Eyes on Milwaukee: Plan Commission Approves East Side Affordable Housing Design

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EIGHTEEN87 connected  Water. Rendering by Continuum Architects + Planners.

EIGHTEEN87 connected Water. Rendering by Continuum Architects + Planners.

The statement lasted much than 3 hours, but the City Plan Commission and Department of City Development recommended support of an flat gathering projected for N. Water St. implicit the objections of neighbors.

Developer Brandon Rule is seeking to physique a five-story, 79-unit gathering astatine 1887 N. Water St. on Milwaukee’s Lower East Side.

Known arsenic EIGHTEEN87 connected Water, the gathering would see 60 units acceptable speech for those making little than 60% of the area’s median income. It would regenerate a vacant, one-story concern gathering that sits atop a bluff on the Milwaukee River.

“It’s a truly hard tract to physique on,” said Rule connected Monday erstwhile the City Plan Commission reviewed the project. A market-rate flat gathering was approved for the tract successful 2013, but ne'er constructed. A zoning alteration is indispensable to repeal that peculiar zoning support and make a caller 1 for Rule’s building.

The plan of the caller gathering has been revised a fig of times successful effect to feedback from metropolis officials, with the latest changes, including moving the full structure, presented for the archetypal clip Monday.

A root of contention astatine a June 23rd vicinity gathering held by country Alderman Nik Kovac was the perceived tiny spread betwixt the caller gathering and the Riverbridge Condominiums analyzable to its east.

EIGHTEEN87 would beryllium 5 feet from its eastbound spot enactment portion patios connected Riverbridge are built to the spot enactment and the operation is lone acceptable backmost a fewer feet. A DCD investigation determined that the buildings would beryllium the closest of immoderate 2 multi-family residential buildings successful the area. A shadiness survey was ordered.

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But Rule and task designer Continuum Architects + Planners presented a caller program Monday that has the gathering moving 4 feet to the west. It would beryllium built partially connected a presently vacant tract that is to beryllium occupied by the 2nd signifier of the River House apartments.

That alteration didn’t halt a fig of adjacent residents from raising concerns with the projected building, including imaginable parking problems and that the caller riverwalk conception wrapping the gathering could make much areas for criminals to fell and stateless radical to bent out.

After listening to the testimony, Kovac said determination are immoderate tenable concerns that could beryllium addressed and others that shouldn’t beryllium placed upon the building.

“Today is the archetypal I’ve heard that they were capable to find 4 oregon 5 other [feet],” helium said. “I deliberation that’s a immense improvement.”

The gathering would person lone 53 parking spaces, which Rule said he’s learned is simply a capable magnitude fixed the demographics of those that would unrecorded successful the building. Those successful absorption said it would marque a atrocious thoroughfare parking concern worse.

“Parking is simply a occupation palmy neighborhoods have,” said Kovac. “It’s a occupation you don’t solve. It’s a occupation you manage.” He endorsed the developer’s marketplace analysis.

The alderman said adding much parking would apt marque different concerns the opponents person adjacent worse. “The alternate would beryllium to marque the gathering adjacent bigger and perchance little attractive,” helium said.

Kovac said helium has received 9 emails successful enactment of the task and 23 successful absorption aft the virtual assemblage gathering and 2 outdoor meetings with country residents were held.

But the typical of the city’s wealthiest aldermanic territory reiterated his enactment for affordable lodging and raised concerns with however oregon wherefore radical were opposing the project.

“It’s beauteous unusual erstwhile you look astatine what got approved successful 2013 with astir nary vicinity objection,” helium said. “I don’t privation to beryllium the benignant of metropolis that approves market-rate housing, but not affordable housing.”

He said helium would proceed to propulsion for a amended design, but endorsed the project. Kovac besides said that, autarkic of the proposal, helium would propulsion for a reappraisal of speeding and reckless driving connected the conception of N. Water St. betwixt N. Van Buren St. and N. Humboldt Ave.

Commissioner Willie Smith thanked Kovac for his mentation of the antithetic criticisms of the project. “When it comes to projects similar this, not everyone’s going to beryllium 100% happy,” helium said.

DCD readying manager Sam Leichtling said based connected the plans presented astatine the meeting, the section recommended support with conditions connected gathering worldly changes that were antecedently provided to the improvement squad successful a memo. “They bash look to person made galore of those, possibly adjacent each of them,” helium said of the requested adjustments.

Commissioner Allyson Nemec moved for support of the task with DCD’s conditions and a fewer of her own. She requested that the improvement squad survey antithetic ways to fell the parking store from the west. “This seems to beryllium a harsh plan constituent that screens the parking garage,” she said of the screens covering the first-floor garage. She besides called for a reappraisal of the gross connected the eastbound broadside of the gathering that provides entree to a 25-foot walkway to a townhome. The designer besides called for a reappraisal of the exterior lighting connected the riverwalk and the instauration of exterior playspace for children that mightiness unrecorded successful the three-bedroom units. Fellow commissioner Ranell Washington backed her proposal.

Nemec praised task designer Falamak Nourzad for making a fig of what she said were affirmative revisions to the task fixed the galore constraints.

The committee unanimously recommended approval. The Common Council volition adjacent reappraisal the project, making a binding determination connected its approval.

Rule Enterprises, successful concern with nonprofit developer Movin’ Out, secured low-income lodging taxation credits successful April 2020 to enactment the development. Movin’ Out intends to acceptable speech 16 units for radical with disabilities arsenic portion of its mission.

Catalyst Construction would service arsenic the wide contractor. Emem Group is serving arsenic the owner’s representative.

Rule would acquisition the property, presently assessed for $1.24 million, from Carl Tomich.

For much connected the project, spot our sum of the June meeting.

June Renderings

Revised Renderings

Site Photos

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