Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Affordable Senior Apartments Get Plan Commission Approval

Plan calls for redeveloping former Perlick plant, with connection to planned bike trail.

By - Nov 8th, 2021 07:17 pm
The former Perlick Corp. plant at 3100 W. Meinecke Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The former Perlick Corp. plant at 3100 W. Meinecke Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Developer Cornelius McClendon secured an endorsement Monday from the City Plan Commission to support his redevelopment of the former industrial complex at 3040-3100 W. Meinecke Ave. into affordable senior apartments.

His firm, McClendon Capital Group, would redevelop the four-building complex with support of the state’s low-income housing tax credit program. McClendon is seeking credits that are reserved for seniors making 30%, 50% and 60% of the area’s median income. In exchange for accepting the credits, developers set aside specific units at rental rates not to exceed 30% of a household’s income.

“The project is a complement to The Community Within the Corridor two blocks away,” said McClendon of the 197-unit project built by a separate development team. That project, currently under construction, is targeted at families. “We are creating generational housing in relation to each other.”

McClendon is seeking the competitively awarded credits and must secure zoning approval from the city to improve his application. In addition, because the property is within 150 feet of a heavy industrial property, McClendon will need additional approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals. A We Energies yard is located to the south of the site and a Master Lock factory, which divides the site from the other housing development, is located to the north.

The development also relies on the use of historic preservation tax credits. The complex was built in phases from 1900 through the 1940s according to a Wisconsin Historical Society survey. For decades it was home to the Perlick Corporation, a maker of bar and beverage fixtures as well as brewing equipment, but in 1963 the company relocated to 8300 W. Good Hope Rd. The main, four-story structure was originally constructed for use as a furniture factory. It was most recently known as the Park Industrial Center.

Continuum Architects + Planners is leading the design on the project. Firm principal Falamak Nourzad walked the commission through the plans, which call for up to 90 apartments and 50 parking spaces.

The proposal calls for an outdoor space at the northeast corner of the site with a gazebo, outdoor seating and a walking path. The eastern building would include a mix of townhomes and indoor parking. Another building would house a community room.

Additionally, a path would be constructed to access the planned 30th Street Corridor trail. The path would provide a public connection to the trail which would run along the railroad line, which is below grade. “That’s a long-term project a number of our plans have contemplated,” said Department of City Development planning manager Sam Leichtling.

“Terrific development. I’m very excited about the aging in place and community aspects of this,” said Commissioner Allyson Nemec. She encouraged further coordination with Master Lock to establish a mutually-beneficial natural buffer between the properties.

The commission unanimously endorsed the plan.

There is approximately 150,000 square feet of space between all of the buildings on the 2.1-acre property.

McClendon has sought low-income housing tax credits for the property before. His proposal for credits to create 58 affordable apartments was ruled ineligible by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority in 2019. It is not unusual for projects to initially be ruled ineligible or placed “on hold” and later be updated and resubmitted for the competitively-awarded credits. The targeting of seniors, a specific credit type, is new.

McClendon would need to purchase the Perlick property from Walter Kennison‘s Tierra Subida Limited Partnership. offers it for $1.1 million. The site is technically three parcels in city records, assessed for a combined $544,400.

A now-expired Loopnet property listing was a bit optimistic on the amenities the property offers: fenced lot, signage and commuter rail. While commuter rail has been discussed informally for the adjacent railroad line, no system operates today, nor is one expected in the near future.


UPDATE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly quoted Leichtling.

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