Business Bites: Mixed use, apartments planned for Milwaukee Station area; new spa downtown; facade uncovered at butcher shop

A mixed-use development is planned for the lot behind Milwaukee Station, including 83 market rate apartments, a wine bar, restaurant, fitness facility and some underground parking.

The project is being developed by Big Sky Select Properties, the same development group that announced 18 apartments above Mighty Mo Brew Pub last week.

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Project principals Brion and Jason Lindseth and Architect Tim Peterson with LPW Architecture presented their project to the City-County Historic Preservation Advisory Commission during their March 11 meeting to get the board’s feedback since the new structure would attach to the existing Milwaukee Station, a historic building, likely with a “light touch” glass atrium.

milwaukee station

The project is made possible through the Opportunity Zone, is a federal economic development program established in 2017 to encourage long-term private investment in low-income communities. The program provides a federal tax incentive for taxpayers who reinvest unrealized capital gains into “Opportunity Funds,” which are specialized investment vehicles dedicated to certain low-income areas called “Opportunity Zones.”

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Brion Lindseth said the project is tied to the Northern Lofts that they announced last week for the Mighty Mo building. The overall idea is to use Opportunity Zone incentives to develop projects and then continue investing in the zone, which includes the downtown area.

He said they’re already looking at other properties within the zone, mostly other historical buildings, that they could develop after their first two projects get going.

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The group is working with the city to change the zoning from M-2 mixed use to C-4 central business core and to address additional access options for vehicles.

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Members of the HPAC suggested that the developers talk to the state historic preservation office and consult the guidelines from the U.S. Department of Interior for additions to historic buildings. Lindseth and Peterson said they would do that and plan to incorporate the historic character of the Milwaukee Depot to the new building.

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Lindseth said they intend to start to rezoing process in the near future, then work with the city for any necessary easements for roadways and utilities and then construction would take an estimated 18-24 months.

Lindseth said their goal is to provide higher quality housing in the downtown area that’s walkable to the downtown and West Bank Park areas to attract young people to the area and help drive business and activity in the area, generating tax revenue and economic development.

Harlos Wax and Sugar Spa

Construction started this week at 612 Central Ave. for new space for Harlos Wax and Sugar Spa, currently located in the Columbus Center.

Owner Melissa Mathern said they hope to be open sometime in late spring.

Central Avenue Meats

wp-1584054854106.jpgThe plastic over the facade at Central Avenue Meats came down this week. The new facade was designed by LPW Architecture.