Affordable apartments planned as part of $9.7 million project on Villard

Rendering of 3600@Villard by Korb+Associates

A group of recent ACRE graduates are embarking on their first commercial real estate development on Milwaukee’s northwest side.

Rendering of 3600@Villard by Korb+Associates
Rendering of 3600@Villard by Korb+Associates

Index Development Group, which includes Que El-Amin and Alex Walker, are planning 3600@Villard, a four-story mixed-use building on five lots at the corner of North 37th Street and Villard Avenue.

The $9.7 million project includes 2,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and an attached one-story 26 space parking structure. The building will contain up to 43 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

The project is located about two blocks west of the Milwaukee Public Library Villard Square Branch. In 2011, the library was relocated to its current location as a mixed-use development that includes the library on the first floor with 47 affordable apartments on three stories above.

Walker said he and his business partners worked with Alderwoman Milele Coggs, a fellow ACRE graduate, and toured about five sites before settling on this one. Index also has worked closely with the local Alderman Ashanti Hamilton on the project, Walker said.

The city’s Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee approved the project Tuesday, but requested some design changes to the windows.

“I’m very excited to see this project come down the pipeline,” said Alderman Nik Kovac. “With the library being redone, I think this is exactly the kind of mixed-use Villard can support.”

Three of the parcels being developed are city owned and will be sold to Index for $20,000.

Index is working with Milwaukee-based Korb +Associates Architects and Northbrook, Ill.-based Brinshore Development on the project. Brinshore has done seven projects in Milwaukee, specializing in low income neighborhoods and often working with ACRE graduates.

Michael Roane, vice president of Brinshore Development, said the next step will be to apply for low income tax credits in March with WHEDA, which will finance about 82 percent of the project. The developers are also talking to the city of Milwaukee about financing through community development block grants and other programs, Roane said.

The estimated completion date for the project is April 2018.

This project is the type of work the ACRE program is beginning to do more of during its 26-week class, said Donsia Strong Hill, LISC Milwaukee’s executive director and a 2005 graduate of ACRE, who oversees the program.

LISC started its current ACRE class on Oct. 11 and this year has partnered with the city’s Department of City Development to study some of the properties the city owns and the students will come up with their own potential projects for the sites.

“As a fellow ACRE graduate myself, I’m really excited for this project and I’m very proud of Que,” said Alderman Khalif Rainey.”

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