$45 million, 248-unit workforce housing project proposed for Sheboygan

Would be built at VanDerVart Concrete Products facility

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A St. Louis-area developer is proposing to construct 248 apartment units, the vast majority of which it considers as workforce housing, at the existing VanDerVart Concrete Products LLC facility in Sheboygan.

Clayton, Missouri-based Green Street Development Group LLC is proposing to construct the Oscar — a four-building, $45 million apartment complex — at 1440 S. 16th St., according to city documents.

Also as part of the project, a new Kwik Trip store will be constructed at the southern portion of the site, north of Broadway Avenue west of South Business Drive. Here is where a new main drive will be constructed, providing an additional access point beyond the existing connections at 15th and 16th streets.

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The largest of the four buildings will total 84,000 square feet and contain 80 apartment units. The other three buildings will each have 56 units and total roughly 56,600 square feet. There will also be about 458 parking spaces in all, 204 of which will be on surface lots and the rest will be in garages or carports.

The project will consist of 128 one-bedroom, 112 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom units. The proposed rents range between $990 and $1,600 per month.

Joel Oliver, vice president of development with Green Street, said all but the three-bedroom units in the complex are considered workforce housing. By the developer’s definition, this means the housing is affordable to residents earning the equivalent of 80% of the area median income.

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“Our goal is to be at least 10% cheaper than new products being put on the market,” he said.

Oliver added that Green Street aims to offer the same quality of product as new market-rate apartment developments being built.

Even so, the Oscar is a departure from a typical Green Street mixed-income project, which has 51% of its units priced as workforce housing and the remaining 49% to be priced as affordable for those at 100% of the area median income.

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Oliver said this is the 12-year-old firm’s first project in the state.

He said Green Street was initially attracted to Wisconsin last year after lawmakers enacted the state Housing Tax Credits program. Although the project Green Street had first looked at never panned out, they instead found the opportunity to develop something at this site through the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp., he said.

Green Street targeted Sheboygan specifically, Oliver said, because of the clear need for more housing options in the area. This is especially true for workforce housing, he said.

Oliver noted there are a number of large employers in the area, such as Kohler Co. and Acuity Inc., but not enough places to live in the area.

In 2017, BizTimes wrote about Sheboygan’s housing shortage and efforts to increase its housing stock to meet the demand of its growing workforce.

The project is up for various approvals during Monday’s Architectural Review Board and Tuesday’s City Plan Commission meetings.

Currently, Sheboygan-based VanDerVart has at the site an office building, showroom, two warehouses, outdoor storage, a garage building and areas used for staging and crushing broken concrete.

The ready-mix concrete supplier is constructing a new consolidated facility in the nearby town of Wilson. In the meantime, Green Street allow the company to continue using portions of the Sheboygan site through 2021. This will facilitate VanDerVart’s migration to its new site while allowing Green Street to begin building the Oscar.

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