Another Milwaukee apartment high-rise − this one planned for the east side − has received a preliminary city approval.
New Land Enterprises LLC is proposing the 25-story, 318-unit high-rise for parking lots along North Farwell Avenue, south of East Curtis Place.
Those lots are located behind the Mexican Consulate and the historic Renaissance Place building, at 1443 and 1451 N. Prospect Ave.
The Plan Commission on Monday voted to recommend approval for the apartment tower’s zoning and design. Construction on the project, which also needs Common Council approval, could begin by early 2024.
The project would include up to 466 parking spaces − most of those in a seven-floor parking structure. Some of those spaces would serve the adjacent Renaissance Place and consulate.
The pending agreement between New Land and the city would allow for reducing that to 350 spaces if the development firm believes it can accommodate residents with that smaller count. The project would need at least one parking space per apartment.
That’s partly a response from some neighborhood residents who’ve called for fewer parking spaces, said project architect Jason Korb − who called parking “a necessary evil.”
One resident told the commission he’s concerned about the project generating more traffic as well as the building’s visitors being forced to park on the street.
Visitors to such apartment buildings are increasingly using ride sharing services as well as The Hop and other alternatives to cars, said Tim Gokhman, New Land managing director.
A traffic analysis concluded the nearby streets could accommodate the increased number of cars, according to the Department of Public Works.
The development would change “one of the worst uses” − parking lots − to a densely populated building that would generate badly needed property tax revenue to help fund city services while bringing more vitality to the neighborhood, said Ald. Jonathan Brostoff, whose district includes the site.
The tower would mainly feature mostly one-bedroom units, along with studios, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units, according to New Land. Monthly rents would average around $2,400.
Other amenities would include a rooftop terrace and pool, indoor/outdoor club room, fitness center, golf simulator, co-working space, pet grooming room and car wash station.
Also, New Land wants to revive the 20,000-square-foot Renaissance Place building with a new use – such as an events venue or a social club with co-working space. Renaissance Place, an events venue, shut down in 2022 after 35 years of operations.
The building was constructed in 1907 as First Church of Christ, Scientist, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society.
New Land’s tower would be within a couple blocks of a 25-story, 192-unit apartment tower that Madison-based Willow Partners LLC plans to begin building this summer at 1550 N. Prospect Ave.
That $69 million project is to be completed by spring 2025.
Meanwhile, two downtown apartment high-rises, The Couture, 909 E. Michigan St., and 333 N. Water, are under construction. They are to be finished by December 2023 and June 2024, respectively.
Also, construction is to begin this fall on The Edison, at 1005 N. Edison St.