Bethesda, Luther Group plan $31 million residential and commercial development in Tosa

Aerial rendering of the planned Cornerstone Village development in Wauwatosa. (Engberg Anderson Architects)
Aerial rendering of the planned Cornerstone Village development in Wauwatosa. (Engberg Anderson Architects)

Last updated on November 5th, 2021 at 05:26 pm

A $31 million residential and commercial development is planned for Wauwatosa that will include apartments for adults with developmental disabilities, a bank branch, retail space and opportunities for its residents to explore assistive technology.

Watertown-based Bethesda and Elm Grove-based real estate firm Luther Group LLC purchased for $2.85 million the two-acre site at 7501 W. North Ave., at the southeast corner of Wauwatosa and North avenues, where the Cornerstone Village project will be developed.

Plans for the development include 92 apartment and four townhome units. To serve people with disabilities, up to 23 units would be set aside for affordable rates, not to exceed 80% of median county income. The remainder will be available to young professionals and families, Bethesda said.

Rendering of the retail space in the planned Cornerstone Village in Wauwatosa.

A new BMO Harris bank branch will be developed to replace its current branch onsite, along with two retail spaces and a “Discovery Lab,” which would be designed to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to learn life skills, explore assistive technology to increase independence and potentially be employed in a community-based business, Bethesda said.

The project has not yet received city review and approvals. If approved, the project would break ground next year.

It’s the second Cornerstone Village integrated housing model that Bethesda plans to develop in the area. The other apartment building is planned at 3200 W. Highland Blvd. on Milwaukee’s near west side. The $15.7 million project is planned as a 75,000-square-foot building, with 13 units dedicated to adults with intellectual and development disabilities and 55 units available for seniors aged 55 and above

Bethesda leaders say the integrated housing approach provides a safe home for people with disabilities while also fostering more inclusion in the community.

The communities are staffed by a director of activities, who will host events and classes that appeal to the community, such as exercise classes, coffee hours, book clubs, faith groups and community service opportunities.

Bethesda, which will rebrand as AbleLight at the beginning of next year, opened its first Cornerstone Village in a Minneapolis suburb last year.

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