UW Credit Union Will Anchor East Side Building
Developer completes purchase of site for car-lite building on E. North Ave.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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 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.