on life.
The four-story, 16,487-square-feet structure was, at least partially, constructed before the Civil War.
City assessment records say the building was constructed in 1890, but a Wisconsin Historical Society survey concluded the building dates back to 1858. The 2016 city historic designation report, which established the historic district, says only the north half of the building is that old. The building was built as two separate structures, and long operated as such, with the southern half first showing up in tax records in 1859.
In May, the Historic Preservation Commission approved Chandler’s plan to redevelop the upper floors into 12 one-bedroom apartments while maintaining the first floor as commercial space.
The Cream City brick building will receive new windows, masonry repairs and a new rear stairwell. Chandler is leveraging federal and state historic preservation tax credits to finance the project.
John Borger, for whom the building is named, operated a general store out of the northern half from the time of its construction into the 1870s. Henry Meirose ran a business in the southern half of the building from 1868 through the early 1900s. Drake Brothers, a drug store, occupied the southern half of the building for an extended period. “Drugs” appears written atop the structure’s outline in multiple historic fire insurance maps.
It was home to Phoenix, a popular gay bar, in the 1980s and 1990s. The Milwaukee LGBT History Project website offers more details on the series of LGBTQ+-friendly establishments that occupied the building.
The last tenant in the space was Likkle Jamayka restaurant which closed in 2018 after opening a year prior.
Chandler acquired the property, through Borger Building LLC, in October 2020 for $805,000. Developers Josh Krsnak and Tony Janowiec had purchased it in January 2020 for $509,000 from long-time owner Michael Spooner.
Pre-Construction Photos and Renderings
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