Avenir Apartments downtown sold for $22.3 million

Park East corridor building opened in 2015

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The Avenir Apartments building in downtown Milwaukee has been sold for about $22.3 million according to state records.

An affiliate of Kirkland, Washington-based Weidner Apartment Homes bought the five-story building at 1437 N. Jefferson St. from affiliates of Wauwatosa-based Wangard Companies.

Completed in 2015, the building has 104 apartments and 7,045 square feet of retail space. It has an assessed value of about $18.4 million, according to city records.

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The building was constructed in the Park East corridor, which was opened up for development when the Park East freeway spur was torn down, which began in 2002.

Avenir occupies the northeast portion of the block bounded by East Lyon Street on the north, Jefferson on the east, East Ogden Avenue on the south and North Milwaukee Street on the west. Wangard planned two additional development phases, with a total of 146 apartments and 4,700 square feet of retail space, for the rest of the block, but those projects never moved forward.

The undeveloped land on the block is controlled by Chicago investor Richard Curto, who originally planned a development on the block but was unable to pull it off and then brought Wangard on to be the majority owner for the Avenir development.

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In August, Wangard Companies chairman and CEO Stewart Wangard said Curto asked him to liquidate and offer the Avenir building for sale.

Earlier this year, Wangard let its option to develop the vacant block to the west of the Avenir block expire. Stewart Wangard said he wanted to focus on other projects. Milwaukee County, which owns the land, re-issued a request for proposal for the 2.1-acre parcel.

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