Jeramey Jannene

UW Credit Union Will Anchor East Side Building

Developer completes purchase of site for car-lite building on E. North Ave.

By - Jul 15th, 2022 09:44 am
1504 E. North Ave. rendering. Rendering by Engberg Anderson Architects.

1504 E. North Ave. rendering. Rendering by Engberg Anderson Architects.

The developers behind a proposed East Side apartment building purchased the final piece of the development site and confirmed that UW Credit Union will be the anchor commercial tenant.

The 56-unit building, planned for the 1500 block of E. North Ave., is being billed as car-lite urban living. The strategy will reduce the development cost, making the project feasible, and in the long run is expected to reduce rents for residents.

Only eight parking spaces are included in the building and another 12 are located outside along a rear alley. Residents could also take advantage of time-shared spaces at nearby properties. The developers plan to offer two rentable Teslas for errands or other hourly uses and emphasize the potential of walking, biking, Bublr Bikes and the nearby Milwaukee County Transit System bus routes. The model, with the exception of the Teslas, is similar to that of many 100-year-old apartment buildings built to the east of the proposed building.

“Urban housing should be cost-effective and convenient,” said co-developer Shar Borg in a statement announcing the site acquisition. “While we have other amenities in the building, including an incredible rooftop terrace, we think that residents will appreciate having so many low-cost ways of getting around town without having the expense of a personal car and all the costs that come with it.”

Borg and co-developer Ryan Pattee paid $2.73 million to create the 0.7-acre development site. In a hearing before the Board of Zoning Appeals, Borg described the total development cost as $15 million.

State records posted Tuesday show the partners paid an affiliate of the Mandel Group $1.1 million for the 0.33-acre property at 1518 E. North Ave. It houses a former office building and warehouse and is assessed for $735,000.

“We would like to thank Barry Mandel for his cooperation in helping us get the assemblage done, as well as Tri-City National Bank for extending us credit to help fund the land acquisition and upcoming land development activities,” said Pattee. The developers have also previously credited Mandel executive Robert Monnat for serving as a mentor.

In March, the partners acquired the property at 1530 E. North Ave. from Rick Walia for $1.2 million. The one-story building on the site was long occupied by RC’s Beer Garden, which officially closed in 2018 after decades in business.

An affiliate of the Pattee Group acquired the two-story building at 1504 E. North Ave. in June for $425,000 from Yosef Goldstein. The building was last occupied by Buddha Lounge.

Each of the buildings the partners purchased was vacant before the pandemic took hold, but that doesn’t mean they are without environmental issues.

The partners announced they are now seeking an environmental cleanup grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). The properties previously housed a gas station, dry cleaner and automotive repair shop. “A little bit of everything to make it interesting,” said Pattee. WEDC has provided a number of $250,000 grants to Milwaukee projects to aid in environmental cleanup.

Commercial Space

Two commercial spaces would be included in the building.

UW Credit Union will lease a 5,028-square-foot space at the southeast corner of the building. And while the developers are targeting residents without cars, the credit union is targeting customers with them. Two drive-through lanes and a 21-stall parking lot are proposed. The lanes and the parking lot would be located on the north side of the building, shielded from E. North Ave.

The credit union is expanding in the Milwaukee area. It opened a branch in Bay View last month.

The second space is a 3,763-square-foot stall at the southwest corner of the building. It would include an outdoor seating area created from a setback in the building. It is designed for a restaurant or cafe but could be used by any commercial tenant.

Engberg Anderson Architects is working on the building’s design. Greenfire Management Services would serve as the general contractor.


Site Photos

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