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Apartment building boom in Milwaukee-area slows down

Nic Bazniski and Jeremy Martin, both of Waukesha-based Wisconsin Window Concepts, hang fascia on blinds in an apartment.

Nic Bazniski and Jeremy Martin, both of Waukesha-based Wisconsin Window Concepts, hang blinds in an apartment recently. (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Apartment development activity has slowed throughout the Milwaukee area and its suburbs following a spike in building in recent years.

Most developers say they still feel good about the market, with the number of younger millennials and older empty nesters who want to live in apartments continuing to climb, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Some developments are proceeding with substantially fewer units as some projects have been delayed.

David Winograd unveiled plans to develop a 12-story, 164-unit luxury apartment building just south of downtown, but he canceled his plans to build the $30 million development after construction costs increases and other new apartment projects surfaced.

The first two buildings of River House, a new development north of downtown, are nearly complete, but plans to begin construction on another two buildings are on hold.

“Obviously, there’s a good bit more product coming online on an annual basis than there has been in prior years,” said Richard Aaronson, president of developer Atlantic Realty Partners Inc. “We need to be a little bit more cautious going forward.”

Construction hasn’t begun at three developments proposed by Wangard Partners Inc. at nearby sites.

In December 2015, the firm proposed a $47 million, seven-story building with 250 apartments and 70,000 square feet of restaurants, stores and other retail space on a vacant lot. A month later, county officials approved the developer’s plans to expand another of its developments north of downtown. The company also received city approval last May for a proposed $24 million project just north of that.

CEO Stewart Wangard said the firm continues to pursue all three projects, but that there aren’t definite start dates for construction.

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