A proposed development for a 25-story, 318-unit apartment building in the center of Milwaukee’s East Side on Wednesday was approved by the Milwaukee Common Council.
New Land Enterprises wants to build a multi-family apartment building known as “Renaissance Farwell” between the former 1451 Renaissance Place and the Mexican Consulate on 1443 and 1451 N. Prospect Ave., according to a report from the Department of City Development.
All 15 members of the Common Council voted unanimously to change the area zoning from a residential office zoning to a Detailed Planned Development (DPD). According to the city, a development must be rezoned to a DPD approves project specifics such as building design and site plan before construction can begin.
The project will turn two surface parking lots into a significant source of housing and generate up to $1.5 million in annual tax revenue for the city, Alderperson Jonathan Brostoff said at the meeting. The proposal racked up some opposition over the height and density of the building, letters from residents showed.
“There is opposition to this sort of change. I’ve heard from neighbors, and I understand their concerns. To consider the greater impact on the city and how we can make sure everyone is doing their best to get everyone else’s needs met, we want to encourage this usage where we take surface level parking lots, which offer no value to the city, and instead have densely populated, wonderful housing,” Brostoff added.
As previously reported by The Daily Reporter, the developer is approved to build up to 466 parking spaces in an attached parking structure, City Planning Manager Sam Leichtling said at a previous City Plan Commission meeting. New Land’s team said they would likely build the minimum number of 372 spaces and were discussing with neighbors to decide whether to reduce their planned parking structure by one floor.
Brostoff, who represents the 3rd District, said the development would turn “one of the worst uses of space,” a surface parking lot, into the best use of space.
“It turns it into one of the best uses. Dense housing right by the lakefront, in one of our major transit corridors and near a couple of different opportunities for multimodal transit,” he added at the meeting.
The alderman said he hosted a public meeting and received a mostly positive response from the community.
However, at least one resident said at the meeting he was concerned about the building’s impact on traffic. The area is densely populated, and traffic congestion occurs often, he added.
But nearby streets could fit an influx of cars in the area and emergency vehicles shouldn’t be affected, according to a traffic analysis from the Department of Public Works.
Both the Renaissance Place and the Mexican Consulate would remain, according to a city report.
The developer didn’t ask the city for assistance and the project will be privately funded, Leichtling said at the end of the meeting.
Milwaukee’s East Side is going through a development blitz as Klein Development won final approval for a luxury hotel on the intersection of North Farwell Avenue and East Brady Street. Willow Partners is looking to build another high-rise apartment at 1550 N. Prospect Ave.d