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Milwaukee Plan Commission approves shorter, denser New Land apartments

By: Ethan Duran//October 3, 2023//

The Renaissance Farwell apartments. Rendering courtesy of Korb + Associates Architects

Milwaukee Plan Commission approves shorter, denser New Land apartments

By: Ethan Duran//October 3, 2023//

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New Land Enterprises’ proposal for a shorter, denser Renaissance Farwell received approval from the Milwaukee Plan Commission.

The developer wants to build a 24-story building with 346 apartments between Renaissance Place and the Mexican Consulate at 1443 and 1451 N. Prospect Avenue. Original plans called for a 25-story building with 314 apartments, but project officials removed one level of parking and reduced the number of parking spaces from nearly 500 to 411.

The Plan Commission on Sept. 25 voted 6-0 to approve the amendments. The changes will need final approval from the Milwaukee Common Council.

Jason Korb, the principal architect of Korb + Associates Architects, told the commission that his firm slimmed down some apartment units because client New Land was having trouble renting out units larger than 1200 square feet. The development will be made up of studio, one- and two-bedroom units.

“New Land’s market analysis indicated that a few of the units in the northwestern corner of our apartment building were larger than the market is accepting right now, so we’ve scaled that corner back. In general, in the same footprint, sized down the number of units,” Korb said during a meeting.

“The increase of density does not result in any increase of height or bulk in the residential tower of the building. The units in the tower just became a little smaller,” he added. The project will stay in the same footprint and the size of floors won’t change.

The building will keep a south-facing solar array and its original design intent. Korb said in order to make the project viable, New Land had his firm redesign the building with units smaller than 1200 square feet. He noted they sold fast; “they go like hotcakes.”

“It’s just the market telling our client what it wants and them directing us to meet what the market wants,” he added. Korb noted that New Land had trouble renting larger units in other projects they had done.

The apartment complex lease includes a minimum of 18 parking stalls for the Mexican Consulate and 40 stalls for Renaissance Place. Project officials said despite removing parking, there is still a one-to-one ratio between cars and parking spaces.

In May, the Milwaukee Common Council approved the first iteration of Renaissance Farwell. The developer also planned city projects such as The Ascent, the world’s tallest mass-timber building, and the Nova Apartments.


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