Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Connaughton’s Company Withdraws Brewers Hill Plan. For Now

Historic Preservation Commission finds fault with design of 50-unit apartment complex.

By - Sep 13th, 2021 04:54 pm
Proposed apartment building for 1737-1751 N. Palmer St. Rendering by Groth Design Group.

Proposed apartment building for 1737-1751 N. Palmer St. Rendering by Groth Design Group.

A 50-unit apartment building for Brewers Hill won’t move forward in its proposed configuration.

Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton‘s Three Leaf Development withdrew its Historic Preservation Commission design submission for a six-story, 50-unit apartment building at 1737-1571 N. Palmer St. Groth Design Group is serving as the company’s architect.

The commission’s staff objected to the proposal because of its “monolithic appearance,” facade material selection, lack of a setback and scale.

HPC staff member Tim Askin is recommending a design that is set further back from the sidewalk and lower in height at its northern edge. Askin, in his report, says that configuration would “create a cleaner transition to the industrial area south of this site to the historic district.” That “industrial area” is now a series of redeveloped factories, including Schlitz Park and the Fortress apartments.

A letter, submitted Sept. 10 by the Historic Brewers Hill Association, makes many of the same arguments. Two area residents also submitted letters of objection.

The withdrawal isn’t expected to be the end of the proposal.

“They did say they intend to be back next month,” said Askin at Monday’s commission meeting.

Three Leaf managing director Joseph Stanton, in an interview shortly after this article was first published, said the firm still intends to proceed with a development at the site. But he said the company and its architect were reviewing the design after receiving feedback at neighborhood meetings.

“We thought long and hard about it over the weekend… and we basically came to the conclusion that rather than move forward with something that’s not pleasing the neighborhood, we would rather take some time to work on it,” said Stanton. “We don’t want to rush it.” He reiterated his August comment that the firm would like to eventually pursue multiple developments in the area.

The historic district includes eight city blocks overlooking Downtown and consists of mainly Greek Revival or Italianate-style homes built between 1840 and 1875.

The sloped development site is located partially in the historic district. A 15,100-square-foot surface parking lot, 1751 N. Palmer St., is within the boundaries of the district. A 114-year-old, two-story building to the south, 1737 N. Palmer St., is not in the district, but is part of the development site.

Three Leaf originally intended to redevelop just the southern property, replacing it with a four-story building. Department of Neighborhood Services records indicate the building was is in a state of disrepair before Three Leaf acquired it in 2020 for $550,000. A number of small commercial tenants, including Madam Chino, have occupied the first floor in recent years

New buildings built in city-designated historic districts must receive a Certificate of Appropriateness for complying with district guidelines. The Common Council can overrule a decision of the commission on the matter and the commission itself has overruled its staff at various points.

Three Left recently completed its first Milwaukee project, a three-story, three-unit building at 1245-1247 N. Milwaukee St., and is actively constructing its second, a two-story, mixed-use building at 1697-1699 N. Marshall St. that primarily faces E. Brady St.

Renderings and Site Plan


2 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Connaughton’s Company Withdraws Brewers Hill Plan. For Now”

  1. David Coles says:

    The revised plans should begin with *not* demolishing the perfectly good, >100-year-old cream city brick building.

  2. NieWiederKrieg says:

    Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton does a great job shooting 3 pointers on the basketball court.

    But I am 100% opposed to his real estate company demolishing, destroying, and replacing Milwaukee’s beautiful, historic architecture with industrial looking, drab, lifeless, sterile, featureless, monolithic nightmares that attack the viewer’s vision like a sharp stick in the eye.

    In my opinion, there must be a large amount of bribes exchanged in order to get City of Milwaukee’s permission to demolish all of its historical buildings.

    Why don’t you build your projects in Pewaukee or Oak Creek where there’s large amounts of open land?

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