VIDEO BY RICK BENEDICT/THE DAILY REPORTER
Rather than the usual groundbreaking ceremony, people behind a new apartment and retail development on Milwaukee’s East Side marked the start of the project Thursday with a “building-breaking.”
Representatives of Ogden Multifamily Partners and Engberg Anderson Inc., both of Milwaukee, joined local officials in trading out the shovels typically used at such events for gold sledgehammers. They then took a swing at the windows of an old laundromat building standing near where Brady Street meets Humboldt Avenue.
Ogden plans to make the site home to the Keystone Apartments, a 22-unit apartment complex with space on its first floor for shops.
“Brady Street is probably the most iconic neighborhood in Milwaukee with colorful history going back well into the 1800s,” Jason Pietsch, a principal at Ogden, said during the ceremony.
Brady Street is now lined with various family-owned businesses and well-known bars and restaurants. The Keystone Apartments will add the area’s general liveliness, he said.
Ogden officials plan to complete the $4.2 million project by the end of the year. Ogden Construction Group, Franklin, is the general contractor for the Keystone Apartments, and Engberg is the project’s lead architect.
In pitching development proposals to potential partners, Pietsch said you typically have to tell a good story.
“At least for our local partners, they understand the Brady Street story, and … what a great history that Brady Street has,” he said. “So that was an easy story to tell.”