Another tower proposed for Mayfair and Bluemound in Wauwatosa

Building designed to fit within zoning restrictions, avoid contentious approval process

Drew Tower. Rendering: Kahler Slater
Drew Tower. Rendering: Kahler Slater

Last updated on November 17th, 2021 at 11:13 am

The newest apartment tower proposal for a high-profile, yet controversial, building site in Wauwatosa would stand 28 stories and 364 feet tall, but only contain 65 units, in an apparent attempt to avoid a requirement for Common Council approval.

An investors group led by John “Johnny V” Vassallo had proposed two other iterations of an apartment tower on property he owns southwest of West Bluemound and North Mayfair roads. Vassallo is the owner of Mo’s Restaurants.

His last proposal called for 20 stories and 340 units at the site. He withdrew his plans before the Common Council could reject them. This was after the apartment tower faced stiff criticism from community groups and city leaders.

The newest proposal is called Drew Tower, according to city records. Plan documents describe the building as an office and residential tower.

It is going before the Wauwatosa Design Review Board on Thursday evening.

Plan documents show the project is apparently within the standards of the site’s current zoning restrictions. The plans state the commercial district zoning code requires a minimum lot area of 1,000 square feet per residential unit. That translates to just under 66 units. This proposed tower would contain 65 units.

The zoning has no maximum building height restriction, and the project also satisfies its parking requirements.

Drawings show the building would have six levels of parking, followed by a 22-story glass tower. It would have 572 parking stalls. The apartments would be between the 16th and 28th floors, ranging in size from one- to three-bedroom units.

It would contain approximately 80,000 square feet each of commercial space, including office and medical offices space.

Milwaukee-based Kahler Slater is the project architect.

Vassallo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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