13-story mixed-use tower proposed on East Side

Rendering of the proposed tower on Farwell Avenue.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:04 pm

A Milwaukee developer is proposing a 13-story mixed-use tower on Farwell Avenue on Milwaukee’s East Side.

The $33 million project would include 153 residential units and also 10,000 square feet of commercial and office space at 1832 N. Farwell Ave. and 1840 N. Farwell Ave., according to a zoning change application filed with the city by James Wiechmann.

Rendering of the proposed tower.
Rendering of the proposed tower.

The building will have four stories of frontage along Farwell Avenue, including a ground floor restaurant, and possibly some retail, and office space on the top three floors, said Milwaukee Alderman Nik Kovac. There will be nine additional stories of residential, but those floors will be set back from the street, closer to the alley, east of Farwell, Kovac said.

“The original proposal was a lot different and I didn’t think it would work,” Kovac said. “We gave them a bunch of design notes and they’ve met most of the suggestions.”

What Kovac doesn’t want is another building that looks like The Sterling, 1550 E. Royall Place.  New Land Enterprises build The Sterling, an 11-story, 112-unit condo building that includes 9,000 square feet of ground level retail, in 2004.

“That building is too wide – it takes up the whole lot,” Kovac said. “(Wiechmann’s) initial proposal was to do The Sterling again. To plop down a box is just not acceptable. I would have pushed design changes with The Sterling, but I was not the alderman at the time.”

Wiechmann could not be reached for comment.

The property at 1832 N. Farwell Ave. is currently a parking lot, assessed at  $178,200. The property at 1840 N. Farwell Ave. is currently a four-story, 12,870-square-foot office building, assessed at $549,000. Kovac said the current office building would be demolished under the proposal.

The properties are owned by New Land, which is owned by developer Tim Gokham, who is developing several parcels along Farwell Avenue.

Office building at 1840 N. Farwell Ave. will be demolished as part of new plan.

In December, Gokham purchased a strip mall at 1816-1828 N. Farwell Ave. with plans to improve it. Gokham and Wiechmann are also partners on The Rhythm, a seven-story, 140-unit apartment building at 1620 N. Water St.

Kovac will hold a neighborhood meeting on Wiechmann’s proposed Farwell Avenue tower project at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Charles Allis Art Museum, 1801 N Prospect Ave.

“We’ve made our suggestions, now it’s time for the public to take a look at it and weigh in,” Kovac said.

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