Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

New Land Plans New Building For Walker’s Point

Apartment building would rise at S. 4th St. and W. Florida St.

By - Apr 13th, 2023 05:10 pm
Element apartment building. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Element apartment building. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

New Land Enterprises is looking to repeat its successful Walker’s Point development model on a new site at S. 4th St. and W. Florida St.

The firm has successfully developed three apartment complexes in Walker’s Point, with a fourth approved and now a new project ready to take shape.

New Land, which has developed a number of buildings in Milwaukee, first entered Walker’s Point in 2016 with its completion of the 120-unit, three-building Trio complex. It found repeated success when it began to develop slightly smaller buildings on smaller lots, which managing director Tim Gokhman said in 2021 provide affordable rents for new construction without a government subsidy.

The first smaller building, the 48-unit Quartet, was completed in 2020 and fully leased within a couple of months. The second building, the 66-unit Element, was fully leased as soon as it opened last spring. In 2022, the firm secured approval to construct the 87-unit Via building. Each complex is six stories tall, with four floors of apartments above a two-level parking podium.

The latest site, parcels at 412 S. 4th St. and 418 S. 4th St., totals 15,750 square feet according to city assessment records. A New Land affiliate acquired the properties for $800,000 earlier this year.

“It’s similar to the size of the other sites,” said Gokhman in an interview Tuesday.

Gokhman is bullish on the viability of the model.

“I think that type of project is important because it’s infill,” said the developer. He said while high-end, high-rise projects serve the top tier of the market and will eventually hit a saturation point, the city has a large shortage of more affordable new buildings. “Enabling projects like Element is really key for the city’s housing supply.”

He said the buildings are challenging to develop, given that they often overcoming zoning changes or variances, lower rents and rising construction costs.

While it begins meeting with city officials and neighborhood stakeholders on the 4th and Florida project, New Land is working on completing the financing package for Via. Under a best-case scenario, Gokhman said the latest project would break ground next spring.

Many of the buildings have involved merging vacant land or parking lots with sites occupied by underutilized buildings. The 4th and Florida project is no exception. Much of the site is a surface parking lot, but two houses are located at the site’s southern edge. City assessment records indicate both were built in 1900, a catch-all date, and have between 2,200 and 2,700 square feet of space. The two homes are not locally historically-protected, but at least one is actually much older than city records indicate. The Stoddard H. Martin House at 418 S. 4th St. was built in 1845 or 1846, but is missing a number of its original details.

Starting with Quartet, the firm has worked with Korb + Associates Architects and Catalyst Construction. It sold Quartet in 2021 for $11.95 million to California-based Hilbert Properties.

Walker’s Point isn’t the only area of the site New Land is active. It’s nearing completion on Nova, a 251-unit apartment complex in East Town. It’s also pursuing a 25-story apartment tower at 1490 N. Farwell Ave. on the Lower East Side.

Paul Monigal of Corley Real Estate brokered the sale of New Land’s newest property.

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