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Teams, talents align on Synergy project

The Synergy at the Mayfair Collection apartment buildings is adding luxurious living to the shopping and entertainment options in Wauwatosa.

The $50 million project offers 450,000 square feet within what’s known as The District. Synergy houses 270 apartments with an array of features for residents looking for the best of urban living.

The building also has underground parking and a ground floor dedicated to retail.

The developer wanted an open floor plan with a clear height of 22 feet for a first-floor mezzanine, which posed difficulties for Berghammer Construction, the general contractor on the project, and the structural engineers at Spire Engineering.

Typically, four stories of wood-framed apartments over retail and parking space would use precast concrete for the first floor. But to provide the most clearance possible in the retail space, the teams opted for a steel structure instead.

“What that meant was a whole lot of advance coordination to design around the steel supports that obstructed typical vertical and horizontal pathways for (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) and (fire-protection) systems,” said Matt Iwanski, senior vice president and principal at Berghammer. “Lowering those systems was not an option due to the clear-height requirements.”

Brian Genduso, senior structural engineer at Spire Engineering, said steel requires a beam directly below each wood-bearing wall, so the precise locations of walls must be established early in the design phase. He said a few walls were built slightly off from where they were expected, but teamwork at the site provided a solution.

“The construction process went relatively smoothly,” Genduso said. “We collaborated closely with the contractor to develop alternative support details which could be easily modified in the field to adjust to different actual conditions.”

The result is an apartment complex that provides luxury inside and out. Residents have access to a 24-hour fitness center, rooftop lounges, WiFi cafe, gourmet demonstration kitchens and in-apartment room service from the neighboring Mayfair Collection restaurants.

On its exterior, Synergy has a higher-end facade than most apartment buildings. It uses 3-inch stone, modular brick, metal siding and corrugated paneling for an industrial, modern look.

Synergy at the Mayfair Collection

Location: Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

Project size: 450,000 Square Feet

Project cost: $50 Million

Start date: Spring 2017

Completion date: Spring 2019

Nominator: Berghammer Construction

General Contractor: Berghammer Construction

Architect: JLA Architects

Architect: The Kubala Washatko Architects

Engineer: Spire Engineering

Engineer: JSD Professional Services

Owner: Fiduciary Real Estate Development


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